Developer: Secret Exit
Price: $4.99 (£2.99)
Description: Creative Strategic Puzzle
Pros: Amazing graphics, unique concept, over 100 levels.
Cons: Clumsy mouse control, repetitive gameplay, some other minor issues.
Advised Control Method: Trackpad
Zen Bound 2 was first seen on the iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and has since been ported over to the Mac. Its concept is deceptively simple, yet surprisingly unique and fun once you get into the game.
Zen Bound 2 is all about wrapping wooden or metallic objects in rope. This rope emits a spread of paint onto said object once it makes contact with its surface. The aim of the game is to cover as much of the object with paint as possible, with the limited rope you have. Sounds simple right?
Well, Zen Bound 2 starts off that way. There are 10 level packs in the game (over 100 individual levels), each one getting progressively harder than the last. From the ridiculously easy ‘Tree of Introduction’ to the frustratingly hard ‘Tree of Conflict’, Zen Bound 2 offers challenges for all moods and abilities.
Other than the classic mode, Zen Bound 2 makes use of what are called paint bombs. These can be situated on your rope or on the model itself and explode in a frenzy of vibrant paint. These features add longevity to the game and help keep the levels varied.
The controls have also adapted very well. I had doubts about whether Secret Exit could successfully replicate the intuitive controls from the touch screen, but they have. The game uses the trackpad as a touch pad. You can spin the model easily and freely by just dragging your finger across it. Those without the a trackpad will either have to settle with the Magic Mouse (which works the same way as the trackpad) or a normal mouse which involves cumbersome clicking and dragging. I much preferred the trackpad control option, the others work, but are not as intuitive or easy to control.
In this case, I have saved the best till last; the graphics. Zen Bound 2 looks amazing on the Mac’s screen. Its polish, from the menu design to the levels themselves, make Zen Bound 2 simply a stunner. Coupled with soothing music, the two media come together to create an overall majestic feel to the game. Zen Bound 2, served with a warm beverage of choice, is the perfect tonic to sooth and relax you after a stressful day.
However, this has its downfalls. Zen Bound 2 is definitely not recommended for the impatient. If you enjoy guns, explosions and general carnage, this is not for you. Zen Bound 2 will also not occupy you for long periods of time. Its sometimes repetitive levels lead to the game getting tiresome after a long stint. There were some other minor issues such as accidentally finishing a level, and the sound effects (as opposed to the music) were not perfect, but these problems can be overlooked when compared to the whole package.
Zen Bound 2 is not just a simple port from a mobile device. Instead it stands firmly on its own two feet with stunning quality and smooth gameplay. Its strategic and challenging elements will attract any puzzle lover and make for an addictive game overall. If Zen Bound 2 appeals, then it is a worthy purchase (especially for the price).