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iPhone: Zen Bound - The Official Thread of Rope and Wood (submitted: $4.99)

12-08-2008, 10:38 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,041
Zen Bound - The Official Thread of Rope and Wood (submitted: $4.99)



First Review: Pocket Gamer - 10/10, Platinum Medal Link

What is Zen Bound?

Zen Bound can be called an alternative game - while it has game-like goals and it rewards the player for his/her performance, the focus of the game is in the interaction. Whereas SPiN is fast-paced and score-oriented, Zen Bound is a slow and tranquil game where the joy of playing a level and manipulating the 'puzzle' is more compelling than reaching the finish line.

It is simply a game of 'painting' wooden sculptures by wrapping rope around them, there's no denying that, but our goal is to provide a subtle, passive challenge that helps you take your mind off things. In a way, we want playing Zen Bound to be the same kind of activity as peeling the label off a soda bottle, or popping bubble wrap or scraping dried paint off with your finger. It can be meditative, but it needs the right moment and the right state of mind.

We haven't yet settled on how many levels will be in the final game. Each level is a wooden shape. While the majority of them will be animal-themed, there will likely be a set of more abstract blocky shapes for the sake of variety.

Zen Bound is a game that really, really should be played with headphones. There is a ~22-minute long soundtrack made by 'Ghost Monkey'. The music is dusty, soothing ambient which draws inspiration from artists such as Psapp (for their hand-made instruments) and Cliff Martinez (Solaris Soundtrack in particular).

The sound effects are also dynamically mixed according to the gameplay, meaning the volume and pitch of the samples is adjusted in real-time to match the speed with which the rope hits, slides and detaches from the sculpture surface. Both the music and sound effects are largely built from sampling and manipulating real-world sounds, and much effort was put into creating an organic soundscape that envelopes the player.

For the visuals, we want to Zen Bound to define what high-quality aesthetic design means for an iPhone game. With Zen Bound, it's about technical excellence with thought-out palettes and shapes that evoke emotions despite and because of their simplicity. There will not be fireworks or chrome reflections, instead we focus on minimalism and intimacy.

Gameplay Trailer:

Youtube link | Pop Up


Old Teaser:

Youtube link | Pop Up


Web links:
Zen Bound receives IMGA nomination
Zen Bound in IGF Mobile 2009 Competition
Ghost Monkey myspace, Ghost Monkey homesite
Zen Bound music preview MP3 download

Screenshots:

A level called 'Balance' from a newer build.


'Solitude' from an old build.


'Obedience' from an old build.


When will it be available?

February 2009.


(whew)

Last edited by Frand; 02-21-2009 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Availability slightly corrected.
12-08-2008, 10:40 AM
#2
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,411
Send a message via AIM to eeenmachine
Can't wait! I remember being mesmerized by a the PC version!

12-08-2008, 10:44 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,555
This gets me all worked up

Am I the only one who thinks that this game is kind of kinky?
12-08-2008, 10:46 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,710
I've purchased SPiN some time ago tho I thought I would not like it... Go figure, I've purchased even tho... But I like it and it one of those few games that is still on my iPhone.

And now I look at Zen Bound gameplay and I think the exact same thing... But due its great presentation I'll probably purchase this title even tho. Am I confused or what?

In resume, Zen Bound looks great!!
12-08-2008, 10:48 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,268
12-08-2008, 10:54 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 744
If they program as good as they write, then the game should be awesome. The links on youtube are down so I can't see it in action. Sounds good though.
12-08-2008, 11:15 AM
#7
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 349
The game looks visually stunning Jani. Keep up the goods.

| Mike Kasprzak | Sykhronics Entertainment | Mike @ Twitter |

Smiles HD for Mac and iPad | Smiles for iPhone/iPod touch (Twitter, Website)
IGF Mobile "Best Game" Finalist | Intel "Elegance in Design" Winner
12-08-2008, 11:20 AM
#8
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frand View Post
In a way, we want playing Zen Bound to be the same kind of activity as peeling the label off a soda bottle, or popping bubble wrap or scraping dried paint off with your finger.
How about adding "peeling off dead, dried-up sunburned skin" to that list?

Website: www.NotHowItLooks.com Twitter: @BrettArchibald
Artwork, animation & UI-design for Beyond Ynth Parachute Panic Chicken Raid
Multiple icon-sets design for Thingy Blox
12-08-2008, 11:24 AM
#9
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,041
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettArchibald View Post
How about adding "peeling off dead, dried-up sunburned skin" to that list?
Ooh, now that's a sequel!
12-08-2008, 12:11 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiller ONE View Post
Am I the only one who thinks that this game is kind of kinky?
Bah-dum-bum crash