ThreadBound is a puzzle game where you have to guide Spindle back to its spider web. To guide Spindle in this 2-d platform puzzler you have Stickler the stick bug. Spindle wanders around Lemming style not caring about falling, drowning or becoming killed by some bug. By using multitouch you can rotate Stickler, and use it as a ramp to climb up or as a wall stopping and turning Spindle. Just using one finger lets you easily move Stickler. While moving Stickler it becomes transparent, and if Spindle walks on it the result is that Spindle falls. You can move Stickler quickly to catch Spindle but it becomes even longer to get upwards, this game mechanic is kind of boring I think.
At first I really enjoyed the Lemmings style gameplay where you have to save Spindle who just keeps walking. Too quickly it becomes apparent that only having one stick bug limits the game. The puzzle element gets lost I think when strategy is less important than trying to quickly move Stickler around. In Lemmings you had a lot of different tools at your disposal to stop them from collective suicide. In ThreadBound you can change the properties of Stickler by moving it through honey making it sticky.
The graphics and presentation are a bit uneven. I really like the backgrounds, but the characters and level elements feel too plastered on by a programmer. It feels like a do it yourself kind of game in that since, I did some of those back in the day. The enemies have more character then the hero Spindle who just looks like a member of the Blue Man Group letting go of his exercise program. The menus are boring with the large grey buttons.
The music is good with some modern arrangements of classical tunes, really surprisingly good. I didn’t even think the game had music as it let me play my own tunes, and the first couple of times starting the game I had some Eminem going.(see Eminem Relapse review why) ThreadBound feature sparse sound effects, and most often you will hear what I guess is the Wilhelm scream tuned to suit a spidery character when Spindle falls and dies.
Gamelife is quite long with 54 progressively harder levels to play. There is also a level editor letting you create your own stuff. These can be sent in to the developer to be included in upcoming updates. I think that is a really nifty way of creating interest among players. I think the interface is a bit clumsy in the level editor with three-finger touch to bring up and hide the menu. On the other hand I am not sure it can be made much better due to limitations with just having a touch screen to work with.
I did never get into the game or find it particularly interesting, and I think the reason being that I was expecting the gameplay to lean a bit more towards Lemmings. At a buck you get plenty of gamelife, and if you like to create your own levels this might be something for you.