When Zen Bound first came out we were all blown away. (Well actually everyone else on the site was, I was underwhelmed.) Zen Bound 2 follows the
same formula as the first one, meaning, you wrap wooden objects in rope. The first game got a perfect score from us. Can the second one live up?
For the unacquainted reader, allow me to explain what Zen Bound actually is. It’s a tranquil, peaceful game, where you simply have an object made of wood, that you have to wrap in rope. As you wrap the object, it will become painted where ever the rope touches. The objective is to wrap a certain percentage of the object to advance to later stages. You can receive up to 3 flowers, depending on the percentage of the object you wrap. As you unlock more flowers you unlock more levels.
Zen Bound is the kind of game you play when you want to relax. It is not an intense game that will get your blood boiling. Personally, I find it incredibly boring, however, that being said, I can also see where the first one was an amazing and innovative experience that hadn’t been done before. In spite of the fact that I don’t really appreciate that type of game, had I reviewed it I would still have given a 5 star rating, just because of how amazing it looked, and how original the game was.
All of what I said about the first one is true about the second one. All except the originality that is, there is a few new modes, but in all honesty they are variations of the same basic idea. Sure, they add some nails that explode on the blocks on some levels, or ropes that have exploding paint blobs on them, but it’s the same basic formula. The strategy used to beat the different type of levels is different, but in the end it’s still just a bunch (over 100 actually) of single player levels, and that, to me does not elevate this sequel above the original game, and is more of a version 1.5 than a fully fledged version 2.0.
I was really hoping for something new in this sequel to what is widely considered one of the best games on the iPhone. There’s a number of things I would have loved to have seen that would make it worth the money, besides just a normal single player mode with a few extra little snippets. To start with some form of multiplayer would make the game a much more fun experience. I also think a level creator or editor would help make this worth your while, maybe some way of uploading photos of objects which the game could extrude into 3D.
As it stands, there isn’t enough to justify buying Zen Bound 2, unless of course you haven’t played the first one, or maybe you really loved the first one and you want more of the same. It just doesn’t feel right giving it as higher a score than the first. All of my gripes about originality aside, technically speaking, Zen Bound is still a great looking and sounding game, and it controls and plays just as well. Give me just a shred of new features, and I would be happy to say this game is truly great, just like it’s iPhone little brother. However, as it stands, the game is really just good.