Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch
Bear’s Courage, Crocodile’s Patience, Dog’s Obedience; these are the virtues that Zen Bound ostensibly attempts to teach. To convey these lessons, the game tasks you with lassoing 51 wood-sculpted animals, a lofty goal both in its pursuit and execution. Mechanically, the player, using deft fingers on the touch screen, manipulates carved animal figurines in 3D space gradually binding them with a taut length of string that aligns to earth’s pull courtesy of the iPhone’s accelerometers. As string touches surface area, the wooden objects onscreen are painted in brilliant textures. Paint as much of the sculpture as you can with the finite length of string, then bend the string over the figurine’s protruding nail to tie up loose ends, literally and figuratively. There are no time limits to stress you out. After all, virtue takes time and many trials. But the downbeat ambient soundtrack by Finnish artist Ghost Monkey is what truly eases the player into a Zen-like torpor.