With Bound, PlayStation gives another small and innovative game a place to develop. A woman revisits memories of her childhood, but her past is displayed in a unfamiliar, yet fantastical way. Will Bound find a way to reach out to the players’ hearts?
Dedication to an artform
Bound is a platformer, completely free of any combat per say. In a fictional world, you have to dance through the memories of a pregnant woman, which are split into five different platforming levels. Enemies exist, but these encounters are harmless when you gracefully dance your way through it. The game’s environment looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen, with weird shapes flowing around and physics not comparable to our world. Bound is fully dedicated to an art style, and with the amazing piano music accompanying the dancing, it is truly enjoyable to watch a person play this game.
Dance the night away
Unfortunately, watching Bound as an artistic movie is much more enjoyable than actually playing, since the game has nothing to offer except for its weird story and crazy style. Without the music and the visuals, this title would be dull as hell. Platforming and combat are no real challenge, and not interesting at all. Admittedly, the dancing feels new and fresh at first sight, but wears off really quickly. You might be open-minded about experiencing this piece of art at first, but as soon as the core gameplay gets tedious, it is easy to lose incentive to progress any further – and reaching the end and solution to such a title is oftentimes the key.
As the game only lasts two hours, the developers wanted to provide players with enough reason for a second playthrough. For this matter, they have used speedrunning trophies, which don’t synergy with the nature of the game at all. Other trophies require you not to die, which is also a pain due to the weak platforming. Bound is such a beautiful and slow title, that shouldn’t be stressed or forced in any way – and the trophies clearly take away from this experience.
The beauty of watching
People who want to experience something unlike anything else will find value in Bound‘s beauty. From a gameplay perspective, however, it offers too little to be easily accessible for less art-curious players, while also being not exactly fun to play. Thus, watching and enjoying the visuals might be more enjoyable than playing it by yourself. Yet, if you show exceptional interest in the gracefulness of dancing or the magic of piano music, you might give Bound a shot.
What we liked:
- Artsy and unique approach
- Great piano music
What we didn’t like:
- Lack of challenge
- Weak platforming
- Terrible trophy design
This review was written using a PlayStation 4 review code provided by Sony PlayStation. How do you like the premise of Bound and artsy games overall? What is your favourite one? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!