Since it was first shown in September, we've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Secret Exit's unique and tranquil puzzle game Zen Bound.

It is something to be enjoyed at a slow pace: a game where a high score is not the goal. Zen Bound is designed to challenge in a subtle way, it does not attack or force the player. There is also an element of self-reflection, for each of the sculptures is a representation of a state of mind or a human emotion.

Early last month the developer released a series of new screenshots that made it all the more difficult to patiently wait for this excellent looking title to arrive in the App Store.

Since then Secret Exit has revealed more still on their Zen Bound webpage, setup not long ago.  The page features new screenshots of the game, a new gameplay video, and a list of features:

  • The most beautiful graphics yet seen on the iPhone
  • Intuitive and natural multi-touch controls (tilt supported)
  • 51 levels included (Tree of Reflection and Tree of Challenge). Additional free 25 levels (Tree of Nostalgia) coming in March.
  • A captivating 22-minute downtempo soundtrack from 'Ghost Monkey'
  • Game soundtrack 'Bound' available as a free download to all customers in uncompromising 320kbit MP3 quality

At our last update Secret Exit had indicated to us that they were aiming for a release sometime in January but were prioritizing polish over schedule on the release.  It looks like the team opted to keep polishing and, while there's no set date on the new Zen Bound page, there is an indication that the game is "coming soon" and the developer has said in our forums that they have "high confidence" that it will be out this month (Feb).

See Secret Exit's latest demo video. Gameplay involves "painting" the entirety of a 3D object by wrapping a rope around it.

Zen Bound is an IGF Mobile Audio Achievement and Best iPhone Game finalist.

  • Owl

    Arghh. I can't wait for this to come out, it's been so long that I've waited x.x

    Better be soon! ;-;

  • Owl

    Arghh. I can't wait for this to come out, it's been so long that I've waited x.x

    Better be soon! ;-;

  • http://manta.ca/cubes Manta Research

    What an original and fresh concept. Amazing execution! Can't wait!

  • http://manta.ca/cubes Manta Research

    What an original and fresh concept. Amazing execution! Can't wait!

  • Finch

    now I REALLY want to play this. I always loved the PC original.

  • Finch

    now I REALLY want to play this. I always loved the PC original.

  • RagerX

    I didn't care about this until I saw the video above. It's looks different, fun and polished. Now I'm looking forward to it.

    I thought we had to cover the entire object in rope which seemed like it would take a long time. The paint around the rope looks like a great idea.

  • RagerX

    I didn't care about this until I saw the video above. It's looks different, fun and polished. Now I'm looking forward to it.

    I thought we had to cover the entire object in rope which seemed like it would take a long time. The paint around the rope looks like a great idea.

  • polyplay

    I'm still amazed at 76 levels.

    That is a lot of gameplay.

  • polyplay

    I'm still amazed at 76 levels.

    That is a lot of gameplay.

  • Ataru Hori

    Enough! Release this game now!

  • Ataru Hori

    Enough! Release this game now!

  • brof

    can't waaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttttt :-)

  • brof

    can't waaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttttt :-)

  • Roquentin

    I can sort of guess the basic goal of the game, but would it have hurt them to put a short blurb about it on their website?

  • Roquentin

    I can sort of guess the basic goal of the game, but would it have hurt them to put a short blurb about it on their website?

  • Moataz

    Simply stunning graphics and gameplay! Soundtrack sounds perfect as well. I really can't wait for this game.

  • Moataz

    Simply stunning graphics and gameplay! Soundtrack sounds perfect as well. I really can't wait for this game.

  • Don

    The waiting is painful, but well worth it. ^ ^

  • Don

    The waiting is painful, but well worth it. ^ ^

  • T

    am i the only one not that excited about this?
    the graphics are really nice, control looks interesting....but months and months of hype for what?
    i cant see myself buying this...seems like a get-boring-fast type game!
    am i alone on this????

  • T

    am i the only one not that excited about this?
    the graphics are really nice, control looks interesting....but months and months of hype for what?
    i cant see myself buying this...seems like a get-boring-fast type game!
    am i alone on this????

  • Thorero

    @T Well it's not fast paced, and it's not all about action. It's a peaceful game. Made to relax you.

    I'm quite looking forward to the release. It's really the sort of game to play if you need to unwind(Pun intended).

  • Thorero

    @T Well it's not fast paced, and it's not all about action. It's a peaceful game. Made to relax you.

    I'm quite looking forward to the release. It's really the sort of game to play if you need to unwind(Pun intended).

  • Pingback: Zen Bound:鬼六師匠になれるかは知りませんが、荒縄でゆっくりと巻き付けるゲームについて。 | AppBank

  • Fat Phil

    @T

    Do you stand outside art galleries wearing a "Monet Sucks!" t-shirt, telling people not to go inside because art is boring? I mean really, all those years painting and all that hype, and the damned pictures don't even animate.

    :b

  • Fat Phil

    @T

    Do you stand outside art galleries wearing a "Monet Sucks!" t-shirt, telling people not to go inside because art is boring? I mean really, all those years painting and all that hype, and the damned pictures don't even animate.

    :b

  • Madison

    Loving the concept, since first screens appeared.
    Running out of patience though.
    This game s taking forever to get released.

  • Madison

    Loving the concept, since first screens appeared.
    Running out of patience though.
    This game s taking forever to get released.

  • marc

    @fat phil

    yes. boring...

  • marc

    @fat phil

    yes. boring...

  • Fat Phil

    @marc

    But why say it? Nothing is worse than someone going out of their way to criticise something someone has put a lot of love and effort into just because "it's not their thing".

    Seriously, get a life.

  • Fat Phil

    @marc

    But why say it? Nothing is worse than someone going out of their way to criticise something someone has put a lot of love and effort into just because "it's not their thing".

    Seriously, get a life.

  • Steve

    Looks AWESOME, But wouldn't it more fun to try to figure out
    how to UNTIE the object?

    Steve

  • Steve

    Looks AWESOME, But wouldn't it more fun to try to figure out
    how to UNTIE the object?

    Steve

  • aen

    the more i have to wait in anticipation for this the more i could make use of the zen relaxation. hope they release before i die of heart attack...

  • aen

    the more i have to wait in anticipation for this the more i could make use of the zen relaxation. hope they release before i die of heart attack...

  • wegmans

    I don't understand the goal of this.. how can you lose?

    "ameplay involves “painting” the entirety of a 3D object by wrapping a rope around it."

    umm not true, you can see for example at the end of the video only a small part appears to be wrapped... i just don't get the point.. it's more of a relaxing thing to play with, like Koi Pond? They sure have been working on it for a long time, so i bet it will be very polished upon release

  • wegmans

    I don't understand the goal of this.. how can you lose?

    "ameplay involves “painting” the entirety of a 3D object by wrapping a rope around it."

    umm not true, you can see for example at the end of the video only a small part appears to be wrapped... i just don't get the point.. it's more of a relaxing thing to play with, like Koi Pond? They sure have been working on it for a long time, so i bet it will be very polished upon release

  • aen

    also, i'd like to get a life as well

  • aen

    also, i'd like to get a life as well

  • t

    Fat Phil:
    im actually an art historian...im not talking about art, i said i like the graphics...just doesnt seem like compelling game play. In fact seems like boring game play...I have plenty of "zen" games and they just dont "zen" me...Ivory tiles for instance is very beautiful to look at but very easy....

  • t

    Fat Phil:
    im actually an art historian...im not talking about art, i said i like the graphics...just doesnt seem like compelling game play. In fact seems like boring game play...I have plenty of "zen" games and they just dont "zen" me...Ivory tiles for instance is very beautiful to look at but very easy....

  • t

    p.s.
    wearing a "monet sucks" tshirt is performance art anyways...what isnt art these days?

  • t

    p.s.
    wearing a "monet sucks" tshirt is performance art anyways...what isnt art these days?

  • t

    art is all about liking AND not liking. If everybody liked every art piece what would constitute art? nothing, thats what. So let marc have his say :)

  • t

    art is all about liking AND not liking. If everybody liked every art piece what would constitute art? nothing, thats what. So let marc have his say :)

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    I'm flattered that Zen Bound is bringing up the conversation regarding what's art or not. From my point of view, it can be viewed as art. Zen Bound has subtle elements that convey a message if the person playing is willing to focus on the themes that the game proposes.

    However, that is entirely voluntary, and the game can be enjoyed simply on the basis of its audiovisuals and the interaction.

    As for winning and losing, it is possible to play the game poorly and end up in a situation where a level cannot be completed. It is then up to the player to decide if he/she wants to back up by unwinding, simply restart the level or try another level entirely.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    I'm flattered that Zen Bound is bringing up the conversation regarding what's art or not. From my point of view, it can be viewed as art. Zen Bound has subtle elements that convey a message if the person playing is willing to focus on the themes that the game proposes.

    However, that is entirely voluntary, and the game can be enjoyed simply on the basis of its audiovisuals and the interaction.

    As for winning and losing, it is possible to play the game poorly and end up in a situation where a level cannot be completed. It is then up to the player to decide if he/she wants to back up by unwinding, simply restart the level or try another level entirely.

  • Greg

    Wow, this game looks stunning. I can't wait

  • Greg

    Wow, this game looks stunning. I can't wait

  • Finch

    From the video it looks like the difficulty has been changed a bit from the PC version. Frand, if I may guess, that the iPhone version requires less rope to be wrapped around an object as the rope's painting effect is stronger, but now there is limited rope? or is it simply that some objects are complex enough to require very precise wrapping in order to get into ever area of the surface. I remember the PC version had limited rope but it was so much that I never ran out, but it was really hard to get 100% on even the simpler objects due to the rope not spreading the paint effect very far.

    Hope that makes sense. Either way, looks amazing. I love the branch with the flowers style menu.

  • Finch

    From the video it looks like the difficulty has been changed a bit from the PC version. Frand, if I may guess, that the iPhone version requires less rope to be wrapped around an object as the rope's painting effect is stronger, but now there is limited rope? or is it simply that some objects are complex enough to require very precise wrapping in order to get into ever area of the surface. I remember the PC version had limited rope but it was so much that I never ran out, but it was really hard to get 100% on even the simpler objects due to the rope not spreading the paint effect very far.

    Hope that makes sense. Either way, looks amazing. I love the branch with the flowers style menu.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    The thickness of the rope varies per level, and that affects the spreading of the paint. Some levels still take quite a while to get 100% with :)

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    The thickness of the rope varies per level, and that affects the spreading of the paint. Some levels still take quite a while to get 100% with :)

  • David Galvan

    I must be missing something, because the concept of wrapping a string around a random object does not sound fun to me.

    *shrug*

    to each their own.

  • David Galvan

    I must be missing something, because the concept of wrapping a string around a random object does not sound fun to me.

    *shrug*

    to each their own.

  • marc

    lose the statues and add in hollywood starlets and pop singers, it'll sell better.

  • marc

    lose the statues and add in hollywood starlets and pop singers, it'll sell better.

  • Fat Phil

    arn, lol :)

    t, fair enough (and I'm impressed/even slightly jealous)

    marc, paris hilton and sniping? (we need more sniping games, please:))

  • Fat Phil

    arn, lol :)

    t, fair enough (and I'm impressed/even slightly jealous)

    marc, paris hilton and sniping? (we need more sniping games, please:))

  • marc

    i thought we were talking about bound? how did we get on sniper games?

    well ok, but paris will have to be on the harder levels, i mean she's really thin (a tough sniping target).

    maybe if you choose to start on the easy level they give you that ruby woman from style network :)

  • marc

    i thought we were talking about bound? how did we get on sniper games?

    well ok, but paris will have to be on the harder levels, i mean she's really thin (a tough sniping target).

    maybe if you choose to start on the easy level they give you that ruby woman from style network :)

  • TKO

    Hehe ..Thinking about it, a Celebrity Bound sounds like a good idea. Probably an entirely different presentation would be required: sound, music, and vfx elements similar to what's in Spin maybe? Wouldn't necessarily have to be celebrities ..I'm sure enough of a sexiness element to it would do the trick. Great way to get twice the App Store income for a good deal less than twice the effort, eh? ;)

    Of course it would be entirely understandable, if you guys prefer to keep your artistic integrity and only have this version. It's looking so cool I think I have to get it. :)

  • TKO

    Hehe ..Thinking about it, a Celebrity Bound sounds like a good idea. Probably an entirely different presentation would be required: sound, music, and vfx elements similar to what's in Spin maybe? Wouldn't necessarily have to be celebrities ..I'm sure enough of a sexiness element to it would do the trick. Great way to get twice the App Store income for a good deal less than twice the effort, eh? ;)

    Of course it would be entirely understandable, if you guys prefer to keep your artistic integrity and only have this version. It's looking so cool I think I have to get it. :)