Secret Exit's Zen Bound [App Store] has finally made its way into the App Store.

We've been talking about this title since September after the developers provided us with a teaser video of this unique game.

The game is described as a calm and meditative puzzle game about wrapping wooden sculptures with rope.

A game in which a high score is not the goal - instead it is something to focus on and enjoy at your own relaxed pace.

It is a tactile experience: a game of wood, stone and rope with the most beautiful graphics yet seen on the iPhone. The visuals complement the controls to provide interaction that feels natural and comfortable.

Zen Bound makes very good use of the iPhone's touch display to provide direct manipulation of the objects you are rotating. iPodTouchLab provides this hands-on gameplay video that lets you see the controls:

The game has already won the International Mobile Gaming Awards for "Excellence in 3D" and is a finalist for "Best iPhone Game" and "Audio Achievement" in the Independent Games Festival Mobile 2009 awards.

We've had a chance to play the game for the past week and our full review will be up shortly. Our conclusion, however, is that this is one of the most polished and technically impressive games available on the iPhone and, if you've had any interest in the title, we highly recommend it.

Meanwhile, long time computer enthusiasts might not be surprised to learn that the engineers at Secret Exit all have a background in the demoscene (specific examples: ix, Assembly 2004 invite, The Line Age, San Angeles Observation).

App Store Link: Zen Bound, $4.99

  • thebleeptruth

    Graphics are top notch. Physics seem right on too. But I don't know.. I can't seem to see where the hype is coming from. It looks pretty boring to me. It's like the only people who'll enjoy this are probably old people or people who have too much time on their hands.

  • thebleeptruth

    Graphics are top notch. Physics seem right on too. But I don't know.. I can't seem to see where the hype is coming from. It looks pretty boring to me. It's like the only people who'll enjoy this are probably old people or people who have too much time on their hands.

  • arn

    @thebleeptruth make no doubt about it, the game is what the game is. if you had no interest in the game concept or videos, I don't necessarily think it's for you.

  • arn

    @thebleeptruth make no doubt about it, the game is what the game is. if you had no interest in the game concept or videos, I don't necessarily think it's for you.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeyrotica monkeyrotica

    Yup. If you're into games for boss levels and memorizing game patterns, this is NOT for you. If, however, you have a copy of "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" on your shelf, this is the game you've been waiting for.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeyrotica monkeyrotica

    Yup. If you're into games for boss levels and memorizing game patterns, this is NOT for you. If, however, you have a copy of "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" on your shelf, this is the game you've been waiting for.

  • Maxwell

    I might try it. I like puzzles without timers, and game without enemies.

  • Maxwell

    I might try it. I like puzzles without timers, and game without enemies.

  • Danny-Doggy

    Is this a game or a relaxation tool. I see it says % complete for each object but is there some strategy needed to do well?

  • Danny-Doggy

    Is this a game or a relaxation tool. I see it says % complete for each object but is there some strategy needed to do well?

  • arn

    @danny - there is some strategy needed. the harder objects have hard to get to areas. if you just wrap without regard there will be areas you can't get to
    http://zenbound.com/scr6.jpg

  • arn

    @danny - there is some strategy needed. the harder objects have hard to get to areas. if you just wrap without regard there will be areas you can't get to
    http://zenbound.com/scr6.jpg

  • Presnter

    The graphics is really nice. I played three pieces already and I just realized the accelerometer moves the rope :)

    The sound and music is nice too.

  • Presnter

    The graphics is really nice. I played three pieces already and I just realized the accelerometer moves the rope :)

    The sound and music is nice too.

  • Adams Immersive

    I only just noticed the nails that add complexity. Definitely on my list to get.

  • Adams Immersive

    I only just noticed the nails that add complexity. Definitely on my list to get.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    In a lot of ways this shares some similarity with Noby Noby Boy (for the PS3), although NNB is a bit more insane and there's a lot more going on in it. At its core, though, NNB is also about playing around with what is essentially a stretchy rope that can get tangled up in things, and it's fun to just fiddle with.

    So, I think Zen Bound would also be pretty appealing.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    In a lot of ways this shares some similarity with Noby Noby Boy (for the PS3), although NNB is a bit more insane and there's a lot more going on in it. At its core, though, NNB is also about playing around with what is essentially a stretchy rope that can get tangled up in things, and it's fun to just fiddle with.

    So, I think Zen Bound would also be pretty appealing.

  • Greg

    Zen Bound is on the avant-garde side of gaming like Crayon Physics. As of late there's been a bit more experimentation with the formula (a much needed evolution). Zen Bound is just one of those experiments that proves games can be artful, convey aesthetic and still be entertaining, without adhering the normal conventions of gaming.

    Its totally worth the $5 and really shows the iPhone is a capable platform for less explored and perhaps new genres.

  • Greg

    Zen Bound is on the avant-garde side of gaming like Crayon Physics. As of late there's been a bit more experimentation with the formula (a much needed evolution). Zen Bound is just one of those experiments that proves games can be artful, convey aesthetic and still be entertaining, without adhering the normal conventions of gaming.

    Its totally worth the $5 and really shows the iPhone is a capable platform for less explored and perhaps new genres.

  • keith

    Can you play it with the music off, listening to the "ipod" on an iphone?

  • keith

    Can you play it with the music off, listening to the "ipod" on an iphone?

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Yes. Zen Bound supports user audio, just start your own music before you start the game.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Yes. Zen Bound supports user audio, just start your own music before you start the game.

  • YouTube

    I'd recommend leaving the music on. It's quite impressive and fits the game perfectly.

  • YouTube

    I'd recommend leaving the music on. It's quite impressive and fits the game perfectly.

  • NotYou

    Wow. That was a typo and a half. "YouTube" is actually me.

    Anyhow, I'm really impressed with everything about this game. The game weird, addicting, and like nothing I've ever played. On top of all that, it has amazing production quality.

  • NotYou

    Wow. That was a typo and a half. "YouTube" is actually me.

    Anyhow, I'm really impressed with everything about this game. The game weird, addicting, and like nothing I've ever played. On top of all that, it has amazing production quality.

  • kinl

    Really nice relaxing puzzle game with huge polish, I highly recomend it :)

  • kinl

    Really nice relaxing puzzle game with huge polish, I highly recomend it :)

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  • Richard

    Very nice to play a puzzle game that doesn't involve matching colored blocks. I like the idea that this game can be played by anyone.

  • Richard

    Very nice to play a puzzle game that doesn't involve matching colored blocks. I like the idea that this game can be played by anyone.

  • http://www.ddubsreads.com D Dubs

    Maybe I'm totally missing the point on this one. Still, it looks so intriguing I might give it a shot.

  • http://www.ddubsreads.com D Dubs

    Maybe I'm totally missing the point on this one. Still, it looks so intriguing I might give it a shot.

  • aen

    The point seems to be that there is no obvious point. It's Zen allright... Absolutely lovely game!

  • aen

    The point seems to be that there is no obvious point. It's Zen allright... Absolutely lovely game!

  • http://www.planetdamage.com planetdamage

    Been following up on this game since Moppi Productions brought this out in the demoscene as Zen Bondage. Amazing production value, good soundtrack, gameplay experience is just what you'd expect from this kind of artsy game. If you're much into racing or action, this is not really the app you're looking for - otherwise, this is one of the best games for a promising platform. 10/10.

  • http://www.planetdamage.com planetdamage

    Been following up on this game since Moppi Productions brought this out in the demoscene as Zen Bondage. Amazing production value, good soundtrack, gameplay experience is just what you'd expect from this kind of artsy game. If you're much into racing or action, this is not really the app you're looking for - otherwise, this is one of the best games for a promising platform. 10/10.

  • soakwashrinsespin

    One of the most accomplished games released for the iPhone so far, in my opinion. I really suggest people actually try the game first before dismissing it. And no, you don't need to be "old", "have too much time on [your] hands", or be a Zen Buddhist to enjoy this game, as some have suggested above.

    There's plenty of challenge, and I'm finding myself being delighted and enthralled. Worthy of the hype and the awards it has received.

  • soakwashrinsespin

    One of the most accomplished games released for the iPhone so far, in my opinion. I really suggest people actually try the game first before dismissing it. And no, you don't need to be "old", "have too much time on [your] hands", or be a Zen Buddhist to enjoy this game, as some have suggested above.

    There's plenty of challenge, and I'm finding myself being delighted and enthralled. Worthy of the hype and the awards it has received.

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