807871_4Bruno Meilick's Zwirn [$1.99] seems to borrow a lot of the mood and tactile gameplay from Zen Bound [$1.99 / Free], replacing manipulating a 3D object to wrap it in string with actually controlling the string itself to meet the goals of the 25 included levels.

The four tutorial levels walk you through the basic premise behind the game: A length of string comes from one white dot, and must be extended to the other white dot while laying on top of the various black dots that spot the screen on each level. You don't have much control over the string itself aside from pulling it from the end across the screen, which is where the push pins come in.

Later levels come loaded with different amount of push pins which can be moved around by tapping to pick them up, then tapping again to place them. You then pull the string across the screen, bending it around the push pins, and hold it at the second white dot for a few seconds to progress through the game.


It doesn't take long for Zwirn to become quite difficult, but if you get stuck the solutions are available on the Zwirn web site. The developer also put together the following gameplay trailer, which is worth watching because the way the string responds to your touches is neat:

Where Zwirn left me scratching my head was when it comes to the complete lack of music in the game. So much of the atmosphere in Zen Bound came from the fantastic soundtrack which is completely absent in Zwirn. I've somewhat "solved" this problem by playing the Zen Bound soundtrack (which is freely available for download once you purchase Zen Bound) while playing Zwirn. The difference, oddly enough, is night and day.

Regardless, if you like odd puzzle games, Zwirn is worth a look. The gameplay mechanic of stretching the string works well, and the art style is cool-- You just need to bring your own music.

App Store Link: Zwirn, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • kalel39

    I watched that video 2 times and re-read your description 3 times and finally realized what it takes to move to the next level. I must be tripping!

    The game looks weird enough to say "wth, I'll buy that" Soon as I get home Im gonna have fun with digital string.


  • ngretard

    if it was developed by Secret Exit or ngmoco, this would be considered a must buy or the next big thing of 2010.

    Where are the over hyped 3000 comments for this game?

    🙂 good job, devs.
    Hope people will be fair and give this game the same success Zen Bound got, but I doubt it...

    • Tanor

      Yeah, because the fact it's similar to and inferior to Zen Bound wasn't addressed in the article or anything. Yawn.

      • Symbolist

        Similar to \"Zen Bound\" (which I own)? Cause it\'s using a string? Cause there is nothing to shoot at? Cause there is no cartoon dinosaur? Cause it\'s not a flipper?

      • Tanor

        Please read the article before commenting.

      • Symbolist

        You think the article is similar to "Zen Bound", too?


      • Greg

        Haha I see. Any game with textures and string is now similar to Zen Bound. Makes perfect sense.

    • Mark

      ngretard - as far as I am aware this game just appeared. No news on the forum, no thread to get momentum, no teaser video, no screenshots, no developer involvement here. That is why you don't see what you want, nothing more.

      It looks like a game I will really enjoy so I'll be buying it.

      • Eli Hodapp

        It was actually originally released on 12/18/09. Not sure how it managed to slip through the cracks without anyone noticing it.

      • Mark

        For that date given the crazy amount of activity going on I can understand why.

        But I do think if the dev posts to the forum it can only help. He must have put in a huge number of hours so a couple more on the forum would pay off.

  • Steve

    This game looks pretty sweet actually. From the video they seem to have nailed down the movement and feel of the twine. It seems inspired by ZB, but at the same time not a copy.

    I bought Zen Bound and have that soundtrack anyway, so can play it with this game.

  • Synergistic Ideologue

    It seems like the rope is too segmented to me and that somehow makes it look like a flash game.

  • http://www.zwirn-game.com Bruno Meilick

    As one of the developers of Zwirn I would like to thank all of you for your comments.

    @kalel39: You mean... Connect white entrance and exit with the Zwirn. The Zwirn has to pass through all black spots, too. You will hear a tick-like sound if these conditions are met. Do not touch the screen then for a few seconds, proving your solution is valid and the game will move on to the next level.

    @ngretard: Thanks for the praise.

    @Eli Hodapp & Mark: We were surprised it slipped trough, too. 🙂 I will post on the forum asap.

    #no soundtrack: Unless you provide a very well done soundtrack and big in terms of filesize it will get boring very fast and player switch to their own music. We wanted to keep our game small. But we are currently remixing the four themes we created (you can hear one in the video) and they will be release in february 2010 for free on our website.

    @Steve: We started prototyping Zwirn without being aware of Zen Bound. Both games use a rope as main interaction object, but I am glad to hear you noticed and will enjoy our interpretation of playing with a twine.

    @Synergistic Ideologue: A physical realistic rope is very cpu time consuming to simulate. Resolving the friction around the pins multiplies the time needed. When you just spawing the objects in Box2D on a 2nd gen iPhone or iPod touch these devices are able to simulate 40 chain links and 2 pins correctly. We spend a good share of our dev time to improve this. You can see up to 120 chain links and use up to 4 pins in our game.

  • MrMuesli

    Honestly, I'm enjoying this without the music. What concerns me more is the amount of levels. I got through most of them in about 30 minutes. I'm dipping into now every so often so I don't finish it to early. Any plans to add more levels?

    • http://www.zwirn-game.com Bruno Meilick

      Most of our testers finished the game within 1 - 3 hours. But very few people seem to be able to solve it way faster. Congratulations you are one of them! 🙂

      Levels with multiple exits require a different solution for each combination. Have you really solved all of them? Did you know some levels can be solved with one pin not being used? Did you play the levels in reverse to see what is before the first level?

      We are currently discussing within the team if we want to add more levels.

  • sbtrct

    bruno, if you could consider making this 1st gen ipod touch compatible, that'd be great. i've downloaded it, but it won't install.

    • http://www.zwirn-game.com Bruno Meilick

      I am sorry. We do not support 1st gen out of performance reasons. That is why the AppStore does flags it as 2nd gen and higher visible (near the age rating) before you buy the game. But I will see what I can do for you with the next update.

  • TKO

    Looks neat. Love these original concepts. Downloading..

    Funny how titles like this and Zen Bound can turn up independently. Not saying this is just another Zen Bound - the gameplay looks quite different. But the textures, spotlight, and twine will draw obvious parallels.

    Looks great, by the way. ..I'm not concerned about the segmentation of the twine. I'd rather have a more conservative app and more battery life. 😀