Bound is one of those games that you may not hear much about. It’s not huge like Madden or Mario. But here’s why this gorgeous PS4 game is worth playing.
Holy moley! That artwork is cool.
You start out at a normal beach. But wait until you start dreaming. It’s then that the brightly-colored world becomes a wondrous platformer. Everything seems to have life, almost as if it’s a living, breathing person. The landscape undulates as you watch or move onto it. You wonder, what’s going on here?
So there’s this guy, M.C. Escher.
Bound, like a handful of great games, is inspired by the work of legendary artist M.C. Escher. In his world of geometric patterns, everything’s a puzzle. Getting from one end of a level in Bound is like a puzzle, too. (Escher also inspired Monument Valley, another very cool, artful game.)
The game is like a crazy, ballet dance
You control a dancer who’s a princess. She’s worried about the monster who inhabits the kingdom. Did the dancing princess cause them to appear? But the monster isn’t easy to get to. For instance, long, plant-like tentacles get hold of you. You have to dance your way out of their clutches. In the end, the dance is an expression — of you!
The story is emotional, in a good way
You’ll think about how important your own family is as you play. You’ll find little snippets of a father and his son and daughter that unfold through the course of the game. Every time you complete a level, you go back to the beach to click a drawing in a book. That takes you back inside the beautiful, abstract dreams.
Bound is interactive story and a cool platformer?
Yes, it’s both. The gameplay has you leaping a lot. You cling to walls as you cross precarious ledges. You slip down pieces of ribbon that seems to be as long as 10-story buildings. You bounce of alls and jump high. You can take photos by pulling the R1 trigger. But the main thing is the story and the mysterious decision you have to make.
It’s a tale of courage, too.
Every level is about overcoming a certain fear. In one, there’s actually a fear of paper airplanes. But to say too much is to spoil the tale. Check out this short but unusually beautiful game. It’s one of the summer’s best. I kid you not.
–The Games Guru
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