‘Bound’ is a platformer developed by Plastic and published by Santa Monica Studios. Throughout the game, we follow the memories of a young ballerina trying to deal with the strife of an unhappy home. Before each segment we are shown the young girl grown up and very pregnant, reading through a notebook full of childhood drawings. Each drawing represents the next level we will play through as her ballerina alter-ego.
Visually the game is stunning. The mixture of paper – like graphics combined with sharp angles and contrasting colors is enough to take your breath away. It very much feels like you stepped into a fantasy land that revolves around the art of dance to get around. The character models are unique and fun to watch as well.
The story is told in an indirect way through still images of the child’s past. A new image is unlocked after you complete a level, eventually revealing the sad, yet kind of expected, end plot. The story itself isn’t anything new or amazing, but it is told in an unique way.
Gameplay can be frustrating. Camera control isn’t the greatest and the platforming aspect can get difficult. Since your character is dancing the entire time, there are moments when you’re trying to get somewhere and her dancing gets in the way or causes you to die. There is also a mechanic where when you push the right trigger, she does a special kind of dance. This is used to activate certain things throughout the story, but it is also used to protect her from the ‘bad guys’. It’s one of the most frustrating parts of this game to me. If you’re trying to walk through a room and you get attacked, you must activate the dance in order to continue. But it’s almost impossible to actually get anywhere while dancing. It ends up taking way longer than necessary to get somewhere and it doesn’t feel worth it.
When you’ve finished the game once, you unlock the time trial menu. This relates to a lot of the trophies you can get as well. This was a smart move on the developers part because it almost guarantees replay-ability. There are also a few things to collect and find, such as hidden rooms and shortcuts.
Time wise the game is short, about 3 hours for just the main story, but they remedied that by adding in the time trials and such. The length fits the story in my opinion, because it would’ve felt too drawn out if it were any longer.
All in all, I enjoyed ‘Bound’. It’s a very pretty and unique game that I will be playing through a few more times in order to get all of the trophies and collectibles.
I would like to thank Santa Monica Studio’s for providing me with a review code of the game. Unfortunately I had already bought it the day it came out before receiving the email, but nonetheless, it was very nice of them.
Please note that Santa Monica Studio’s sending me a free game code does not effect my opinion of the game at all, and everything said above are my true thoughts.
Thank you so much for reading!