Have You Played… Zen Bound 2?


You may very well own Zen Bound 2, as it’s been in two Humble Bundles, but have you played it? Next time you fancy a calming game, perhaps give it a whirl. It’s a slow, methodical puzzle game about wrapping small wooden objects in string, studying their form, picking an efficient approach, carefully binding it, looping around nails, and finishing off with a small knot. Very pleasant.

Zen Bound 2’s wooden models are things animals, geometric shapes, and posing people. The goal is to paint them by wrapping them in string which spreads paint to parts it touches. You’re just trying to cover enough of their surface, really – the paint is a handy visualisation. And it’s very calming. You turn objects over, planning your best approach, looking for a corner that might helpfully snag the string, or a groove that’ll be easily to fill. If you take a wonky approach, hey, you can always unwrap it, reeling the string back in.

The string creaks as you stretch it out, as unsecured bits slowly drag across an object’s surface. Music chimes away in the background. The objects themselves are pleasant to look at, as is the way the paint spreads. I enjoy getting to see objects both as collections of individual parts to cover and as a whole. It’s all very nice and quiet.

It’s a port of a mobile game and does seem to slightly suffer for that, making wrapping a bit more awkward than it might be with a made-for-PC interface, but it’s still certainly worth a go. Have a peek to see if you’ve already got it lurking in a bundle, won’t you?


  1. Dilapinated says:

    Zen Bound is amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good chillout game.

    • Jambe says:

      I second your recommendation and heartily endorse the phrase “chillout game”.

      That’s exactly what this is. Soothing shibari.

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        FhnuZoag says:

        I’ve played both the original and the sequel. But chillout? Soothing? What???

        These are some of the most frustrating games ever made. Like seriously. Holding a wibbling mess, wondering if you’ve already screwed yourself over, trying to slide a rope over one FUCKING CORNER and ARGH THE ROPE SLIPPED OFF THE BIT JUST BEFORE ARGH FUCK WHY DID IT HAVE TO CATCH THERE ARRRAGHASDG

        Deep breaths, deep breaths. Am I alone in this?

        • Hardlylikely says:

          Despite spending lots of time fishing as a child, happily tying up all sorts of rigs, I have somehow developed a hatred of knots. Almost a phobia. They may as well have called it Spider-Clown Funhouse Simulator.

          (I’m sure it’s a lovely game).

          • LionsPhil says:

            “Rotate the clown to wrap its face in the silk from this spider’s abdomen while DJ Pat Sharp provides background music!”

            “Do not touch the wrong part of the spider.”

            “Do not touch the wrong part of the clown.”

          • Dilapinated says:

            The next big Kickstarter! I can see it now.

        • jezcentral says:


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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I haven’t played the PC version but I would still recommend playing it on something with a touch-screen. The whole game is centered around handling objects. Physically holding the device displaying those objects is a big deal.

      • Frosty Grin says:

        The next best thing is a Magic Mouse on a Mac (or a trackpad, I assume). Really takes the game to another level.

  2. DanMan says:

    S&M Simulator.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      The freeware game which grew into the Zen Bound series was in fact called Zen Bondage. They bowdlerized it a bit for the mass market.

      • plonk420 says:

        yeah, i came here to mention it! here’s a link to it on pouet. Moppi Productions (and usually FLT) does the most sublime and/or amazing music in the demoscene…

    • Jalan says:

      Sweeping and mopping… there’s a market there.

  3. racccoon says:

    The bareness represents bodies, it is a sexual game with no porn, I think its for newb bondage people to see if it their cup of tea :). II’ll have a beer instead..*Glug**Glug**Glug**Glug* *Hick* Ahhhh! much better..:) new years! its great!

  4. mohfuu says:

    Am I the only one who saw a rope-entwined Eagle?

    I’ve been playing too much Elite Dangerous.

  5. FlopsyTheBloodGod says:

    Is this a Twine game?


  6. wonkavision says:

    Replace the wooden objects with nude Japanese women and I’m in.