Parents' Guide to


By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Abstract game on sensitive ideas takes leaps, falls flat.

Game PlayStation 4 2016
Bound Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

An abstract and artistic game about very personal things that lacks a bit in its gameplay

An artistic tale about depression, trauma and many other important topics. Bound uses abstract visuals and an interesting kind of storytelling to take its players through a very personal story of a young woman and her family. The game is very similar to journey in all kinds of ways, but fails to intertwine them as well as the magnificent classic. However, it is still an interesting take on modern storytelling.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

This adventure is a difficult game to recommend not because there are other titles that play better, but because it doesn't do much different that's distinct. It has artistic ambitions, but its story is told so fuzzily that it doesn't even offer meaningful respite from the game's monotonous core of running and jumping. Whether you're exploring what seems to be fragmented memories of family scenes before storming out the door or returning to playing as the futuristic princess-ballerina, what you do and how things unfold seem fairly arbitrary and disjointed. For example, as you're jumping around abstract landscapes filled with shapes, you'll inevitably fall. But falling, just like getting lost, doesn't really matter: The times you do plummet off the screen, the game blinks you back to before your last leap and lets you get on your way. Basically, whatever direction you set off in and whatever you do, it doesn't matter: While there are shortcuts to discover, every path you find will take you to your destination for that level. That isn't freeing, and the fact that the story is foggy doesn't provide much in the way of incentive to press further.

Is the game pretty and nice to look at? Somewhat. There are strong nods to other artists, such as Mondrian's bold, colorful squares and rectangles, contrasted with big abrasive polygons. It's also clear that this is far more about the journey than the destination. But if it's about dancing, whenever you're called upon to dance, there's no grace or elegance required; you can just mash buttons. If the game is about exploration, it doesn't matter because you can go in any direction and there's nothing it necessarily offers you. So the beauty is in the eye of the beholder here, which means it's worth a look but doesn't have much to say beyond that.

Game Details

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