Indie games are notorious for their ventures into experimental territory, and freeware platformer Bounded is another feather in that already colourful cap.
This game places you firmly in the boots of… well, a short, round, two-legged creature and throws you a curveball by twisting the control and physics. Your character is constantly moving to the right of his own accord and bounces like a Mexican bean. The trick is to navigate him across short obstacle courses by controlling his hops and bounces, ultimately resulting in a mixture of nine possible movement combos. Folks will be reminded of earlier indie title Within A Deep Forest, though this game is considerably more difficult and a tad frustrating. A malevolent entity resembling a scarecrow pops up early to explain the game’s story and taunt you, Matrix-style, about causality and the illusion of freedom.
Aesthetically, the game takes on the increasingly-popular silhouette look seen in other titles such as Limbo, Deadlight and NightSky. It’s an attractive motif and it works well, but one can’t shake the feeling that it’s a tad overused. It’s also a bit cheap, because there are pools of deadly quicksand which are difficult to see because they are virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the landscape. The sky is mostly blood-red which can hurt the eyes after a while. The music is dark, gothic ambient which really sets the mood well, while the sound effects are classic 8-bit style bleeps and bloops.
If you’re up to the challenge, bounce over here to give it a spin. It’s for Windows only, which means Mac and Linux users are out of luck.