If the iPad is supposed to let us lean back in our chairs, heralding a new era of relaxed computing, then Zen Bound 2 is an early masterpiece of that new philosophy. It's beautiful, contemplative, and eminently touchable.
The premise of Zen Bound 2 is the same as that of the popular iPhone version: wrapping up floating, rotating figurines with a long length of rope. But the iPad's bigger screen lets the game realize its title's promise, allowing for more delicate, nuanced wraps and resulting in a much more meditative experience.
The physics of the rope is realistic, and I was never frustrated by it failing to slide off an edge when I thought it should. The movement of the figurines is almost perfectly fluid, and while there's the occasional hiccup during a spin, your control over the way the objects are positioned is flawless. Here's a clip from TouchArcade showing that movement:
The iPad's bigger screen also allows for a more immersive game atmosphere, which for a game like Zen Bound 2 is paramount. The textures are detailed and the music is fitting; even the spinnable tree that serves as the level menu breathes with a sort of sinister glow.
Fans of the iPhone original will notice some new features, including paint bombs that cover the figurines in places where the rope is tied. The app includes over 100 new puzzles and costs $8—a bit pricey, thought it's what we've come to expect from this first wave of big name games—but if you're looking for something that benefits greatly from the iPad's beefed up hardware and is a little bit less hectic than Plants vs. Zobmies, Zen Bound 2 is definitely worth checking out. [iTunes]