Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Many old-timers mourn the death of dancing. Artistic, choreographed movements like the waltz and the foxtrot have given way (they say) to the primal grinding and slamming currently popular in clubs. Won't somebody please think of the cha-cha?
Game Oven has an app that's steeped in the grace of ballet. Let's be clear, though: despite this game's high pedigree (including participation by the Dutch National Ballet), there's nothing beautiful about the awkward rotations and gyrations Bounden puts inexperienced dancers through. Do not expect to learn how to dance. Instead, expect a mess of limbs. And a helping of fun, of course, even if it's only for a little while.
Bounden is a two-player experience. Each dancer (or "dancer") holds one side of the phone. On-screen, a crosshair moves according to the players' body motions. Essentially, the crosshair needs to be directed through a number of markers by the player - but neither of the players are allowed to take their hands off the screen. There is a lot of twisting, turning, and dipping as a consequence, not to mention cries of "What are you doing?" "I'm following the cursor! What are you doing?"
As dances are completed, newer, harder challenges unlock. Players are required to line up the crosshair and the markers in very specific ways, and there are time limits to contend with as well. Performers that aren't serious about choreographing a tragic six-part ballet about unrequited love and iPhones will probably bow out after the first couple of dances, anyway. Bounden is good for about fifteen minutes of silly movements and laughter (and exercise!), but there quickly comes a point where the casual dancer will ask their partner, "Think we're done?" and the answer will almost definitely be "Yeah."
That's the interesting thing about Bounden, though. It's suitable for people that need a quick party trick, but it also works as a deep project for dancers that want to take the challenge of mutual movement to a new level. Oh, and it's also kind of fun to play alone, even though it's not supposed to be a solo game. Gives a whole new meaning to dancing with yourself.