Welcome Time Wasters!
Passing the spare time with me this week was Bound Below. This is a browser game that I found while spelunking the internet. It’s also a game that was made for the Darktober 2017 Jam.
Bound Below is a 2D platformer with a huge focus on solving puzzles. The game puts the player in the role of a hooded figure that teams up with a ghost to explore the labyrinth below a graveyard.
Bound Below has players moving with the arrow keys. They can also jump and attack with the Z and X keys. The controls are really simple, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in the game. Levels start off easy enough, but after some time with the game, players will really start to experience some immensely difficult platforming and puzzles, as well as the occasional boss fight.
The main goal of Bound Below is to collect keys to unlock doors. Players can find these keys scattered throughout the game’s world. There are quite a few interesting and fun challenges player with have to tackle to get these keys. However, the game relies a little too much on this. The first door will require players to get four keys to unlock it. Then there’s a boss fight. After this, players have to track down another four keys and then face a second boss.Then there’s a room with four doors and the doors require between one and four keys to unlock. It feels more like padding than progression and really hurts the pace of the game.
The visuals in Bound Below are simple. Maybe even a little too simple. The graphics are mostly just black and white. These two colors together could make for a nice atmosphere if done right, but all of the sprites lack too much detail for this to be the case.
The audio in Bound Below is next to nonexistent. Players won’t have any music to listen to throughout the game. Instead, they just get the simple sound effects for killing enemies and dying. Maybe the developer was going for a more creepy atmosphere with this, but it just causes the game to feel lacking.
Overall, Bound Below is a platformer with some great challenges that ends up overstaying its welcome. That’s not to say there isn’t promise in this game. It just needs some more love and care.
Bound Below earns 2.5 GiN Gems out of 5!
(Side note: Alia and I are celebrating six years of marriage today! For those doing the math, that means our marriage got its start on 11/11/11. We picked this date for two reasons: it’s easy to remember, and it was the release date for Skyrim. I was actually the reviewer for Skyrim back then. It was one heck of a busy week trying to prepare for the wedding, getting lost in the game and writing up the review, but it was worth it!)