Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stress and relaxation

Which of these games is not like the other? Answer: both of them!

...That's a Zen joke. Here, let me fill your bathtub with brightly colored sleep furiously.

Here's the blurb for Zen Bound:

Zen Bound is a calm and meditative puzzle game about wrapping wooden sculptures with rope. A game in which a high score is not the goal - instead it is something to focus on and enjoy at your own relaxed pace.

...And here's the lead-in for Canabalt:

Tap to start your daring escape.

Bit of a difference in focus there, right?

These blurbs do not lie. In Zen Bound, you rotate your iPhone to wrap a rope around wooden blocks. There's no time limit. The soundtrack (by Ghost Monkey) is a slow, cool-and-smooth jazzy relaxation. You cannot die. You cannot lose.

In Canabalt, you sprint across the rooftops of a city that is being pulverized by giant robots. Let me say that again: pulverized by giant robots. Bombs fall around you, buildings crumble underfoot. You will eventually slip and fall. The soundtrack (by Danny Baranowsky) is a buzzing, thumping techno mix which puts the wind at your back. You cannot slow down. You cannot survive.

So, which of these games is relaxing to play?

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