Bounden, the app that slyly coerces you into dancing—yes, dancing—with a partner, was first brought to my attention in another story we ran in May. I loved everything about the sound of the app: How it uses the iPhone’s gyroscope to track motion, the unique way that Bounden gives you directions, and how, in order to make it through a routine, you and your partner must both be holding on to the same iPhone. “There’s no way this could go well,” I thought, “so sign me up.”
After a little bit of peer pressure, I got my friend Florence Ion over at Greenbot to help me out, and the game is just as laugh-inducing as I’d hoped it would be. But more importantly, the app presents a way for people to connect with each other in a way that few other multiplayer games can.
You and your partner hold opposite ends of the iPhone, and you must move in tandem to follow the path displayed on the phone’s screen. Bounden uses the iPhone’s gyroscope to track both of your movements and make sure they’re in sync with what’s displayed on screen.
But instead of specific dance instruction, a moving sphere guides you in the right direction. It takes a little while to get the hang of it, so you’ll find Bounden’s lengthy tutorial extremely helpful. There’s no right or wrong way to move, as long as you’re following the path, and pretty soon you’ll be twisting, turning, and swirling with your partner to stay alive in this unconventional game. You might even end up in a Twister-like knot in the process.
Bounden comes with seven dance routines, which feature classical music specially recorded just for this game. And the dances are legit, too: The app developers worked with Dutch National Ballet dancers to make the choreography look and feel as natural as possible.
Watching the ballet tutorials makes Bounden look graceful and easy. But, as you can see, it is not! You’ll feel awkward, and your moves will probably make any aspiring prima ballerina roll her eyes. Luckily, that’s beside the point, as you and your partner can dance however you want to.
Despite the developers at Game Oven having problems in bringing this app to Android, I applaud the team for creating an app that’s so unconventionally different. Its utter weirdness—and the amusement that quirkiness brings—make Bounden an app to remember.