10 hours 7 / 10
Replay Value

A very challenging 2D puzzle-platformer where two astronauts are bound together by an oxygen tether.


Overview spaceBOUND is a 2D puzzle-platformer where you (or you and a friend) control two astronauts, bound together by an oxygen tether. You need to masterfully maneuver these two astronauts to solve puzzles and avoid death. You float around in zero gravity, letting your momentum carry you in whichever direction you're going. Your goal is to reach the end of the level by reaching the exit. This is done by avoiding death, hitting buttons, and slingshotting asteroids. The real challenge lies with the tether, which forces your astronauts to stick close together. Making matters worse, if the tether breaks, the astronauts will run out of oxygen and you'll need to start the level over. Your astronauts can die too, thanks to lasers, spikes, and a whole bunch of other obstacles.

Gameplay In spaceBOUND, you control both of the astronauts that are bound together. The controls are as simple as they get -- two sets of directional keys, one for each astronaut. This can be done either solo or in local co-op. Either way, the game is hard: by yourself, you need to control both astronauts simultaneously; with a friend, you'll need great communication. You fly around with jetpacks which let you move in any direction as you try to dodge spinning lasers and moving sawblades. At the same time, you need to solve puzzles by using both your astronauts and the tether as well. The tether makes for the most interesting mechanic, since this lets you "carry" things like asteroids to other locations, or even slingshot an asteroid to hit a button. This isn't easy, and will take practice and many deaths. Fortunately, respawn times are nonexistent, the art is appealing, and the music never gets old. All of this prevents the game from getting stale and encourages you to keep trying rather than get immediately frustrated.

Cool Features There are hidden collectibles to find and character skins to unlock as you progress.

A time trial mode with online leaderboards lets you reach for the top on each of the 25 levels.

There are 5 boss levels evenly spread out over the course of the game to spice things up.

Is it for you? spaceBOUND has a fun mechanic that's put to good use. It's also really, really difficult. If you want to complete the game, you'll need a lot of patience and practice. This game isn't a platformer in the traditional sense of hopping between platforms, but instead you jetpack around in zero gravity, carefully navigating between parts of the map. Combined with the tether, there are some solid, difficult puzzles to figure out. You may think of the correct solution to the puzzle, but that's only a small portion of the battle -- the real challenge comes from the execution of the puzzle. You'll die quickly and often, but thanks to the small respawn times, dying never feels like a terrible punishment. There was a lot of thought put into each level and the game overall, leaving little room for questioning the polish of the game. The main deciding factor for whether or not this game is for you is if you're up for a really tough puzzle-platformer.