I was actually really surprised to find very few Valentine apps in the App Store when I went looking. After all, with this Saturday being Valentine’s Day (or “Black Saturday,” as I jovially refer to it), I figured it was only polite to write about romance.
There are several apps centered around dining, but most of those are almost exclusively relevant to restaurants in the U.S. Besides, if you haven’t made a reservation by now, you’ll be lucky to get a table at Burger King. At least you’ll have a nice view of the free-roaming chickens outside.
I looked and I looked through that store, but apart from finding a Disney app with a couple of hearts floating about in it, not to mention in-app purchases – trust Disney to put a price on love – there wasn’t much to choose from. Let’s not even talk about the Kim Kardashian app that popped up. Like I need romantic advice from a gal who names her kid “North.”
Just when I was about to give up in despair, I came across a curious and unique little app called “Bounden.” Now this certainly isn’t your typical Valentine’s Day app, which suited me fine. It’s a cross between a dance lesson and a great first date ice breaker.
Getting close to deadline, and curious to see what Bounden was all about, I spent the $2.99 to buy it. Hey, if that was all I had to spend for Valentine’s Day, I was winning no matter what!
How it works
The first thing you should know is that Bounden features choreography from no less than the Dutch National Ballet! You can probably leave the toe shoes at home for the first few times, but maybe if you get really good at this, you’ll start reaching for the tutus.
The second thing to understand is that although you can download this app onto an iPad or similarly sized tablet, you won’t want to. The size of the tablet, not to mention the potential for dropping, breakage, and weeping, particularly in the early trials, should be enough to make you see the sense of using a phone when you attempt Bounden.
Now that you understand all the rules, let’s begin. You open the app, and it asks you to each place a thumb on opposing ends of the screen. You then have to “balance the screen,” by moving it until the solid large dot is placed inside the circle. Hold it in place until you are taken to the next stage – the dance.
The app takes you through a sort of tutorial, where you have to move your device in order to take dots through circles; turn crosshairs until they match gaps in other shapes; and so on. In order to accomplish these feats, the two of you have to twist, turn and, well, dance, while music is provided to keep you in the mood.
Once you’ve got a grasp of how it works, and you’ve gone through the instructions, you can move on to “Grass,” with a difficulty of “Relatively easy;” “Twirl,” which warns of “Advanced twirling;” “Aztec,” “Crater,” “Coral,” “Peak,” and finally “Slices,” with its ominous “No pain, no game” difficulty level.
The description of Bounden does state that you can “get entangled with a friend,” which means that if you’re not on a first date, second date, or any date at all, you can still have fun with a friend, trying to make sure you don’t strangle each other with what resembles a vertical game of Twister.
When I tried it
As pitiful as it sounds, when I gave this app a try, I didn’t have anyone around, so I tried to play it on my own. At the beginning it wasn’t too bad, me with the thumbs of my right and left hand on the screen, moving it to Bounden’s bidding; but when it got a wee bit more complicated, I realized that I couldn’t do the tango, or whatever it was, on my own.
I grabbed a volunteer from the office, and she amiably agreed to assist. It wasn’t long before we were going into very awkward twirls, with my armpit sailing within millimeters of her nose, as we attempted a full turn. We both collapsed into giggles, especially as we could not seem to manage to get that blasted dot into the circle, no matter which way we moved.
I could certainly see this being a date ice breaker with the right man, so long as both of you are wearing good deodorant.
You’ve got to love an app like this that is unusual, fun, and doesn’t cost much, with no in-app purchases. I don’t know that you’ll be dancing like a prima ballerina by the end of it, even if you make it to the “Peak” or “Slices” level, but I bet they don’t have this many laughs when performing Swan Lake.
- Cost: $2.99
- Seller: Game Oven
- Devices: iOS and Android
- Rating: E for Everyone
Inexpensive. Unique. Lots of fun with the right person.
Watch out for flying armpits.