Feb 26, 2016

[Games] Monument Valley (iOS)


So Tobie invests in a lot of different games both for his own enjoyment and also because he works in the gaming industry. And thanks to him, I get to play those same games when I decide to borrow his iPad for an hour or so.

The most recent game of his that really drew me in was Monument Valley, which is a puzzle game that is both challenging and quite brilliantly beautiful. And while we often expect games to be fun and enjoyable, it's not often that we have games that immediately feel like art.


Monument Valley is a puzzle game initially released for iOS and later on for Android as developed by indie studio Ustwo. The game retails for about $4 and the current Android version is being sold for PHP 180.00.

The game places you in control of Princess Ida as she journeys through what we can assume to be the monument valley. Each 3-dimensional stage has is own unique challenge and ways for Ida to navigate the 3-dimensional mazes with the option to rely on a part of the maze that you can move or manipulate by interacting with it. So you may have to swipe a part of the maze to move an obstacle out of Ida's way or to push a platform that Ida is on to a new location.

The game slowly introduces you to the variety of sliders, switches and other interactive pieces that twist the maze around into new shapes. And a lot of the designs rely on the sort of optical illusions that never seem to make sense but as long as paths visually connect, Ida will be able to travel across. And thus a lot of the game involves figuring out how to rotate things and position Ida in such a way that things align in precisely the right way.

Each stage follows the same style but can also like quite different from one another. The music is subtle but nicely complements the game experience without overpowering it. And thus it all comes together in a wonderfully balanced game experience held together by a mysterious yet compelling narrative. And how Ida will be able to resolve the mystery of the sacred geometry while avoiding the crows - it's a lot to take in.

The main complaint about the game has nothing to do with the gameplay, art style or the story. IF anything the problems is that the game is too short and it leaves you eagerly wanting to play more and experience more of this world of monuments and mysteries.

Monument Valley is a game that places our protagonist through various M.C. Escher-style stages and it's up to us to see her through the challenges. It's a game that's elegant in its simplicity and a game whose design is focused and downright gorgeous. We need more stages for this game! Even without them, I'm happy to rate the game as 5 creepy crow people out of a possible 5.

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