Monument Valley: A Delicious Mixture

Like I said in my first post a few days ago, this blog could be about anything. Well, today I’m bringing you guys my impressions of a game that has recently caught my interest on iOS. I don’t often play games on my phone, I usually only keep a few around and they’re usually ones that I can just pick up and play a quick round of while waiting in a line or something like that. Threes has been my time-sink of choice while waiting on all-things-tedious the for the past month or so. It’s not very common when a larger title comes along, and I actually play it for any sizeable amount of time. Well, a game came out yesterday that I’ve found myself liking quite a lot, it’s called Monument Valley and it’s got a few things about it that make it really “special” in my book.

Look at the designs on the wall and the geographical water, just gorgeous.

The first of those things, is the art style. The game’s whole basis and level design is based around manipulating 3d gepgraphic structures so that your little princess of a character can progress along her MC-Escher-esque journey. All of the levels are made up of geographic shapes and the art style is designed around that. Beautiful square hyroglyphs adorn the structures and triangle-faceted seas pulse in a rythmic and beautiful way. All the colors are a really nice shade as well, and everything about the game is just abosolutely gorgeous and well-designed. The only other game that I’ve ever encountered that had the same level of attention to the art style would be SuperBrothers Sword and Sworcery, another game which I keep on my devices to this day. I was suprised by how small an amount of storage space Monument Valley took up for such a nice looking game (only 313MB) and so I think it will probably be a permanent additon to my games folder.

The levels get more and more complex as you progress in the game.

The next thing that I really appreciate about Monument Valley is the level design and gameplay. Like I said earlier, you guide a little princess through the level, manipulating the level by dragging different blocks around and having your character press buttons to progress the level. As your perspective of the level changes, paths appear as if out of nowhere exaclty like how you can trace a path through an MC-Escher painting, crawling up walls and defying gravity. It’s a joy to play, and each puzzle teases your brain just enough to satsify that little itch that I have when playing without becoming frustrating. Not yet, that is. I’ve only played the first 9 levels at time of writing, and I have no idea how long this game actually is. That and I’ve found that the levels are timed well enough that I can quickly play one in-between classes or on a bus ride without them pouring over into time I dont have. That’s something about Monument Valley that I almost respect more than any other aspect of it, that it’s able to present engaging, fun gameplay that you can duck into for a few minutes, enjoy yourself and get out again all with a gorgeous artstyle. It’s a really great balancing act and like I said in the post’s title; a delicious mixture that when put together, really is a fun and sastisfying experience.

The game is $3.99 in the App Store, and at that price you’ve really no business not going out and trying it out. It really is a gorgeous, well thought out, engaging title and I’d recommend it to anyone. Even people who don’t usually play games on their iOS devices.

That’s all for today folks, but I have some things planned in the next couple days and the next week as I have Spring Break. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted. Till next time,

~M