– AN ILLUSORY ADVENTURE OF
IMPOSSIBLE ARCHITECTURE AND FORGIVENESS –
Monument Valley is more than a game, it is Art. It is both abstract, as well as purposeful, it is relaxing and thought provoking, narrative and emotion, symbolic and literal, curiously real and simply impossible.
To truly experience the creative power of this game, you really just need to play through it for yourself. (If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan). You need to get a cup of coffee, ice cream, or popcorn, (or one of each), put on your noise canceling headphones, and immerse yourself in the subtle and inviting world of Monument Valley.
Story/Setting – Subtle and unexpected. Though the game a puzzle game first, you will begin to see that themes and motifs related to the characters in the game will start to form a quiet but enchanting narrative. You do not need to know this storyline to play the game (storyline is even possibly too strong or conventional a word to describe), and all the levels can be played again individually and independently of the others. The setting it amazing and every level looks great.
Gameplay – Simplistic, but Inventive. The basic controls are intuitive and interactive; you simply tap where you want your character (Ida) to go. You can also drag, spin, and slide interactive objects in the world to solve puzzles. While there are obstacles and difficulties, the game features no direct conflict or fighting, which suits it quite well actually. Everything you interact with either builds or dismantles the world around you to help you reach your goals, which also adds to the immersive geometric setting of MV.
Difficulty – casual, while occasionally puzzling. I felt that the first collection of levels to be released were generally easy with a couple mind stretching moments. I felt I got through all the levels relatively quickly. The only real trouble for me was the last 2 levels, and very specifically, the final stage will give you some grief. But if your experience is like mine, by this time you love the game and are determined to play through to it’s conclusion. It seems that most people say they finished the original 10 levels in about 2 hours or so. (Also USTWO has since MV’s original release developed a second series of levels under the title Forgotten Shores, which I will explore in a future game review.)
Monument Valley is available on IOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. It’s something like $4, and I would say it is well worth it’s price. The game is beautiful to watch and it sounds great too.
Plus, here is a link to some great fan art the people are making from Monument Valley, most of it makes way more sense after you play through the game first. Enjoy!
– Jacob Tillson