About a year ago, a friend recommended Monument Valley to me, stating he thought I would enjoy the game. I downloaded it, but then didn’t play it until recently. It is a puzzle game from developer Ustwo, designed by Ken Wong, and with adorable art by Wong and David Fernández Huerta.
The art in the game is very simple, but the simplicity is a major feature on that point. There is just enough detail in the game to give you the information you need, and no more. I really liked the character design of Ida (the main character), the crows, and the other creatures and beings she encounters. If you like simple Japanese style, you will love the look of Monument Valley.
The world, while simple in design, was simply beautiful. Each screen was carefully designed to be beautiful from any direction, and even the menu screens were beautiful. The cost of the game and expansion was worth it for the artistic value alone.
The game mechanics are a cross between M.C. Escher drawings, a Rubik’s Cube, and a sliding block puzzle game. While not extremely challenging, there are parts of the game which require some careful thought to conquer. There were a couple times where I had to set Monument Valley down and come back to it later in order to let my brain sort things out.
The music, such as it is, is very calming and simple. If I had to classify it, I would call it ambient New Age. It definitely fit the style of the game.
The only quibble I have with Monument Valley is the length: there are only ten levels—18 if you buy the Forgotten Shores expansion—so the dedicated gamer will burn through them within just a few hours (or possibly even less, for the exceedingly brilliant or lucky). That is the only real drawback to the game, however.
If you haven’t played the game, I recommend you get it and do so. It is fun to figure out, beautiful to look at, and soothing to listen to. Monument Valley is definitely worth your time, and it won’t take too much of it.