Review: Monument Valley (game)

Gorgeous. Gentle. Musical. Puzzling. Outstanding.

I’m not usually drawn to reviewing games. Many are linked to the bigger kids brands and are part of an overall plan to ‘capture’ their brand’s audience on every available platform. Not to mention the content – competitive, violent, sexualised characters, much too fast editing for young audiences … the list goes on.

But Monument Valley is different – its so good – and its simply gorgeous. I have to pay it forward.

Based on Japanese design and the art of M.C. Escher, a graphic artist who played with perspective creating ‘impossible constructions’ like this …

LW389-MC-Escher-Relativity-19531

… the Monument Valley team have created a beautiful puzzle game, where players learn to move through buildings, manipulating walls, paths, climbing ladders, walking through doors, in order to reach the top of each level.

 

“Like listening to an album or walking through a museum for the first time, Monument Valley is about discovery, perception and meaningful beauty.” Monument Valley Creative Team

I purchased this game for the iPad then sat back and watched my 8 year old daughter play. She absolutely loved it, laughing with delight as the music changed when she moved walls up and down and walked her character around. She was thrilled when she reached the top of each level. It did get hard quite quickly, so if you are offering this game to a very young child stay beside them to help. (But its so arty and cute you’ll probably want to watch anyway.)

 

iPad_01.png

In the same style as NZ filmmaker Vincent Ward, each frame is designed to work as a stand alone piece of art.

 

Not surprisingly, Monument Valley has won numerous awards – 2015 saw the team win Best Visual Art, Best Overall Game, IOS Game of the Year, Best mobile/handheld game, Innovation Award, and Best British, to name a few.

Monument Valley is an outstanding game, and the creative team is to be applauded. I can’t wait to see what they make next. If I had one tiny criticism it would be to ask why make the main character a princess? Really guys, why? Its a gender neutral game and my daughter who is crazy about animals, would have preferred to be able to change her player to be a squirrel.

iPad_05

Beautiful artwork throughout

 

However, that small comment aside, this is definitely a game to have on hand. I bought it for $5.99 from the NZ iTunes Store and I know my children will play it again and again.

Monument Valley website here

Happy Puzzling!

Liz 🙂

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