May 20, 2014
For folks who love puzzles and creative geometry and puzzle solving, I have two words: Monument Valley.
The creativity sets the game apart. It’s an architectural puzzler that involves zany stuff like impossible shapes and the like to convey the gameplay.
At the core, the idea is to get from Point A to Point B. Generally, for each level, there is a curiously sculpted structure between both points. The structure is invariably castle-like, with several elements and a few latent moving parts that can be be manipulated to create a bridge or a temporary elevator to lift Ida to where she needs to be to complete the quest. Controlling ida is a matter of tapping where one wants her to be; she only moves to said place if there is a clear path or ladder. Tapping and sliding/rotating effects manipulation of buildings when possible.
As the game goes on, the gameplay further teeters — admirably — on the edge of reality, with gravity being defied and collapsing pieces that make easy parts automatically get tougher to traverse. Some levels are staged, and it is great to see one part solved and a new portion revealed. Completing a level opens up a subsequent one, and failed or stalled levels can be replayed.
Players might be forgiven if they tarry a bit on the structures. Finding the movable pieces is fun, and finding out what geometrical changes can be changed in defiance of the laws of true physics is pretty interesting. The games visual representations are chock full of eye benders that are cool even in their collective incredulity. It is a battle of angling and animations, and the artwork lays down the perfect foundation for the overall gameplay.
Overall, it’s a simple concept and a satisfying game that is harder to put down once one gets into it.