Monument Valley [iOS, Android] Review
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Monument Valley [iOS, Android] Review

August 22, 2019


The very first thing that hits you about Monument
Valley is its amazing artwork. The game masterfully unifies elements of Escher-inspired monuments
with cleverly designed illusory puzzles. Much like the Japanese paper-folding title ‘Tengami’,
Monument Valley’s shining light is not so much its gameplay, but the incredible scenic
visuals and flawless presentation. The minimalistic, clean lines of Monument
Valley removes any distractions from puzzle solving. The player is left to soak in the
design and really appreciate the variety of dynamic 3D spatial arrangements on offer.
From brightly colored, joyous landscapes to the dark and melancholic, the environments
that you play in are cleverly themed to deliver various emotions. The story surrounds Ida, a silent and misplaced
princess, whom you must guide through the monuments in order to collect various objects
at the end of each map. By rearranging planes, twist levers and rotate buildings, the architecture
will transform before your eyes and open up previously inaccessible paths. Developer ustwogames decided to set a balance
in difficulty, allowing puzzles to seem impossible at first view, but undoubtedly solvable as
you experiment. Rarely did I come across any puzzles that gave me any sense of frustration,
and each level was satisfying to complete. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the levels
could have been even more of a challenge and still enjoyable. With an endless amount of
puzzle arrangements being possible, it would’ve been nice to see a few ‘advanced’ ones thrown
in. Despite this, the science behind each building was architected brilliantly and felt
as though, in some weird way, would be physically possible in reality. There is an underlying cryptic story here,
with minute segments of dialog; leaving the rest for the player to unfold and piece together.
The payoff at the end of the game is worthy of any emotional investment you may have had,
and it becomes evident why Monument Valley shines where some other puzzle games that
lack substance falter. Monument Valley is relatively short. There
are only 10 levels to play in. Some of these are fairly brief while others last longer,
taking Ida through various structures. In total, the game can be completed in around
90 minutes, and by this point, you’ll be yearning for more. Overall, Monument Valley hits every mark with
astounding accuracy. It would be hard to argue a case against at least trying this one out.
Sure, the experience is brief, but every single moment of it is so sweet. Thank you for joining me for today’s review
of Monument Valley. If you enjoyed this review, go ahead and hit that subscribe button to
stay up to date on the latest and best mobile games. This has been Alex for Game Mob. That’s
www.gamemob.com.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I hope you don't mind but I shared your video on our Google+ community.
    I'd like to show people how good this game actual looks!

  2. It was an incredible experience. It feels like you're playing a beautifully illustrated storybook inspired by the most intricately crafted music box.

  3. I enjoyed this game, but I expected it to be much longer and also more difficult. The best moments were when you had to connect two paths on different spatial planes by rotating the scene and changing the perspective. My favorite version of this was in the Totem level, probably. Moments like those are great and require a flash of insight. They make you feel clever when you solve them.

    Unfortunately, there aren't as many of those moments as you'd think from a game like this. Most of the game felt either like fairly simple puzzles, or just walking forward without requiring much thought at all. Many of the puzzles can be solved simply by walking forward until you can't go any farther, toggling the only interactive thing you see, and walking forward again through the newly opened path, and then repeat. This made it feel less like solving puzzles and more like watching the world unravel, which was often pretty cool to be fair. It's a lot of fun seeing the levels change as you explore them, even if these changes don't blow your mind or change your perspective as much as you'd like or expect them to.

    I would have liked to feel stumped at some point, and to need to rethink the game's version of reality, and approach it with a new paradigm. To point to an example of what I wanted, Portal or Portal 2 really do make you think about reality in a different way than we're used to. It COMPLETELY retrains you on how to approach getting from point A to point B. Monument Valley is similar in that it allows you to bend rules of reality to solve puzzles to get from point A to B. But you never really need to form a new paradigm/understanding of the game's reality and your interaction with it in order to solve its puzzles. Usually it's sufficient to just play around a bit, and every now and then something weird goes on with perspective, but you don't really need to plan ahead or think about it too much, since the path is quite linear and there's only really a couple ways you could go. The puzzles are more for spectacle than for tickling your brain. Which is still cool, to be fair, but it doesn't reach the heights of Portal.

    But what am I saying? It's totally unfair to ask a phone game to reach the heights of a game like Portal, and it's extremely high praise to compare it to Portal in the first place. Monument Valley is great. My favorite level is the one that starts on a small island in a turbulent sea in a rainstorm, where you begin by picking a flower from the top of the island. Gameplay-wise, it's not the most interesting level. But conceptually, I think it's the coolest.

    I was hoping it would be much longer than it really is–at least five hours would be nice. I feel like I only dipped my feet into the game. I imagine it's hard to design these levels, though. Definitely much more difficult to create a strong level here than in most games. I haven't tried the paid DLC or Ida's Dream.

    I definitely recommend this game, but not for somebody who is looking for a game to play regularly. This is a short experience, not an arcade-like phone game.

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