The new iOS game Monument Valley was just released April 3, yet it has quickly become the talk of the web. And with good reason: It’s gorgeous in all sorts of ways. It twists the brain yet is astoundingly simple in design. It commands your full attention yet is delightful and relaxing.
The artwork on each level is just so pretty. And the sound design is breathtaking. Oh, and the puzzles, inspired by the art of M.C. Escher and Japanese prints, are challenging without making you want to throw your device across the room.
That combination hits the sweet spot for this veteran gamer.
A new release by ustwo (creators of Blip Blup), the game is a surreal journey for the silent Princess Ida as you guide her through amazing, fairy-tale monuments, twisting and rotating the architecture to reshape Ida’s world so she can achieve her goal. As you manipulate the environment, the audio reacts to create a Zen-like and atmospheric soundscape.
Monument Valley is a feast for the senses. I don’t buy many for-pay apps, but this was well worth the $3.99 (available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, soon to be available for Android).
I’m up to “Chapter V: The Spire” and, so far, the only real challenge is the irksome Crow People (not the American Indian nation; these characters are anthropomorphized birds), who show up to block Ida’s path until you figure out how to maneuver around them.
Got any hints for me on how to avoid the crows? Tweet them to me at @debamlen.
In the meantime, download Monument Valley and lose yourself in a truly beautiful game.