Apple’s game of the year in 2014 and the winner of Apple’s design award in 2014 is none other the iOS puzzle game Monument Valley. The idea of the game is to rearrange architecture in such a way so that the main character, Princess Ida, can navigate to the end of the level. There will be lots of trial, some error, and many, many finger prints to get the princess out. Get your screen cleaner ready.
You can tell the creators of Monument Valley had aesthetic design in mind when they created the game. In fact, they focused so much on design that the puzzles are someone lacking — it’s a classic case of more beauty than brains. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. The colors pop and add depth, bringing a real 3D element to what is normally a 2D iPad world. Fans of the side-scroller will have to look elsewhere (sorry Mario fans).
If you’re looking for an app that you can keep replaying and improving your score, this isn’t it. Once you beat the game there isn’t much point to going back through the levels, because keeping score is too mainstream. Monument Valley works best if you need to kill a couple of hours and don’t mind ditching it when you beat it.
The lack of directions adds to the “minimalist” allure of the game, but you probably don’t need directions anyway — Monument Valley isn’t terribly difficult. It offers just enough resistance to keep you entertained, but not enough to cause your brain cells too much friction.
If you value looks (you shallow gamer, you) you will enjoy Monument Valley — it looks great on both the iPad and the iPhone. If you’re looking for longevity or an intense brain exercise, you’ll want to look elsewhere.