Weekly Gaming: Monument Valley (Android)

FUCK THE ABSTRACT

Beautiful and abstract art make Monument Valley an absolute joy to behold.

Having recently switched from a iPhone to an android device with a lovely 5.2inch screen, I wanted a game to push those pixels and play out and about. I didn’t have to go far to find a game that intrigued, with bytwo’s Monument Valley being a featured app in the Google Play store. At the cheap price of £2.49, I decided to take the plunge, I mean, from the looks of the game alone it was worth giving the developer £2.49 of my hard earned cash.

The game starts you off like many tropes in video games these days by giving you no context about the environment you’re dropped into. This may be because it allows you the player to explore and realise the world as you progress, engrossing you more into the story and the world itself.

FUCK THE GEOMETRY

The levels have many platforms like this, with multiple floors being accessible by manipulating the geometry and the world to your will.

FUCK THE STORY

Story pieces are told through these encounters with the fairy lady. She’ll show you the past and the future so you have more context as to what’s happening in the world.

You play as a white girl that must explore a seemingly puzzle like world made up of different geometry to get to the bottom of where you are, and why the world looks like it does. Throughout the story you’ll come across other characters, mainly black crows, that block your progress and try to hamper your progression through the narrative. Finally, you’ll come across the main form of narration in the game, a white fairy like person who’ll give a tiny glimpse of the past or future once every few levels to give you a little more context.

The game is controlled merely by tapping the screen where you’d like the white girl to move. As you navigate across the stages, you’ll need to use the geometry of the world against itself to get higher and higher on platforms. Take for example, the Penrose Triangle, an object that shouldn’t exist, but when you look at it from the right angle, you can become higher or lower that you were before, even though looking at the illusion, you’re on the same level. Monument Valley is completely comprised of this trickery, which both makes you as a player feel intelligent, but also allows you to praise the amount of thought and effort that must have gone into creating the game.

Eventually, the game starts introducing more core mechanics, like the ability to control a totem poll independently of your character, and additional parts of the level which can be moved into place for your progression. None of the puzzles are especially hard, in fact, I didn’t feel challenged once and was able to briskly get through the game within an hour, but you know what? I savoured every moment.

Each level was beautiful and mesmerising, pushing me on to see as much as the game had to offer. Each level, filled with its unique and splendid geometry made me stop for a few minutes just to marvel at the level design of this game. It’s a fantastic showcase, one that I hugely recommend any person, whether they’re into games or not, to see.

There isn’t much more to the game, except that the story eventually is concluded, albeit with the little pieces of information you’re given, you kind of make your own conclusion to what could happen next. You play Monument Valley purely for the visual spectacular, one which bytwo studios should be hugely proud of creating.

Playing Monument valley was like being transported into one of those old abstract paintings, the ones where it messes with your head and your perception. Everything about the game twists your mind in weird an wonderful ways, and whilst not being too difficult to play or complete, it feels like an accomplishment to experience this truly breathtaking game.

4/5

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