Publisher: USTWO Games
Developer USTWO Games
Release Date: 4/3/2014
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It’s very rare that a mobile game gets as artsy as an indie console or PC game. Monument Valley is Journey meets Echochrome straight out of the gate. It has the aesthetics of Journey and the gameplay of Echochrome. Flipping levels to create illusions that create new pathways, that’s what Monument is all about. The game isn’t really all that hard, in fact, it’s a cakewalk, but it’s all about the experience.
There’s an underlying story here and the ending is a bit touching. You’re a princess (that resembles close to a White Cloak from Journey) who is trying to restore gems at the end of each level. If I say more I will spoil the experience. New gameplay elements are slowly added in like crows getting in your way that you must avoid or use to press switches. Walking on different planes is another while an interactive column (that’s actually a small character) becomes an ally. The game is strange yet so damn beautiful.
But there is one huge problem. The game is only 10 levels long and they are extremely short. For $4 you’re getting a fantastic experience, but it’s over way too soon. I would have liked an endless mode or some sort of puzzle mode that didn’t include a story added in. The puzzles are just so fun to solve and each level is like opening a present. The more you fiddle with the level the more beautiful everything gets and the more fun it becomes.
As it is, Monument Valley is a rare gem on mobile devices. It looks and plays beautifully, but the shortness will enrage people who fall in love with it.