Monument Valley

from ustwo™, originally released 3rd April, 2014

In Monument Valley you will manipulate impossible architecture and guide a silent princess through a stunningly beautiful world.

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Monument Valley Review

If you blended the MC Escher-esque visuals of the PSN title Echochrome with the gameplay of FEZ, Monument Valley would most likely be the end result. From the moment you’re dropped into the world and start exploring, you know you’ve discovered something special. 

By twisting and turning the environment, hidden paths are uncovered and optical illusions will be revealed as more of the world is opened up in front of you. Monument Valley is bright and colorful, with a beautiful soundtrack and intuitive touch controls, all of which work together to keep you immersed in the experience.

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As Princess Ida, your objective is to navigate through the impossible-looking monuments and solve navigational puzzles along the way. The monuments are pretty straightforward, and each one will introduce either a new play mechanic or offer an interesting twist.

The puzzles are pretty simple at first, like twisting a crank, and become more complex as you progress. For example, later in the game you’ll have to twist the monument to uncover hidden paths, or navigate from a different perspective.

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The new gameplay elements are introduced gradually and won’t stop you from making progress. This keeps you going even when you feel you’re not going to move any further. Despite the game being pretty linear, it never feels frustrating, and there isn’t a puzzle that couldn’t be solved after thinking about it for a minute or two.

There’s no in-game timer, no enemies to fight, and you can’t get stuck in a puzzle, so you’re free to take as much time as needed to get from point A to point B. As an added feature, Monument Valley also allows you to take in-game screenshots and share them with the social networks of your choosing. We’re looking at you, Instagram, currently sitting at 25,000 posts.

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Monument Valley’s only weakness is that it’s a little on the short side. It’s nice that it doesn’t overstay its welcome and extend its length by hours and hours. However, by the time everything starts to click, the game is over, which is a little disappointing considering the entire game is only about 90 minutes long.

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The main objective by the team at Ustwo seems to have been to create a game that anyone, regardless of gaming skills, could just pick up and play. This is a promise that Monument Valley keeps from beginning to end.

Monument Valley is a breath of fresh air in the App Store. Similar games have been released before, but none of them have Monument Valley’s level of polish. From the visuals and sound to the controls and difficulty, everything about this game just works. If you’re looking a new experience that doesn’t take hours to complete, you should invest the time it takes to explore Monument Valley. It’s a truly nice place to visit, and you may end up wanting to live there.

More stories on Monument Valley

How-Tos via Pocket Gamer:

How to Play the Blue Version of Ida’s Dream in ‘Monument Valley’ if You Purchased the RED Version

Let’s say that you bought the Monument Valley expansion Ida’s (RED) Dream back when it was available. What if you want to play the blue version now that it’s available to everyone? From Pocket Gamer:

If you were feeling charitable when Monument Valley‘s expansion Ida’s Dream was released as an IAP during the RED promotion and you’re concerned you can’t play the blue version now – fear not! You can play the blue version by following this simple workaround.

Switch your iOS device to flight mode then open up the game and hit ‘reset game progress’ in the main menu.

Via Pocket Gamer

News via Pocket Gamer:

‘Monument Valley’ Expansion Will Be Free Starting Thursday

Owners of Monument Valley will get the Ida’s Dream expansion for free come Thursday. From Pocket Gamer:

Last year, Monument Valley was expanded with a special red-themed level pack, made to support the Project (RED) charity. This week, that chapter will be made available for free across all platforms.

Not only will everyone be able to experience this content now, the levels have also received a visual update.

Via Pocket Gamer

Big ‘Monument Valley’ Infographic Released

Remember the news last week that the vast majority of Monument Valley players hadn’t paid for the game? Developer Ustwo came upon that juicy nugget of information as it was preparing a giant infographic about the game’s sales and numerous other statistics.

That infographic is now ready and has been posted right here. It’s pretty large, though, so I’ll cut to the good stuff. First off, the game has had nearly 2.5 million official sales. I say “official” because it’s had boatloads of unauthorized downloads. To wit, it’s been installed on over 10 million devices. That number includes “unauthorized downloads” as well people who bought the game and installed it on multiple devices. Of those totals, it’s over half a million people “upgraded” to the Forgotten Shores DLC.

The game cost $1.4 million to make, and has raked in $5.9 million in revenue — which, even with the amount of piracy, is a killer return on investment. The vast majority of that is from iOS, with less than 20% coming in from Google Play and Amazon combined.

One other point of interest is that 50% of the people who began the game completed it. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s actually pretty good compared to a lot of games.

So good job, Ustwo. We loved the game, and if you haven’t played it you should probably correct that. If you find this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff interesting, take a look at the full infographic for more information.

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Most ‘Monument Valley’ Players Stole the Game

Did you pay for Monument Valley? If so, you’re in the minority. Developer Ustwo has released some figures that will make anyone hoping to get into mobile game development think twice.

The developer took to Twitter to say that it’s currently working on an infographic for the game that includes sales data, and went on to provide a sneak preview. To wit, on Android, only 5% of the copies in use were paid. The rest got the game for free somehow (presumably most of them through piracy). On iOS things are a little better — but just a little — with a paid rate of 40%.

The company went on to say that the 95% figure on Android doesn’t account for the Amazon App Store, where the game was free for a day.

“We’re not complaining at all by the way, it’s to be expected,” they say. “It’s just interesting data.”

It certainly is interesting data, but I wouldn’t fault them for complaining. It’ll be interesting to see what other information the infographic offers.

Monument Valley Expansion Released – Forgotten Shores

Monument Valley [App Store] is, without a single doubt, one of the most beautiful games produced on mobile. It’s a M.C. Escher-esque 3D puzzler with gorgeous visuals and sound. The update released today introduces 8 new levels that build on the story and present a whole slew of new puzzle types and mechanics to the game. The new levels have been released as an in-app purchase in the game for $1.99 — or about the cost of a king size candy bar. Take a look at the video below for more on how the new levels were created.

These levels are a bit more deceptive than the original ten levels in the game. While there are only 8 levels in the game, each level is made up of multiple beautifully and thoughtfully designed scenes. A bonus to the update includes sharper visuals for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus.

To me, Monument Valley is the definition of “appointment gaming” — this expansion just makes it more so. Spend some time with it, you won’t be disappointed.

New ‘Monument Valley’ Levels in the Works

We’re ridiculously huge fans of Monument Valley. It’s a fantastic game that’s ludicrously gorgeous. The worst thing about it is that it’s a little on the short side. Luckily for us (and for everyone else), new levels are a-coming.

The new levels are due out by the end of the year. According to developer Ustwo, the new content pack will nearly double the game’s size, and will be available as an in-app purchase when it’s released.

Color me excited. I played the game all the way through in one sitting, and the experience has stuck with me more than lots of games I’ve poured hours of my life into. Check out the a screenshot of one of the new levels that Ustwo tweeted the other day.

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If that doesn’t get you ready to play more Monument Valley, you probably haven’t played the original game. If that’s the case, what are you waiting for?