Monospace Review

Monospace is a puzzle game with an interesting perspective-based twist. It has a minimalist design that’s pleasing to the eye, and we think its spatially-oriented gameplay suits the iPhone nicely.

Monospace presents you with a 3D cube as your playing field. Within the cube are multiple white blocks and one blue block, situated in various spots throughout the cube. Your goal is to clear the screen of all the white blocks by moving the blue block over them… but there’s a few little catches. The blue block can only be moved into a space the white blocks occupy, and it can’t move diagonally.

So how are you supposed to reach the blocks that seem out of reach? This is where the game’s truly unique feature comes into play. You are allowed to rotate the play field, thereby changing the perspective and lining the blocks up. When you think you’ve got all the blocks lined up correctly, you switch the screen to 2D mode, “squashing” the cube flat and bringing any cubes that are lingering in the background into the foreground. If you do this properly, you’ll have rearranged the white blocks to make them easily accessible for the blue cursor.

It’s easier said than done. While the first few levels may seem easy, they’re only a warmup for the later levels. Monospace has 64 levels in total, and the later levels are hard enough to challenge even very skilled puzzle players.

Monospace’s controls are very intuitive: you drag in the direction you want the play field to move, and then when you’ve got it in the correct position, you just double tap anywhere on screen to switch to 2D mode. Once you’re in 2D, you can drag the blue cursor block around with your finger. The graphics are very functional, and there are only a few colors in the game, but it’s easy to see that a lot of work has gone into creating such a look. It’s simple, yes, but also very slick–the rotating cube animation is very smooth, and there’s a little particle burst whenever you eliminate a white block. There’s very little sound, and for some reason the developers decided to disallow iPod functionality, which is disappointing.

Nevertheless, with its lovely style, great concept, and intuitive controls, Monospace is a great buy for fans of spatial puzzles. It’s easily worth $1.99.

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