Monument Valley, making Escher proud


I’m a sucker well-produced iOS games. If it looks polished and fits into a genre I like then I’ll just about play any game. Monument Valley had some decent press behind thanks to its gorgeous presentation and architecture puzzles so I gave it a try.

And I need to say that Monument Valley lived up to the hype well. The game is beautiful and gameplay is as satisfying as the puzzles you’re trying to solve. I’m sure the story is deep and meaningful but I didn’t give it much attention and I didn’t suffer for that neglect.

In the game you’re trying to lead the princess through a maze of architecture that would make MC Escher’s head spin. Every level is well-crafted and requires you to slide and spin sections to create clear paths for the princess. The right path isn’t always clear but the puzzles aren’t so difficult that you need to resort to walkthroughs or cheats…it’s just enough to make you feel smart without frustrating you…a hard balance to achieve sometimes.

My only real gripe with Monument Valley is its length, which I’ll qualify as “extremely short,” almost too short. There are only 10 levels to really deal with and a couple don’t feel like much of a puzzle as they are just leading the character from one door to another. The game is easily completed over a weekend playing just 15-minutes at a time. All in all there’s probably a solid hour of gameplay and that’s it. A short game wouldn’t be a problem if there was a good amount of replayability but that’s not the case here. Once you solve a level there’s no need to go back…at least not yet. Our only hope is that they decide to push out an update that gives new levels or at least some extra difficulty to existing levels.

You’ve spent your money on a lot worse games than Monument Valley and every now and then you need a game that’s a little more zen than click candy, dodging bullets or sliding numbers around in 30-second bits. Monument Valley is the “indie art” game that it looks like. It really is a game for every puzzle fan.

Monument Valley is $3.99 in the App Store (coming to Android soon)

6.3 Leaves you wanting more
  • Presentation 10
  • Gameplay 8
  • Challenge 4
  • Longevity 3

About Author

Brian is a staff writer at TMA. He races Hot Wheels at while watching cartoons with his kid. You can follow @morningtoast on Twitter.

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