Monument Valley – Indie app of the day
What is Monument Valley?
Monument Valley is an atmospheric puzzle platformer that was just released for Android. The premise is fairly simple. You play as a princess named Ida who must wander around a strange and captivating world filled with puzzles and little crow people. It sounds easy but thanks to some creative level design, it’s actually quite the challenge.
Let’s first talk about the level design. Each level is a captivating mix of retro graphics and optical illusions. The beauty isn’t so much in the graphics but rather how the puzzles, the graphics, and the level design all work together to create a cohesive and undeniably elegant experience. In other words, the way the levels are set up are pretty much going to blow your mind more often than not.
Okay so here’s how you play. You start out on a level and you must make it to the end. At first glance it looks impossible, but there are various levers, wheels, switches, obstacles etc that you can hit that alter the level. This is where the elegance sets in. The game uses carefully crafted optical illusions to create steps where there weren’t steps before. Thus, if something looks ridiculous, then it is likely that there is part of the level you haven’t altered yet in order to continue.
Therein lies the challenge. Even when you figure out where all of the illusions and switches are, you have to make them work in accordance with one another to reach the end. It also helps that the game comes with a soothing, atmospheric music that is augmented by the actions you take. For instance, if you swipe to lower or raise a ledge, you may hear some guitar strumming. Using music and sound, the developers found a way to merge the game play with the music and graphics to turn it all into one big experience.
On the outside of the magic, you’ll no doubt notice that this game supports Google Play Games services. In this game, only achievements are supported. The settings menus are extremely bare bones and include the ability to reset the game (and delete the save data), sound and music settings, Google+ sign in, social media links, and the credits.