Monument Valley


First Impressions

A great puzzle game! I can already tell that this game will be very entertaining and will keep a player engaged for hours. Monument Valley is a puzzle game where you play as a small princess that wears all white and has a white coned hat that contains some gems that appear after you complete each level. You control the character by tapping along the path that she may walk along. Additionally, there are obstacles and components in the levels that add extra challenge. Look out for the crow people!!! Be weary, for some of the paths don’t line up initially. But, if you give the level a twist or turn you’ll find that the path lines up.


Going Further

At first, Monument Valley just seemed like a typical puzzle game. Complete the level and move on to the next. However, as you start completing more and more levels you start to learn that there is a story behind the game. There are NPC’s that you talk to at the end or beginning of levels and that’s the way the game tells the story. The levels don’t offer much to the plot.

I had a bit of surprise emotion evoked during level 6. No way did I think that a game revolving around puzzles would evoke emotion. However, level 6 is “Ida Meets the Totem, A Friend.” The totem is just a couple of blocks stacked on top of each other with an eye on the top block. It doesn’t say anything, but it’s vital to solving the puzzles. The game makes you rely on this character that doesn’t say or do anything. Then, at the end of the level, you make it safely to an isle and sacrifice your totem.

The game makers evoke more emotion later in level 9. This level is about descending into the valley where the monument remains are left. Down here, you find some sort of graves. At the end of the level, you place a small flower that you picked up in an earlier level onto one of the graves.

It took me til about level 10 to realize that the game is based off paths. That means you can always trace where you need to get to backwards. It’ll help you solve the puzzle going forward. The game ends at level 10. All of the crows are released and they become colored birds. Then, the princess earns a “crown” and becomes a white bird that all the other birds follow as they fly out of the valley.

I have to say, the art and sound effects are really well done. Many if not all of the levels are a type of optical illusion. The paths don’t always line up, but using some creativity and looking at the puzzle from a different angle, all the levels can be completed. I was also surprised that a puzzle game could evoke emotion as well as tell a story. Overall, a very nice game. Just wish it was a little bit longer. 

- Lucas Salisbury