Monday, 20 October 2014

Monument Venice

When I was holidaying in Venice I resolved to read some works set there by Thomas Mann and Ernest Hemingway. But when I think back to that time this summer it is a game I played on my Kindle Fire that my mind is drawn back to rather than a novel. And that game was Monument Valley.

Monument Valley isn't a challenging game, but the experience is so immersive. Maybe it was walking around and exploring Venice during the day that made it resonate when I settled down with it late at night. The game itself is like a M.C. Escher work come alive, with the ability to twist and manipulate buildings in impossible ways to enable the silent Princess Ida to progress through each level. The impossible objects and optical illusions are used in an ingenious way and everyone I have shown the game to has been unable to resist smiling while playing it. It demonstrates what the final levels of a video game of the (fantastic) movie Labyrinth should have been like!

The graphics and sound effects are pitch-perfect and are a credit to the game. At 10 chapter-based levels it may feel a little short to some, but I dislike the idea that games should be certain lengths. A game should be just as long or as short as it needs to be. This is the beauty of independent games and different pricing structures, meaning a developer doesn't have to string out a game only to justify a higher price tag.

I cannot praise Monument Valley enough, it is the best touch screen video game I have ever played and the experience of it will stay with me for a long while.

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