UMass Lowell Connector Logo

“Monument Valley+” is a relaxing escape

(Photo courtesy of: iMore) “‘Monument Valley+’ is designed to help people unwind through puzzles.”

Madison Harkey
Connector Contributor

Imagine being immersed in one of the world’s most famous Dutch graphic artist’s designs. “Monument Valley +” offers more than just a simplistic puzzle game. Inspired by M. C. Escher’s artworks, the game follows Princess Ida through her journey of forgiveness through mysterious worlds with impossible environments and illusionary puzzles. The colorful mazes contain optical illusions that offer a meditative experience by manipulating monuments and creating various paths to explore. The game refers to each puzzle as “sacred geometry.” The player interacts with the geometric environment to find hidden passageways and pieces to the puzzles that help guide the princess deeper into each maze and find the map’s exit.

“Monument Valley +” can be played on iOS, android, windows phone, and Microsoft Windows. It is most popular with Apple users, as it is included with the $5 a month Apple Arcade subscription. Otherwise, it is a one-time $4 purchase—which is a decent price to pay for a mindless escape to an alternate reality. “Monument Valley” was originally developed and released by Ustwo Games in 2014, where it was then further adapted into other versions later on, ending with the creation of “Monument Valley+” in 2021. The game has been downloaded a combined total of more than 100 million times and won 29 awards—including the Game Awards Best Mobile Game 2017 and Apple’s best iPad game of 2014.

There are ten separate levels, with each level consisting of three to four different puzzles that get harder as the game continues. There is even a small story that pops up along the gameplay, offering an interesting aspect to the game in terms of being invested in Princess Ida’s quest. There are various design elements, such as moving sound bars, squawking crow people, and collapsing bridges that interfere with Ida’s path. It is up to the player to solve the obstructions and clear the path for Ida to walk through.

The coloring and visuals are key factors in the enhancement of the game, as the colors are very vivid and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. There are different color gradients present, mainly including patterns of ombre. The sound effects also offer a good contribution to the game, as they are very relaxing and meditating with no harsh noises. The player can even hear Ida’s footsteps and other subtle effects. Each time the player spins a wheel, slides a block, or switches the projection of the path, a new sound occurs. This also lets the player know if they are on the right track with completed the right path or if they got it wrong and need to try again.

“Monument Valley+” was made to be geared toward those who enjoy solving puzzles, but can be played by people of all ages and backgrounds. As the difficulty does increase with playtime, there is no challenge too hard to crack, as it just takes time and thought to solve even the hardest levels of the game. It can also be played in different time increments, as the progress automatically saves after each level that has been completed. The game could take days or even hours, depending on how quickly the player can get through each level and the time they devote to playing it.

The only issue the game imposes is that it ends too soon and leaves its players wanting more. Embark on Princess Ida’s journey through time and space, in a puzzling, yet emotional, escape from the real world. The soothing sound effects, levels that look like works of art, and the mind-bending storyline really add to the player’s overall experience.

Grade: A+

Related posts