Monument Valley+ on Apple Arcade — Glorious MC Escher Experience
The first time I heard about Monument Valley, years ago, I always wanted to play it. These games are expensive, and I was not that big on mobile gaming before. Now, things have changed. Post pandemic, I am stuck at home with way too much free time. Also, Apple Arcade is adding a bunch of classics to its collection (bypassing the expense of buying it), and Monument Valley is one of them.
Previously, I used to think, mobile gaming is just bad and lazy. I grew up as a PC gamer, and later expanded to PS4 and Xbox. You always get that feeling that mobile gaming is beneath you. I confess now, I made a mistake by thinking that way. A lot of mobile gaming is still shitty, but, there is a category of games which are on par with PC and console experience.
Games like Monument Valley are built with the same dedication as those AAA games I enjoy on PC and consoles. Also, I am noticing that there is a whole lot of variety on mobile games. I have always been fascinated with impossible structures as shown in MC Escher illustrations.
Is there anyway, we could, perhaps, interact with it? Monument Valley is the answer.
Beautiful and Colorful
One issue I have with indie games (like this) and indie movies, is the creators tend to be way in over their head. They confuse challenging the viewer/gamer with making it impossible to play and enjoy. With puzzle games (for example, the insanely frustrating 12 minutes), creators go to the extreme.
Going in, I had that worry with Monument Valley as well.
My worries were not required. The makers of Monument Valley have found the perfect balance between challenging the player, but also making the puzzles easy enough for an normal okayish smart guy like me to solve. I did not have to look at any guides (except that one time in an early level. Turns out I did not know the controls. The puzzle, I ended up solving myself) to finish the game.
When the game finale showed up, I felt good about myself. You solve a puzzle without any outside help, its always a generous ego boost. Given my current depression due to the pandemic, any mood lift is good mood lift.
And how beautiful is this game? The music, that complements it? I made it a point to play this game at night, with lights off and when its totally quiet. It’s like meditating. I will put a bunch of screenshots here to give you an idea.
The main campaign is exactly 10 levels. The Apple Arcade edition has two more campaigns, which have bonus levels. I only played the main campaign, and it was just long enough for me to enjoy it.
I can definitely picture installing this again, and going through the campaign, just for the sooting music and visuals.