Monument Valley - Review

Author: Stefano Talarico
Date: 2020-07-30 21:45:46
MC Escher, one of the greatest engineers of impossible constructions, paradoxical objects and optical illusions, once said: “We must climb the mountain not by stepping on what is below us, but elevating ourselves to what is above us, to get to the stars ". Evidently, in addition to the sublime design of the levels and environments, Ustwo also drew inspiration from the words of the Dutch master to create Monument Valley, a splendid and delicate fairy tale which, through paradoxes, horizontal stairs and optical illusions, has risen towards a firmament of games that will be remembered for a long time.

In the ten levels of the game we will accompany the little princess Ida through a mysterious, golden and at the same time leaden world, so as to recall some elements of the equally splendid Journey, in which to proceed with a tasty rhythm sustained but never fast, solving the small environmental puzzles proposed from the extraordinary architecture of the game, made of perspectives, hidden elements, paradoxes, switches and obstacles to be overcome with the right timing.

Continuing one tap after another on its way, Ida will find itself in front of increasingly complex and articulated levels: if at first you just have to rotate a walkway to continue, further on you will need to turn the same picture over and over again taking advantage of the different elements, coming to completely upset the concepts of above, below and vertical walls. Thanks to its superfine level design and attention to every detail, then Monument Valley continues for its entire duration to offer increasingly articulated and dense paintings, without however forcing the hand becoming excessively difficult and brainy.

In fact, the player is always in full control of what Ida's journey will be, and this without Monument Valley ever appearing excessively easy or didactic. Each new painting is gradually enriched with new elements and, although immediately readable in its entirety, it never gives the impression that the solution to the whole is obvious, but leaves the pleasure of discovering the right logical connection, the correct solution to each joint , without ever stumbling upon a moment of impasse and without being frustrating or overly intrigued. And this, considering the paradoxical complexity of the levels in which we have to move, is perhaps one of the most striking aspects of Ustwo's magnificent work.

Beyond his varied and ingenious puzzles, and their splendid integration into the game world, Monument Valley is above all a splendid interactive treatise of paradoxical architecture, an essay that takes the works of Reutersvärd, Penrose, Escher and other masters of the impossible reinterpreting them with measure, simply playing around with their plausibility in space. All this, moreover, adding with a superfine taste plucked notes of guitar, accents of carillon and immersing everything in moving pastel shades, which give a show so splendid and successful that it is almost shocking, able to kidnap for all the duration of the journey to the stars of Ida, without taking a breath, leaving a mix of magnificent sensations and certainly difficult to explain in words.

I played Monument Valley on the third generation iPad retina, thanks to a code provided by the developer, and I completed it in two splendid hours in which I didn't realize anything that were not paradoxes, perspective plans and grumpy crows . The game is currently only available on iOS through the App Store, but Ustwo games is working to bring the game to the Play Store.