Monument Valley II is here! Three long years after the original, mobile classic.
I first heard of Monument Valley a few years ago while watching House of Cards, thanks to what can only be called incredible marketing. We learn early on in the show about protagonist Frank Underwood’s affinity for video games, especially first person shooters. Every now then we see him sitting back in his big chair after a day’s work of being the most powerful man in the world, shooting things up and watching the stress leave his face.
There is, however, a small story arc in season three in which Underwood abandons his gaming console for an iPad, and becomes fascinated with the beauty and narrative genius of Monument Valley. Like this scene, where Underwood eloquently explains to his ghostwriter the genius of the game and his fascination with it. And the game really is genius; one of the best I’ve ever played on any mobile device. It’s already a classic, or it will be, in the same sense that ‘Snake’ and ‘Bounce’ were classics.
A long wait after the first edition, the fantastic folks at ‘ustwo‘ have come out with Monument Valley II, “an illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness.”
Colin Campbell at Polygon writes about it: “This is a fantastical world of Escher-esque nonsense, in which two-dimensional illusions create impossible three-dimensional spaces. As my point of view changes, girders transport themselves from one state of being to another. Lines cross and create baffling new realities.”
Metro UK, which reviewed Monument Valley 2 earlier this week, says: “The game may not be complicated to control but the puzzles themselves are marvellously clever, repeatedly convincing you that they’re impossible and that the game must be broken – seconds before you realise what you’re supposed to do and wonder how you ever got stuck in the first place. That said, even the trickiest one probably won’t keep most players busy for more than 10 minutes or so and it’s a pity there’s not a set of extra hard screens for advanced players.”
Praise is coming in from all quarters of the media, with PocketLint adding that Monument Valley II “is one of the few genuine games that understand the medium, providing simple, touch-friendly fun for formats that require simplicity and bite-sized enjoyment.”
Monument Valley II was released earlier this week as a surprise announcement at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. It’s available only on iOS, though an Android version is expected to come out later in the year.