Monument Valley iOS Review

Monument Valley’s art style captured my attention immediately when I was browsing the App Store. The Escher-inspired ‘impossible architecture’ levels are both fantastical and beautiful – I would quite happy have them framed and hanging on the walls in my now seemingly all-too-normal house.

The controls are intuitive. Move the silent Princess Ida in her pointy hat around the level by tapping your desired destination and she will walk there if a route exists, and none of the black crow individuals block your way. You interact with the level itself by turning a handle or sliding areas covered in little circles. Both feel responsive and satisfyingly tactile, even on a small iPhone.

Monument Valley Forest Tower

A very pretty mountaintop level. Standing on a button activates a level transformation, spinning the tower around to reveal a route upwards.

I found the difficulty level to be just right – I never got stuck but each level required a bit of thought to complete. There’s no time limit so you can take your time, enjoy the game, progressing at your own pace. When you reach an ‘aha’ moment and see the clever solution to a level I couldn’t help but smile to myself each time – it’s very rewarding.

My only criticism is the short length of the game – there are ten levels which you can expect to complete these within one to two hours. The game costs £2.99 and this is the upper end of what I would have wanted to pay for such a short experience. But it was well worth it and entry to less beautiful art exhibitions can cost a lot more.

Monument Valley Lilly Pond

When it occurs, the impossible geometry of a level is a joy to behold.

The soundtrack is suitably relaxing and nicely rounds off a an incredibly polished experience. In a rare accolade for a mobile game it deservedly made our Top 10 Games of 2014 list from a very long shortlist.

Monument Valley is a perfect combination of creative beauty and fun simplicity. It succeeds in setting a new standard for touch control that we can expect to see imitated countless times in other games. An essential purchase for your iPad or iPhone. Ustwo games are a developer to keep an eye on in 2015 and beyond – I hope their next work is equally as inspired.

9 out of 10