Critical Play: Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a single-player puzzle game that follows Ida who is the Crow Queen. The player’s objective is to guide Ida through the puzzles and return pieces of the sacred geometry back to land while learning more about what previously happened. A lot of the puzzles included changing perspectives, moving blocks around, and even using a friend block.

Overall the mechanics and story compliment each other. The most obvious mechanic of spinning the puzzle literally give players new perspectives to find ways to continue in the story. In the beginning, it is questionable who’s side the player should be on: Ida who we are guiding or some other mysterious force. It had me thinking why exactly was Ida repenting. As we continue in the story, we learn that Ida has stolen something sacred from the humans which why she is repenting and silent. While this plays along with the story the missing dialogue of the story further emphasises the sounds we hear from the crows. The crows represent Ida’s people who have been cursed and are stuck in that form and we constantly hear their cries throughout the game. They also serve as barricades in the game which would make sense as the people may hate Ida for causing this curse. The missing dialogue also further emphasises the sounds of movable parts in the game. We know that things are/can move as songs will play when we move them. Lastly, the use of color help convey the story and set the mood. Initially, the game is bright and vibrant making it exciting for players to be intrigued by the story and game. But as we progress, colors will fade out until the last scene where it is almost void of any color indicating the sad truth.

In my opinion, Monument Valley is an amazing game that embodies what a cohesive game would look like from the story to the art and mechanics. It kept my brain working and the ambigous story kept me intrigued for more.

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