Critical Play: Puzzles

I played the beautiful Monument Valley in an Android phone. It is an indie puzzle game created by Ustwo Games.

Audience: The game does not have any content is inappropriate for children. However, it does require a certain level of thinking skills so I would say the audience should be 5+

Formal Elements
The game has a single player, with the objective of guiding my character through a ascending series of difficult puzzles.
The game has clear boundaries, including the edges of the levels and the limits of what players can and cannot do within the game. And the game has a variety of outcomes, including winning or losing each level. For procedure, we have to use touch controls to maneuver the character as well as the environment. The resources available are the various interactive components that the princess can use to navigate obstacles in her route. To move herself from point A to point B, she can slide walls up, rotate routes, and other maneuvers. Other than that, the player doesn’t get much assistance from things like power-ups.

One interesting aspect of this game is the use of color to separate inactive area from area that can be used.

Figure: Designing with color—all of the interactive aspects in this scene are represented in pink

Type of fun
This game’s type of fun is challenge. The difficulty lies in the puzzles since they are more interactive and demand some thought and planning to proceed correctly from beginning to end. They are not like riddles, which, according to this week’s reading, are the least enjoyable sort of puzzle. Because of this, the game is sufficiently difficult, but not so difficult that I can’t overcome the obstacles and eventually give up. This game succeeds in achieving the objectives of the narrative and challenge fun types of fun because of the great tale arc and a reasonable progression of difficulty.

A moment of success I had while playing Monument Valley was when I finally figured out a particularly tricky level that had been stumping me for some time. An epic fail was when I once couldn’t figure out the last level; I went back to it twice with a fresh mind but I am yet to figure out that level.

One thing I would suggest to improve the gaming experience is to include timer to create more pressure for particular levels. There could also be a survival mode where things are falling apart as the character moves through space to increase repeatability. Monument Valley is different from games in its genre due to its reduction of cutscenes and inclusion of simple game mechanics of using tap to maneuver. But despite this, the narrative is very engaging: it follows a princess’ journey back home, making it evoke emotion through exquisite artwork and sound.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.