Mon­u­ment Val­ley 2

It’s all a mat­ter of per­spec­tive

Mac|Life - - APPLE LIFE - Ema Davies

$4.99 De­vel­oper Ustwo Games, mon­u­ment­val­leygame.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 9.0 or later

Let’s cut straight to the point, for those of you who never played the 2014 orig­i­nal: you know the sort of brain-melt­ing Escher prints of im­pos­si­ble path­ways you’d see hang­ing on a math teacher’s class­room wall? Mon­u­ment Val­ley is a suc­ces­sion of them, turned into an indie puzzle game. You con­trol Ro and her pint-sized daugh­ter, nudg­ing them gen­tly along path­ways, over bridges and through door­ways. The catch? You’ve got to build them your­self.

At first, this is sim­ple stuff – twirling ba­sic seg­ments around so that they con­nect up from a dif­fer­ent angle (just don’t ask us how that ge­om­e­try works). Later, you’ll have to hone your spa­tial aware­ness, as you pull out seg­ments of floor and ma­nip­u­late them in iso­la­tion before re­turn­ing them to the lay­out - keep­ing your fin­gers crossed that you’ve got it right all the while.

If we’re en­tirely hon­est, we didn’t come up against any puz­zles that couldn’t even­tu­ally be solved by trial and er­ror – but mind­lessly shift­ing shapes un­til they click into place is far less re­ward­ing than ac­tu­ally putting in the brain­work. It’s all bun­dled up with the oc­ca­sional vaguely philo­soph­i­cal quote, but if you’re not the stu­dious type you can al­ways sit back and let it wash over you. And my, what a beau­ti­ful wash it is.

The clos­est equiv­a­lent, aes­thet­i­cally, is PlayS­ta­tion 3’s equally mys­ti­fy­ing Jour­ney, but (orig­i­nal aside) there’s lit­tle that com­pares in game­play. Looks like you’ve found a video game your math teacher would ap­prove of, af­ter all.

The Bot­tom line. This stun­ning se­quel to the much-ac­claimed puz­zler is ab­so­lutely mud­dly lovely.

When you ro­tate part of the level on the right, the whole darn thing shifts about at once.

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