Monument Valley 2
It’s all a matter of perspective
$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.