A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Wee Find: Monument Valley

    Monument Valley artwork via we-are-scout-com.

    I don’t recall writing about an app before. Or a video game. Despite having a professional app-making/video-game designing/developing/graphic designer/user experience specialist (#slashiemuch) husband, it’s never really been on my blog radar as something I’d like to enthusiastically share with my readers. That is, until Monument Valley came along, and swiftly became my four-year-old son’s favourite game.

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    The brainchild of independent studio ustwogames, Monument Valley is a zen-like adventure game, featuring exquisite graphic design and fantastical architecture. Inspired by the impossible-geometry-style art of M.C. Escher, Japanese prints, and minimalist 3D design, each level reveals a stunning new landscape for the game’s protagonist, Princess Ida, to explore.

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    My husband has been a long-time fan of ustwogames, and keenly followed the development of Monument Valley. He downloaded the game as soon as it became available, and it wasn’t long before our son took notice, enjoying watching my husband play.

    Soon, he was playing the game himself, quietly manipulating the puzzles and exclaiming with joy as a beautiful new piece of architecture is revealed. There was also much excitement in our household when ustwogames released several new levels of the game last year.

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    What makes Monument Valley different from the other iPad games my four-year-old plays is that it wasn’t specifically made for kids. However, its contemplative slow pace and meditative quality makes it ideal for children, and I love that he’s learning to think and solve puzzles in 3D, while developing an appreciation for the beautiful illustrations and carefully considered graphic design.

    I wasn’t altogether surprised to learn that the graphic design in Monument Valley was created with the idea that each screen could be printed and framed. Look at it – just beautiful!

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    My four-year-old is hardly alone in his Monument Valley fandom. Indeed, it’s featured as a plot point in the new season of House of Cards (no spoilers, please, but I’m delighted to think that Frank Underwood is a Monument Valley fan), and the game has garnered a swag of awards since its launch, most notably winning Apple’s Design Award and iPad Game of the Year for 2014. And last night in the UK, it won Best British Game and Best Mobile Game at the BAFTA Games Awards.

    There is also a Tumblr devoted to Monument Valley fan art, and the game has spawned a printable fan art Totem, as well as a beautifully crafted wooden Totem (available on Etsy).

    Ustwogames have also recently opened an official Monument Valley merch store, selling giclee prints and duluxe art cards.

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    Hand-crafted Totem collectors’ toy/sculpture, $300.24, by Andreas Ekberg’s Etsy shop.

    Monument Valley is available for $4.99 from iTunes and Google Play Store.

    Tell me: are you a Monument Valley fan too? Stay tuned to We Are Scout – Lisa is working on an Ida softie tutorial!

    All screenshots courtesy of ustwogames/Monument Valley.

    • http://sewingthe60s.blogspot.com.au/ Catherine

      Oh my yes! I love this game! There was also a special Red edition for World Aids day last year where Ada wears a red dress instead of her normal white.
      It’s such a beautiful game and so many times I’ve sighed or gasped at its beauty. I’ve also taken so many screenshots I had to create a little folder in my computer for it. I love it!