Wee Find: Monument Valley
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.