Monday 21 August 2017

Impossible shapes, plenty of pleasure

Monument Valley 2 (iOS) ★★★★★ Age+ 3+

Monument Valley 2 features two characters
Monument Valley 2 features two characters
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Even if you don't know the name Escher, you'll be familiar with the Dutch artist's "impossible architecture", in which figures walk endlessly on staircases that play tricks with perspective.

As a theme, it was exploited in games a decade ago with the beautiful Echochrome on PS3 but hit the mainstream in 2014's Monument Valley, which featured in an episode of House of Cards and famously made $14m for its small team.

Monument 2 rewires the formula with a twist. Instead of one character navigating its gorgeous but logic-defying landscapes, you must now also contend with a child who needs to be shepherded through the abstract worlds.

Nonetheless, the gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged: a delightfully tactile puzzler where you rotate and align paths to guide the duo to the exit. Sometimes up is down and down is up but what's consistent is the delightful art and serene pacing of a game that is short but leaves an indelible image.

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