Impossible architecture and improbable beauty: Monument Valley

As I’ve said before, I’m not really into electronic games. But Monument Valley is definitely an exception. Easily the most beautiful game I’ve come across so far, its mind-blowing take on optical illusions and geometrical puzzles is not only pleasantly addictive, but also provokes frequent “Whoa!”s, much to the consertnation of all those around you.

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An adorable little princess (stick with me here) navigates her way through a fantasy land of staircases and doors, with the occasional black crow and waterfall blocking her way. If it sounds too childish for you, the brain-twisting puzzles and mind-bending shapes, not to mention the incredibly sophisticated programming, will dispel that notion right away. I’m sure children will love it, but it’s not designed with them in mind.

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And the art is stunning. Original, fascinating and utterly beautiful, if I ever saw a book with pictures like these in it, I would buy it and keep it. The creativity of the impossible architecture, the complex characterization of the simple protagonists and the surprising geometric designs provide pleasure for the eye, exercise for the mind, and suddenly you want to know where the afternoon has gone.

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The numbers are pretty stunning, too. It’s not a free game, it costs €3,99 in the iTunes store. And yet almost 3 million people have bought the game, giving the developers ustwo almost $6 million in revenue. Not bad for an app.

monument valley

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