Appy days: Monument Valley passes 1 million paid downloads

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In what has been a great year for iOS gaming, Monument Valley stands head and shoulders above most of its competition. Part M.C. Escher and part Fez, the game lets you journey through a surrealist world full of optical illusions and hidden paths — all the while avoiding and outsmarting the sinister Crow people.

It’s great, compelling fun — and apparently we’re far from the only people to think that, since developers Ustwo announced late last week that their game has now been downloaded in excess of 1 million times.

Not only is this a triumph for the game makers, and original iOS games as a whole, but also for the premium sales model — which fails to beg for (or offer) in-app purchases.

Apple has been pushing premium over freemium apps for some time now. During the Design Awards at Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference, all prizes were awarded to premium games like Monument Valley.

A large part of this likely relates to the criticism often levelled at Apple for failing to provide proper safeguards to ensure that children don’t rack up huge amounts of money on in-app purchases without their parents’ permission. While Apple has made various changes, earlier this year  it was made to pay around $32.5 million to settle an ongoing complaint with the Federal Trade Commission dispute related to this issue.

For more information about Monument Valley, you can check out our exclusive “making of” feature, published earlier this year, with never-before-seen production sketches. There’s also designer Ken Wong’s list of top five (non-Monument Valley) iOS games which can be read here.

Oh, and just to sweeten the deal, Monument Valley is currently available at 50% off in the App Store, priced just $1.99.

Here’s to the next 1 million downloads…

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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