Like all popular apps, Monument Valley faces a piracy problem. Photo: Ustwo
One of the biggest reasons why many app developers continue to snub Android is piracy. The platform’s “open” approach, which allows applications to be downloaded from third-party sources and installed manually, makes it incredibly easy for users to circumvent Google Play and obtain paid apps completely free.
Piracy on Android is so rampant right now that just 5 percent of installs of Monument Valley – one of the best mobile games of 2014, which is currently priced at $3.99 in the Play Store — have actually been paid for.
Monument Valley is my pick for iOS game of the year; a twisting, gorgeous, MC Escher-style puzzler that’s spellbinding from start to finish. And given that it has received upwards of 1 million downloads, I’m far from alone in thinking that way.
Which is why it’s great to hear that the game is set to receive its first expansion on November 13. Titled “Forgotten Shores,” the expansion will plunge players back into the world of Princess Ida, as she travels through eight entirely new levels, with a slew of fresh puzzles to solve on her journey.
Designer Ken Wong’s sketchbooks show how Monument Valley evolved into the finished product.
Monument Valley is one of the most original iOS games ever. A triumph of isometric design, it’s a trippy puzzle game in which you guide a white-clad princess through a series of twisting, turning structures, inspired by the mind-bending art of M.C. Escher.
Creating a world of this complexity might sound like a nightmare project, but for the UK-based game developers at ustwo, coming up with such an audacious creation was something of a dream.
“One of the first things we did when designing Monument Valley were to try and come up with images that seemed impossible,” says lead designer Ken Wong.
Still reeling from the success of the game — priced at $3.99, it was the top paid iPad app in its first week of release — Wong cracked open his sketchbooks to give Cult of Mac readers a glimpse at how Monument Valley‘s breathtaking designs came to be.
You’ll need to tap on the screen to get Ida moving to her end goal, swiping and rotating dozens of different mechanical gadgets to make sure she can continue on her way. The puzzles aren’t super difficult, but they do require a bit of thought, and plenty of them are downright ingenious. You’ll feel pretty darn intelligent when you finally get that “aha!” moment.
Check out our play-through video below to get a sense of how lush and calming Monument Valley really is.
Whale Trail and Blip Blup developer Ustwo released a new trailer for its upcoming game Monument Valley, a stunningly beautiful game that looks to be influenced by the art of MC Escher, with gameplay that seems similar to hit indie game, Fez.
Aside from those obvious comparisons, what the trailer and accompanying screenshots show is a mind- and perspective-bending gameplay trip through various and brightly-colored worlds, guiding the silent princess protagonist through crazy architectural geometries.
Designer Ken Wong calls it “a beautiful, exploratory experience, somewhere between exploring a toy shop and reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.”