Inside Monument Valley: How ‘Impossible’ Sketches Became An Amazing Game

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Photo: ustwo
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.

Here’s what we found.

Baby Lava Bounce Lives On The Edge And Eats Pineapples [Review]

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Baby Lava 3

Baby Lava is on a rampage. He’ll fly as far as he can and burn whatever lies in his path, but won’t give a thought to how water spells his doom. Once you fire the lava blob out of the starting volcano, you must carefully guide him across tropical islands where he can burn up helpless vacationers and pineapples to keep his fire burning. If you run out of energy, or touch the water between the islands, your fire will go out and Baby Lava turns into a blackened hunk of rock.

Baby Lava Bounce by Jared Bailey
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Baby Lava Bounce plays a bit like Angry Birds crossed with endless flight games like Whale Trail. Your objective is to gather enough energy to collect various idols which you offer up to the volcano. The only control you have is tapping to crash the lava down against an island. If you land on a flat surface, tapping again will let you hop a short distance. If the lava lands on a slanted surface, he’ll shoot up into the air. This will give you much needed lift, but can also make it much more difficult to maintain your energy level.

Popular iOS Game Whale Trail Updated With 32 More Levels, New Power-Ups

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whale trail barron update

Whale Trail Developer Reveals What It Takes To Hit The Jackpot On iOS And Android [Interview]

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Today At Cult Of Android: Verizon Believes A 16GB SD Card Is Worth $100, HTC Confirms Sprint Phasing Out Carrier IQ, And More…

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samsungrim

Android may not be every Mac user’s cup of tea, but it’s the biggest mobile operating system in the world, and it’s important to know what’s going on with Android — what it’s doing right, and what it’s doing wrong. Here’s the best stories that hit today over at our sister site, Cult of Android.