Monument Valley Fever

ScreenshotI can’t remember where I found out about Monument Valley (“adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness”) but I do know that it has been played a lot in our house since I bought it a week or so ago. Yesterday evening I couldn’t play, or read the ebook I wanted to, because each kid had claimed one of our two iPads.

The image is a screenshot from the second “chapter” of MV. The game encourages screenshots. I presume that’s so that people will take and share them; it seems to have worked on me.

Princess Ida, in white, needs to step on to the button in the center near the top. Some of the path (the darker part) can be turned using the handle. But that part of the path seems to have risen far above Ida as a result of the last button she stepped on to. What’s a Princess to do in order to get to the next lovely set of puzzles?

The base game consists of ten (X) chapters. My favorite is The Box (XIII), which I can’t describe without spoiling. Then Forgotten Shores adds eight (viii) appendices. That’s eighteen (X + viii) levels, each with its own look and theme. While I love MV, I understand that some people prefer longer, tougher games. I don’t understand the people who trashed Forgotten Shores because it cost money ($2).

As you journey through the levels you see and inhabit different environments, find new ways of changing those environments, encounter black crows and have the princess in white interact with them in various ways. You may well feel, as I did, that the game-makers want to you overcome the challenges, without making too many of them too easy for you, and that the main reward is entering and experiencing the next environment.

Congratulations on Monument Valley to ustwogames, who recently posted some interesting numbers about the game: sales of over $5M; development costs, substantial but far lower; and so on. Michelle Starr at CNET contrasted Monument Valley’s pricing with the freemium model: I for one am glad that I never saw ads in Monument Valley.

Game Boy Color, Ten Years On

Gameboy Games Leaving Home 1I’ve almost finished clearing out what used to be the games closet. Behind the board and card games was the sneaker box containing my Nintendo Game Boy Color (GBC), dozen or so games, and accessories.

I’m selling about half the games. (The photo is the one I’m using for the ebay auction.) The ones I’m keeping are mainly classics like Tetris, which I’ve spent far too much time playing over the past few days, Pokemon Yellow, Super Mario.

I see from Wikipedia that the GBC came out in 1998, and that the GBC and original GB combined sold over 100 million units. I bought my GBC from Kozmo, along with Pokemon Yellow. That was in I think 1999, near the height of the dot-com and Pokemon crazes. The Pokemon craze was of course a lot more rational.

The GBC seemed a little clunky at first, but bears its decade of life well. I’m impressed with the GBC, with Nintendo, and of course with Tetris. Now, if I can just get good enough scores to get my ex-girlfriend off the leader board…