Unique physics-based platformer Monument Valley just hit iOS and it’s insanely great

Monument Valley for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Monument Valley for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Right upon seeing a trailer for Monument Valley, I was drawn to this surreal physics-based iOS game of platforms and perspectives with a twist, to such a great degree that I immediately bought it without thinking.

Created by Ustwo, the same minds who brought us Blip Blup and Whale Trail, the game is an insta-purchase and easily one of the most visual striking titles to grace Apple’s mobile platform since its inception.

Now available for the iPhone and iPad in exchange for four bucks, Monument Valley challenges you to manipulate impossible architecture and guide the silent princess Ida through a stunningly beautiful world.

I’ve included gorgeous screenshots, videos and additional tidbits below the fold…

From the blurb:

Monument Valley is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. Guide the silent princess Ida through mysterious monuments, uncovering hidden paths, unfolding optical illusions and outsmarting the enigmatic Crow People.

Although the described concept sounds complex, the game is incredibly easy to pick up and master as most of the world reshaping uses simple gesture-based controls.

Monument Valley is rich with various optical illusions.

Monument Valley for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)Monument Valley for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)

You’ll immediately notice its unique and minimalist 3D design, which developers say is inspired by palaces and temples from around the world.

Here’s the release trailer.

The game synchronizes your progress across devices via iCloud and reacts to your manipulation of the world with appropriate sound effects.

MacStories editor Federico Viticci has a detailed review up so give it a read if you’re interested to learn more, here’s an excerpt from his hands-on time with the game:

Monument Valley isn’t the next Infinity Blade or Asphalt 8 in terms of 3D prowess, but it exudes sophistication and elegance – traits that don’t require millions of polygons to be appreciated. On the Retina display, Monument Valley is indeed a work of art.

The game doesn’t last long – it can be completed in an afternoon – and the lack of high scores or additional challenges/modes diminishes replay value.

Although it may not last for weeks or force you to think over individual stages for several consecutive hours, every chapter is enjoyable and delightfully realized. Monument Valley is an elegant and fun iOS game that offers a beautiful experience with no equal on iOS.

According to TechCrunch’s one-on-one with devs, they spent ten months just designing the architecture and the levels to “make every screen a piece of art you could hang on a wall.” 

Designer Ken Wong described the game as “a beautiful, exploratory experience, somewhere between exploring a toy shop and reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at creating Monument Valley.

Note that Monument Valley is designed for the iPhone 4 and later and is not compatible with the fourth-generation iPod touch.

Buy Monument Valley in the App Store for $3.99.

Additional info is available at the official website.