Game research Monument Valley

SECTION 1 – INTRODUCTION OF THE GAME

The name of the game

“Monument Valley”

monument-valley-1

The producers or creators of the game

by ustwo
created iPhone apps since 2007
another famous game „Whale Trail“

Language

There is not a lot of language during the game, only in the beginning of each level. However, Monument Valley was designed to read & match the language you have set on your device.

Game platform used for review

Tablet, iPad
however, the game is also available on mobile devices.
The only technical requirement is a touch screen.

What documentation and help files are included?

There are no manuals, you have to figure it out on your own – which is the idea and sense behind this game. Ustwo’s intention was to create a game that everyone finish if you think hard enough and figure out the right perspective.
However, there is a support forum: blog.monumentvalleygame.com/faq/

Accessibility features

There is not really a font resizing because there is hardly any text, only as already said, in the beginning of each level. Those texts are however already that big and clear to read that you do not need font resizing.

There are close caption features for events, however the only control is by touch screen which is not re-mappable. There is also no varied play speed, due to the fact, that the play speed depends on each individual. The color scheme is also not controllable, nevertheless the color scheme is already that beautiful and visually appealing that you have no urge to change it. Also, for those who  suffer from colorblindness, the color does not determine or affect your success in playing.


SECTION 2 – SUMMARY DESCRIPTION AND CATEGORISATION OF THE GAME

Target group

This game is a single player game and does not offer multiplayer opportunities.
Ustwo did intentionally not define a target audience, since this game should be for everyone who has got a certain interest for perspective, geometry and optical illusions or just want to play a visually appealing game.
So the ESRB rating information would be for everyone.

Game genre

Monument valley falls in the category of Puzzle game genre, since it offers the following:

visual perception tricks, different architectual landscapes or portions of landscapes/stairs that can be rotated, flipped or moved by handles, color changes or bumps resembling the connectors on Lego bricks.

Categorisation of the game

Monument valley may in our opinion hold some potential educational benefit for the following categories:

  • presicion/motor skills: you have to shift, rotate and flip things, change perspective with and accurate and concise touch
  • applying concepts/rules: applying concepts of perception, isometry and optical illusions
  • decision making (stategy and problem solving): you have to figure out the precise strategy – of where to go, what to rotate and so on – with which you can master each level.

Does the game specifically target cultural issues and if so, which ones?

No, not really. Since the game plays in a fictive world in which a princess has to climb stairs and walk through architectural landscapes, there are no ethical or cultural issues being addressed.


SECTION 3 – OVERVIEW/ WALKTHROUGH OF THE GAME

Intication of my skill level/ experience in terms of computer/ video games:

Intermediate/ occasionally play games

Provide the back-story for the game and the conditions for success

For me as an intermediate player, it was pretty easy to start the game, since it begins fairly easy.
The first levels introduce the player to the rules and concept of the game. It gets harder and harder and more interesting with each level. Also, I have never seen such a visually appealing game before.

soundtrack

Provide a short walkthrough to describe the steps for successful play

You have to guide the white princess “Ida” through different levels which consist of various architectural landscapes. Those have to be put together or shifted, etc. so that the princess can get to the other side.

Monument-Valley-The-Top-Selling-iOS-Game-This-Week-436086-2

Describe the game play and navigation

You have to figure out the navigation on your own, there are various stairs, paths you can walk on, handles you can push or rotate so that paths change directions, perspective changes, and so on. In the end of each level, you always have to get through a door to step out of another one or into another level.

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Highlight any issues that could hinder play/ confusing aspects

There are also crows wich walk through the levels and hinder you walking past them. They have to be tricked to get past them.
Also, your mind can be tricked through optical illusions, perspectives, etc.

Monument-Valley-crazy-bridgetumblr_n3h7lrovtf1qfrov6o7_500tumblr_mzgkhmpN0W1qfrov6o5_250

Amount of overall game time

Always depends on individual and the individual skills
first levels: easy, 5–10 minutes
Later levels: 10–15 minutes, maybe more, depending on your capabilities

Learning curve time

The estimated amount of time needed to learn how to use the game: Under one minute.

Can the game be saved and restarted from the same point?

Yes


SECTION 4 – PEDAGOGICAL ASPECTS

Please provide suggestions for use of the game in the classrom/ formal educational setting

Monument valley could be used in psychology as well as art classes, due to visually appealing settings and optical illusions, perceptions which is introduced in the game.

Regarding learning outside of a formal education setting – please provide suggestions for use of the game for learning outside the classroom.

It stimulates the brain and the concentration, you learn how your perception can be tricked, how to see things from a different angle.

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