Playing games on my iPhone is not really something that I do that often. If I had the choice of playing something on either my phone or my PS3, the latter would win every time. However, the convenience of the phone when out and about does mean that if there is a spare minute or two to be had, it can easily be filled (providing there is not anything else that needs done).
There are three reasons why I don’t particularly like playing games on my phone. The first is the screen size. For anything worthwhile playing often, trying to play it on a small screen gets tiring after a while. The second reason is that your fingers get in the way of the screen. This cannot be changed as the main input on a touchscreen phone is your finger. The third and final reason is that the majority of applications created are only after your money and thus decisions within them and the design of them is often an afterthought.
Due to the reasons mentioned above there are only two games on my phone currently. That is quite high praise considering I don’t really keep anything on my phone with games and other applications often being deleted when I find I no longer use them. The first game is one that I wrote about on here in 2010 and it has kept its position throughout and on 3 different phones. Colorbind. A delightfully simple yet addictive game where you need to fold paper strips to cover dots. It is a game that you can tell has been designed well with a nice simple idea that can keep you occupied for hours.
The second game is one that I have only recently downloaded. The design stakes have certainly been raised and in the short time I have had it, this game is one of the best designed, most playable and wonderfully quirky games that I have ever played.
The idea behind the game is relatively simple. In each level, you need to guide the main character, called Ida, through a geometric optical illusion. All the levels have elements of optical illusions, impossible objects, explorations of infinity, tessellations and architecture very reminiscent of work done by M. C. Escher, the Dutch Graphic Designer.
Each level is a work of art and when you get further into it either by advancing or even just spinning various objects around, more and more detail is revealed. To top it off, the soundtrack is wonderfully calming too and reminds me of a game on my iPad called Osmos.
The only downside to the game is that there are only 10 levels and if you are good at puzzles it won’t take you long at all. I downloaded the game on Friday morning and by Friday evening I had finished it. I would have been quicker but I was at work! It almost makes the £2.99 price tag seem a little steep, but with the amount of time that has clearly been put into it, the fact you don’t need to buy anything to get further in the game and the sheer replayability of it does make up for that. I should point out that an expansion pack has been made available with a further 8 levels, I am yet to buy that but the base game on its own is enough to keep me occupied for just now.
Monument Valley reportedly took 55 weeks to develop and cost $852,000 to do so. These numbers may seem large for such a small application, but it just goes to show that quality isn’t something that comes quickly or cheaply.
If you like puzzle type games that are well designed and have massive replay value I would strongly recommend this.
Apple App Store
Google Play Android App
Amazon Kindle Fire Apps