Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores
Monument Valley, released this April, is a graphical masterpiece. Players must lead Princess Ida through M.C. Esther inspired mazes in her vague quest to be forgiven by something. The core game was fairly short, with only ten small levels to complete before the end. Ustwo has tried to remedy player's cravings for more Monument Valley with the DLC expansion Forgotten Shores but it feels like less of a game and more of a picture viewing. It seems that these days most apps tend to fall into two categories: either art-house indie titles or clones of games with an obscene amount of in-app purchases. While I will always take an indie over a IAP riddled mess, I'm tired of both of them.
If you loved the original there's more of the same here for you, the game remains gorgeous and it seemed as though the levels may be even crisper. The new flip mechanism used to flip segments of walkway to create new paths was interesting and used well.
This entry only includes 8 new levels and doesn't add anything new to the game-play except for the flip mechanism. The story is obtuse and the whole game seems more focused towards being an art-piece than being a actual video game. Players who are looking for something to take up much time or any kind of challenge will not find it here.
Monument Valley is enjoyable in the same way the Mona Lisa is enjoyable, once you see it once the magic is over. Adding to this feeling is the complete lack of challenge and the short playtime of around an hour. There is no replay value what-so-ever, once the game is over it is over. While I can respect what Ustwo has done with this game, the fact is that it barely qualifies as a video game. If it was marketed as something else I would be all about it, but mobile games are about entertainment and a $6 investment for a 3 hour one-time experience (if you get the original and the expansion) is absolutely not worth it when there are plenty of titles out there for that price or lower that can give days of entertainment. If you have to play it I suggest catching it on sale.