Monument Valley creator Ustwo on App Store success and what comes next

Monument Valley review

Many an artist has died poor. Vincent van Gogh famously attracted next to no recognition for his talents during his lifetime. Likewise, William Blake achieved little acclaim while a practising painter, printmaker and poet. And it’s true enough that visionary games developers have sometimes struggled to have their art acknowledged – Thatgamecompany traversed tremendous financial… Continue reading

Monument Valley review

Monument Valley review

Ustwo’s Escher-inspired monuments are impossible, the kind of architectural wonders that simply couldn’t be recreated outside a videogame. And yet they’re powered by such consistent ludic logic that the challenges they present are immediately easy to parse. The first single-screen puzzle tells you how to manoeuvre protagonist Ida – simply tap where you want her… Continue reading

Still Playing: Duet – a frustrating, joyful, beautifully melodic and starkly clinical contradiction

Duet

Duet is a game of conflicts and contrasts. It veers between chaos and order, triumph and despair, life and death, never settling on one or the other. You must tackle the game’s endless maze of deadly blocks with calm, surgical precision — anything less brings about a speedy end. The best puzzle games tend to… Continue reading

How clones, fear, sanitisation and free-to-play soured Apple’s iOS gaming revolution

iOS

Much has changed in the two years since we called Apple “the hottest property in handheld gaming” and said that the company had “changed the videogame industry irrevocably”. Between E236 and today, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has passed away, iPhone 5 has launched and bifurcated, Game Center’s poker-table felt has been torn off in favour… Continue reading

Sensible Software co-founder Jon Hare on releasing a new mobile game into a “morass of crap”

Word Explorer

Sensible Software co-founder Jon Hare hates free-to-play, and despairs at the current state of the App Store. His next release is, of course, a free-to-play iOS word game. Word Explorer is the result of four years’ work, an anagram-based game set on a worldmap which opens out with every correct answer. It’s Hare’s first original… Continue reading

Tengami review

Tengami 2

Tearaway’s paper world was a DIY art project, borne of the fertile imagination of a child and executed with a clumsy-fingered charm, cut, folded and pasted by sticky hands wielding safety scissors and Pritt-Stick. Tengami, by contrast, is the work of craftsmen. Its environments have been cut with premium hobby knives, their layers meticulously assembled into… Continue reading

The heartening story of Blek, the iOS game that cut through App Store cynicism with pure creativity

Blek

Blek’s tale is a timely one. It’s a reminder that within an App Store that’s currently clouded over by cloning and shot through with cynicism that an original, well-executed idea can still carve out a niche and thrive. It is a simple, beautiful iPad puzzle game which casts you in the role of the creator,… Continue reading