[appicon]The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…


Monument Valley

This might be the shortest Game of the Week post ever, as I don't think it will take much explaining as to why Ustwo's Monument Valley [] is this week's pick. The game has a major feature spot in the App Store, it's currently the #1 paid app (even at four whole dollars), and we loved every ounce of the experience in our 5 star review from earlier this week. Monument Valley has been universally praised by practically everyone, with its only real negative being that it's a pretty short experience. I can think of worse problems to have than gamers wanting more of your game because they enjoy it so much.

If you somehow don't know what Monument Valley is all about, it's an Escher-esque puzzle game with a stylish aesthetic and mind-twisting puzzles. Developer Ustwo has commented that they aimed to create all of Monument Valley so that at any point in the game, at any given time, you could snap a picture of the screen and it would be cool enough to hang on your wall. They totally nailed that aspect–Monument Valley is beautiful. Check the trailer.

So while everyone pretty much agrees that Monument Valley is the cat's pajamas, all those same people also agree they want much more of it. Well, in regards to the game's length, we learned a little something during our developer Twitch stream earlier today, as Ustwo's Ken Wong was hanging out in the chat. When asked if Ustwo will be adding to Monument Valley with updates, Ken stated "Looks like we will. People seem to want more levels." That sounds like a pretty strong maybe to me! That's not all the fun factoids from chat, as Ken divulged that while making his previous game Hackycat [$0.99] he studied Punch Quest [Free] from developers Rocketcat and Madgarden (who just so happened to be the hosts of today's stream). I had no idea the guy that made Hackycat made Monument Valley! How cool is that? You can definitely see the high level of visual style and attention to detail in both games, so it make perfect sense.

Anyway, fun factoids aside, Monument Valley is a game you need to play. It's every bit an experience as it is a game, and although it won't last you more than an hour or two, it'll be some of the most rewarding time you spend with a video game this year.

  • HelperMonkey

    But it's short...

    • kenwong

      Life is short. Enjoy things while they last, friend.

      • thiagovscoelho

        maybe there's a more long-lasting way to enjoy 4 dollars

      • JPhilipp

        It's only a short game if you forget the experience after you've completed it.

    • Brown Cow

      So is Danny Devito, but look how entertaining and awesome he is.

      • mike

        brown cow got u ken

  • worldcitizen1919

    About time a true Game of the Week got awarded Game of the Week.
    Congratulations TA for getting the it right for once.

    • worldcitizen1919

      Sorry double post. Cancelled it but it had already posted.

    • Jacob007

      Try reading the paragraph prior to the actual talking about Monument Valley.

      "If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why."

      I know you support this game as GotW, but since this is "a true GotW" according to you, try utilizing that paragraph next time.
      I had no intentions to flame - just saying.

      Fantastic game as well.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        All he does is read headlines and race to the comments to complain. We're used to it.

  • worldcitizen1919

    About time a real Game of the Week got awarded the Game of the Week. Congratulations for getting it right for once Touch Arcade!!

  • spader623

    I hate to be such a cheapo, but the shortness factor honestly did make me a bit wary about getting it... But considering the fact that they'll probably add more levels, I'll probably get it soon. Plus, ITS SO PRETTY.

    • mike

      i have it...my 3 yo thinks its great but...its not that pretty. its very very simple art, and well polished but...noticed two exagerrated comments about this "artwork" other than yours saying like each stage seems like artwork....and it just doesn't seem like that artistic when its like "LEGO" art....

      • BluMoon31

        Art is subjective. Hence the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." 😉

      • JPhilipp

        Your Legos have Escher physics? Can you send some over?

  • Jake7905

    It's definitely the most discussed game of the week, and a beautiful experience as well. But in the race for best game, FTL is light years ahead of Monument Valley.

    • Chungston


      • mike

        but Out There is better than FTL

      • mike

        and so is Hoplite

      • Jake7905

        Another good game, and a great rogue-like, but doesn't have the depth or longevity of FTL.

      • heresandypandy

        Disagree entirely. FTL has way more depth than Out There, and it's far more more skill based. My experience with Out There was basically "you're either lucky or you're not", there's not all that much skill involved.

      • mike

        there is a randomness to the encounters which lends stronger to a mysterious more realistic atmosphere, but, but despite the randomness, if u balance your resources right you can complete the game on every try. FTL may have more depth in the "combat" department, which also takes you out of the immersion or suspension of disbelief, due to the hokiness of space combat in general, but the writing, physics, events, atmosphere, and story in Out There is far superior. Depth of story eclipses depth of combat between these two. Most of the time you don't fight in Out There, in fact maybe 98% of the times you're just trying to survive by running and avoiding confrontation, but you can encounter 200 plus solar systems and each encounter is unique, intriguing, very human & realistic in nature, and well written (sounds like a scared dude stranded in space writing his journals), and I buy it b/c i can't imagine in the future where we travel through space and we have the nerve to have combat encounters with intelligent life in each solar system even 10% of the time. FTL is more like a Star Trek simulator, Star Trek is great and it was created by Rodenberry before the 80's or 70's. Out There is more creative, unique, original. It has a sort of twilight zone feel to it but better b/c its based on theoretical physics and human philosophy...Its like a combination of FTL, Sorcery 2 but better than both b/c its writing seems to be done by michael crichton and isaac asimov. I hope they make another one very soon. Doesn't have to even be the same game, but whatever these guys do, i'm gona keep an eye out for it.

      • mike

        holy crap i wrote chit load. din't realize. sorry

      • Jake7905

        Out There is no doubt a good game, but it's simply FTL Lite.

      • Frost

        No its not. They just share the theme and being rogue-likes, nothing more, they are completely different games.

  • LarryWP

    This game is incredible! It has ten levels and it was plenty long for me. The levels are so intuitive, I can't imagine designing them. Amazing game in every way.

  • bigjack66

    Agree with the review. It's a beautiful game and is worth every penny! Yes it's short but it's brilliant. Glad to hear there may be more levels.

  • Papa Deuce

    In a week with FTL? Probably the most anticipated game here, ever, and with FTL getting such awesome reviews? Doesn't make sense, especially for a game that has 1 to 2 hours of gameplay.

    • mike

      GoTW definition includes "most surprising" FTL is a port of PC game that was already good, not that surprising

      • VirtualBoyFreak

        Agree with the definition of GotW and why it got it, but I'd have voted FTL too. Even though it's a PC port, touch input makes it look as if it had been thought for iPad. Anyway, my 2 cents there...

      • Papa Deuce

        I have now seen people say they have finished in under an hour. If that is true, I think this GoTW is even a worse choice, even if the game is excellent.

  • ThatAnalog

    Not to spoil the party, and I'm loving this game, but it seems almost criminal not to point out how heavily this game borrows from Fez (xbox 360). I would go so far as to say that MV could not exist without Fez, and borrows even distinct "wow" moments directly from it. This game offers many original ideas, and again, not trying to diminish, but I think people should know where the "paradoxical geometry puzzler" originated. As far as I know, that was Fez. Also the sound design and general artsy-casual nuance bear a striking resemblance. Just had to get that off my chest! Thanks for listening 🙂

    • fisheatcorn

      This is actually more akin to echochrome more than Fez which also came out before. However it certainly has influences of both.

      • Roger Bobdog

        And predating both is Kuju Entertainment/SEGA's PSP (and later 3DS) game, Crush. There's probably something even earlier.

    • bilboa

      Read TA's review of this game. It does mention Fez

  • djstout

    Game of the year with Tanuki Forest and Oasis!

  • paulkane

    H A C K Y C A T ! ! ! ! OMG, love it and have always wanted an update. I know it's wishful thinking, but crazier things have happened. Just writing this makes me want to "saw the moon".

  • Cookies

    This is easily the most beautiful game I've seen on the appstore. It absolutely beats the pants off of any of the ultra realistic ones and the crazy stylized games. Tengami is close, but it doesn't have the amazing flow of this game.

    • mike

      tengami looks better than this...dude the princess looks like a LEGO....you can't really feck up LEGO art b/c its too simple...it's like giving props to pre-school artwork

      • pooh flinging monkey

        You don't like the art, no problem, but let us be clear that saying its is like pre-school art shows how incredibly clueless you are.
        Just because there isn't huge amounts of detail doesn't mean it is simple or easy to get right. In many ways it is more challenging.

      • mike

        no its pretty no doubt. love the mysterious colors. but saying the simplicity makes it more challenging....putting texture into art doesn't make it simpler....well heck....i'm not gonna name call like u...but maybe logic will do the talking.

  • JJE McManus

    A totally outstanding experience that leaves me ready to spend another $4 for more. That a game can deliver so much in such a short period of time is a testament to the beauty and simplicity of its design. In such a rich week that saw the release of FTL, Monument Valley deserves the accolade of GOTW for the delight of it's being a truly mobile experience. As nice a port as FTL is I'll show MV to anyone who wants to know what is so great about gaming on an iPad.

  • Patt

    The 'cat's pajamas' ? Yov've got to be kidding me. This game is really the Horse's Necktie! Without a doubt.

  • kinger8189

    More like game of the year! Loved every moment of it, both times round.

  • AlexsIpad

    Was good, and deserving of game of the week, but for some reason I felt it lacked something. I usually love these kind of games, like the recent Tengami. I almost felt it was trying too hard to be unusual and unique, so I couldn't completely get captured by it. Felt it got a bit repetitive and the story wasn't strong enough. Games like this need to have a meaningful, interesting story, but this one lost me. Also, it could have been longer because this was just too short, and it needed more to challenge you later in the levels rather than just more impossible shapes and birds in the way. Very good but not the best of these kinds of games, I'd give it a 7/10, as there was still a lot good about it and for only £2.50 it was worth the experience overall.

  • Goggles789

    It's really hard to justify recommending this one to my friends. After spending time with it, I realized that it made a great first impression but it lacks depth. I also found it just tiresome to play, after completing the 5th level. I loved it at first, too! Just couldn't hook me.

  • drlemon

    A few things- to start this off, I absolutely agree with this post and the 5 star review.

    I love the game and have recommended it to everyone I can. However, it's length bugged me, and about halfway through, I guessed the ending. Like, I knew how it was gonna end, and that got on my nerves.

    Also the lines are jagged and pixelated on my iphone 5.

    Also this as GOTW surprised me, it's usually lower-key releases.

    Buy this game people, it's astounding.

  • 21tigermike

    Not only do we want more levels, I want more kinds of games with this storyline/art style etc. Make it into an RPG of some kind. I love this 'world'..