Straight out of the "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" department is some amazingly depressing news from the dudes at ustwo following the release of the Monument Valley [$3.99] expansion, Forgotten Shores. Backing things up a bit, Monument Valley is an incredible game. We effortlessly gave it five stars in our review, and it's included in any list of games I tell people to check out when constantly asked "What games should I get?" Its expansion launched this morning, essentially doubling the amount of content in the game for $1.99.

iTunes reviews of the new version of Monument Valley in the US App Store are currently split 50/50 between people rating it five stars and people rating it one star because the expansion isn't free.

I don't know how many of those angry single star iTunes reviewers read TouchArcade... But, seriously guys? It seems like the hive mind of the App Store is continually pushing developers in to this unrealistic corner of demanding absolutely everything but not being willing to pay anything. The fact of the matter is Monument Valley is an amazing game, made by real artists, working in a real studio, getting paid real salaries, with real families they go home to and support. They're selling their game for a total of six bucks if you buy both the game itself and the expansion. I don't fully understand what happened to get us on this horrible Biff with the almanac timeline of Earth where this kind of thing is unacceptable to iOS gamers.

If you hate free to play, you need to support awesome premium experiences like Monument Valley. This weird position so many people have of hating free to play but also being wholly unwilling to pay for anything isn't realistic, sustainable, and won't end in any kind of result that will make anyone happy. If anything, it's pushing more developers to abandon iOS and try Steam instead, where they can sell a game for $15-$20 without anyone screaming bloody murder. This is not a good thing for us.

So, yeah, check out Monument Valley. It's a great game. The expansion is really cool too. If you have it in you, leave 'em a positive iTunes review. Seeing a game as awesome as Monument Valley as a one star game on iTunes is seriously one of the saddest things I've seen lately.

UPDATE @ 11:00 PM: Well, this has spread like wildfire on Twitter and it looks like the review counts are starting to turn around. Great job everyone, keep it up!

  • MonstersUnderBed

    To be fair, other apps add new content for those who purchased it for free free. I don't see why this shouldn't. Kind of greedy imo.

    • Jake7905

      You're absolutely right. You sound very greedy indeed.

      • Pyroknight


      • b.b.

        The solution is: The rating of an app (or an update) should be seperated into (a) app-experience and (b) price. Otherwise it will remain an endless debate, because unfortunately... idiots will never die off.

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        That's an interesting idea, but I can't think of another real-world example of where you can review the price of something. Usually, that's done by "voting with your wallet."

        The App Store works around this by requiring you to download the thing you're reviewing. In this case, the one-star reviewers already paid for the game and the right to review it, even if they didn't buy the expansion.

        Good on UsTwo for pointing out the whiners.

      • b.b.

        True - but reviewing each expansion / IAP would be too much, other titles have dozen(s) of IAPs. Even if there is no real world example - for me it would be a very helpful feature - e.g. I would purchase an app / IAP if the user gives 5 stars for the quality / experience, but only 2 stars for the price, on the other hand maybe refrain from making the purchase if I see an overall of 2 or 3 stars.

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        I hear you, but like video game reviews on a 100-point scale, I think you'd get a false sense of precision. The 5-star review process is subjective and fuzzy as it is, which I think is a good thing.

        Are children allowed to write App Store reviews? (Seems like it)

      • Design by Adrian

        I've never seen so many up votes on TA!!!

      • Rubicon Development

        That 964 upvoted this does restore some faith in humanity though. 🙂

    • ☞ Craig Stanford ☜

      Maybe because some really talented people spent time creating it? They have bills to pay & mouths to feed too...

      I don't understand this irrational belief that apps should be free...

      • Alchimia Studios

        There is a huge problem with the disconnect between a average user and the actual process of creating a game.

        People don't know how much hard work it really is, and with the app market so saturated, I think the users tend to assume making a game is easy, therefore any work should be free.

        Of course there is also the devaluatation from freemium titles, so people begin to justify it by things like

        " If the majority of titles are free, why should I ever pay/pay full price?"


        " I'll just wait for a sale, it's bound to get cheaper to stay competitive"

        It's a serious problem, but i'm not sure there is a solution at this point.

      • Jachim Soyer

        People don't care how much hard work it is. If other titles offer expansions for free, and this one doesn't, then sorry it gets a bad review. It's not the consumers job to empathize with their non-plight.

      • nomstar

        It's this astounding sense of entitlement right here that drives down the quality of the app store. The developers don't owe you anything at all beyond delivering a good experience in exchange for your initial purchase. If you want to continue to play content that was made by real people using real resources, then if anything you actually owe them for their additional time and effort.

      • JPhilipp

        As this is a system-wide problem, it could be solved by an app store going the flat monthly fee - divided among game time played. E.g. if the fee was 15 bucks, and you played 50 hours of GameA and 50 hours of GameB, they'd both get 7.5 bucks. It could be divided among any type of media (music, movies), obviously with Apple taking a share pre-dividing, and it would in one swoop get rid of the Fremium issue or devs having to spend more time thinking about how to monetize rather than how to make the game more fun. It would also be much more fun for the user because you get to test any game, you don't have to repeatedly sign off purchases, you know there's a capped limit, and you'd instantly get any movie/ game/ music you want, Amazon-Prime style.

      • Spyder

        Sadly all that would do is encourage developers to pad their games out with filler. Monument Valley and Framed, for example, either wouldn't exist or would be much lower quality experiences.

      • JPhilipp

        Not necessarily, because if a game is boring, you may stop playing it altogether -- and it would never even be featured by Apple and get good reviews (thus enter the charts), which seems to be at least half the equation of finding players. Still a good question: how would terrific but short experiences be funded?

      • Professor Power

        I like your idea

      • Alchimia Studios

        World of Warcraft's expansion about to hit should be reviewed poorly and cost nothing by your logic.

        I can understand an issue between quality vs cost, or even free but terrible, but when you say:

        "If other titles offer expansions for free, and this one doesn't, then sorry it gets a bad review."

        That's not even logical. It's literally, "this game is bad automatically because i didn't get to try the content for free, for a game I already paid for and enjoyed and got my monies worth from, woe is me!"

        It's an instant 180 in perception for most of these reviewers.

      • annachka

        Last I checked, you are charged an ongoing monthly subscription fee for World of Warcraft (~15$/month?). That fee funds development of expansions.

      • Sean Metzgar

        That fee funds the ongoing server maintenance, electricity bill, staffing for server facilities, etc...

      • Xandrak

        And also a healthy profit for shareholders. Their actual maintenance costs are a fraction of fees, but they make a profit because it is a desirable product.

      • FootSoldier

        Your statment was so ideotic, that I'm going to the App Store right now and downloading the update.

      • Michael O'Connor

        Making a living is a non-plight?

      • MooseCommander

        Their non-plight, like...getting paid for their hard work and effort? Non-plight like, buying food, paying rent, etc. Yeah, no big deal to not get paid for your work. Consumers probably don't care about what you do, either, so we should probably just expect you to work and not get paid for it either.

      • Oversoul

        You despicable piece of shit. They are doubling the content of an amazing game. Doubling it. They spent months of time and energy working on this, and you're complaining that it's two fucking dollars? Two dollars? Two? They are in good faith giving you hundreds if not thousands of man-hours of passion for the price of a fucking medium box of fries at McDonalds and you have the gall to complain, and minimize the importance of their talent and effort? You don't fucking deserve their game, or anything for that matter. Your parents should beat the shit out of you, and then I should beat the shit out of them for failing to raise you properly.

      • Goggles789

        Jesus Christ simmer down there!

      • Onikage725

        Then don't buy it. But to leave a 1 star review is ridiculous. Mobile gaming is the only space I see reviews used to just vent. A 1 star should be used if the game is bad, our has serious issues and poor support. Not "I don't have two bucks right now." It's hilarious as a console gamer to watch. I see people whining about X-Com Enemy Within being a standalone $12 release and not free update. It costs $30 on Steam and consoles currently. It may have launched for more. It was never a free patch. But here it is, almost out of the blue when previously they said it likely wouldn't happen, for just under 2/3rds off the normal asking price. And people complain. They can't knock $18 off the price without people whining for "free" content that is substantial.

        Who is giving EXPANSIONS for free? You get patches, and at times additions or a new mode. Especially with companies utilizing extensive IAP models. But what standalone game without IAP is giving out full EXPANSIONS for nothing?

      • Onikage725

        tl;dr it absolutely IS the consumers job to educated when making value decisions. No one is telling you how to spend your money, but if you're going to publicly run your mouth at least try not to sound ignorant.

      • Rubicon Development

        Then updates will stop. Free or otherwise.

      • Moribund Cadaver

        The customer is not always right. Despite what some think, bad customers do get criticized and deserve it.

        A customer who is so ignorant they don't understand or appreciate value contributes to poor trends in markets. The situation on mobile and iOS in particular demonstrates what happens when bad customers are pandered to and made "kings" by those exploiting them.

      • negitoro

        Most people don't care about how much work it is at all. To a consumer, the production process is transparent (and maybe rightfully so). The only thing that matters for most people is getting the most product that at least partially meets their wants/needs for the least amount of money possible.

        This isn't really a game problem... this is something that happens with basically every industry.

        Whether a movie costs $200 million or $2 million, whether an author took 3 months or 30 years to write a book, whether that gadget cost $2 or $200 to manufacture, most people simply don't care.

        Everyone whines about something or the other costing too much and not giving us what we want for the amount of money we want it at.

        Is music too much at a dollar a track? Many of us apparently think so because music is pirated like crazy. Meanwhile, people think mediocre $200 headphones are worth it because a celebrity said so regardless of whether other brands are better engineered or better made.

        To us, the quality of a game is 'worth it' and we pay a premium price for premium games. For other people, they simply don't want to pay for it and when asked to do so, they'll balk and complain since they don't get the content they want at the price they want it at.

      • whitestatic

        The difference is people aren't leaving reviews on stereos complaining that they aren't free.

      • drkrpr

        How do we make them believe that apps are worth $100 then

      • Space Gorilla

        If your app enables a job-to-be-done that I need that is worth more than $100, then I'll pay $100 for your app. Granted, that would not be a mainstream app, but if the ROI works, that's how you sell it.

        I've long thought apps are too cheap. You have to educate customers and help them to be better customers. Too many cheap and free apps simply trains customers that things should be cheap or free. Start pricing good apps higher and you might be surprised. I would have paid ten bucks easily for Monument Valley. For me ten bucks is cheap. I don't think I'm alone.

      • drkrpr

        Hey! I thought 10 bucks' a good price for the game, inclusive of the latest update, too. The quality is simply there.

        I feel that the problem is that society does not recognise the value in quality. Which is why, we are (usually) blinded by brands, which mostly take precedence over durability, ease of servicing, etc.

      • Space Gorilla

        Give people quality and value, charge a good but fair price for it, and there's a large segment that will go for it. That's what Apple does, they basically tell the cheap crowd to piss off. App developers need to do more of this, tell the people who want everything cheap and free to piss off. Then the rest of us can get back to having nice things.

      • negitoro

        I think there would be more of this if more people gave away free stereos. But in fact, people complain about higher priced products all the time.

        But I'm sure we see people complaining about products with low priced options all the time. I see "X offers this option but costs $Y less" arguments often without considering other factors. Heck, we're on a iOS gaming site... we should be used to seeing people saying how overpriced Apple hardware is because a comparable tablet/music player/computer/phone is cheaper and/or does more and leave uneducated reviews/comments about it everywhere.

        The difference is that the lowest established baseline price for these products isn't free.

      • Onikage725

        It is a game problem, especially on appstore. I often see poor reviews of a game, complaining that sequel hasn't come out. That'd be like leaving a one star review on psn for Chrono Cross because Squenix never made a third game.

      • negitoro

        I was originally commenting on the perceived problem that mobile gamers don't pay for content, so this is entirely a different issue.

        However, bad reasons for poor reviews is hardly a game problem. Again, it's just a problem with general human behavior in general that we happen to notice more. I'm sure the demographics don't help but in general it's not creating a problem we're not seeing elsewhere.

        You can log on to Amazon, Yelp or whatever other user submitted review site and find a plethora of biased reviews for factors that aren't even related to the product at hand - slow shipping times, unavoidable issues, hate for the company/person responsible for the product, associating poor past performance, etc.

      • Tuzzo

        The real problem is the disconnect between the average players and their seemingly absent brains :/
        Yeah, right: others make completely free updates, so everybody should do this. Oh, wait! Many others just fill their games with timers and IAPs to the point you have to pay to do anything. Everyone should use this gaming model! Oh no, no, wait: there's people willing to pay € 69,99 to buy video games on home consoles, and pay another € 69,99 for the same game on the next gen a year later. This is the way to go!!
        Each developer chooses what's good for itself, but I don't understand why there's so many stupid people that can't understand the production value of a game.
        Less that 6 bucks for Monument Valley + expansion is a steal. I wish I could pay them more to support this studio.

      • FootSoldier

        Thank You!! These people will be the down fall of IOS gaming.

      • HUKASFILM LTD. ✩ @ghookahs

        I wish that made sense. Fucking weirdo alarmists.

      • ☞ Craig Stanford ☜

        ▐ ・ ‿ ・▐

    • zarawesome

      Other apps rely on the microtransaction model to remain marketable.

      • Crius

        And that kind of game are just the worst because to bring a profit they need to make the concept of the game around the idea of microtransaction instead of some nice and interesting gameplay solution.

        I gladly pay 5 bucks for a game and doesn't have to worry about finding some pay wall that prevent me from enjoying the content.

        A very good example is the well-known Knight of Pen & Paper. You pay for the game and inside you've microtransaction for the lazy enough who doesn't want to just play the game as its intended to be played.
        But you can easily play it without any extra payments at all.

    • Themostunclean

      To be fair, many other apps are loads of crap.

    • Michael O'Connor

      Because this stuff takes time and money and hard work and people should actually pay for things instead of expecting everything for free.

      • ☞ Craig Stanford ☜

        Bang on the money!

    • t0dk0n

      You act like $2 more is some sort of ripoff, yet you forget that psp and as games of the same caliber would cost 5x more easily. For the price of a coffee, you're supporting an awesome developer with upfront costs to pay to own the games newer expansion pack. That's hardly a bad deal when you're rewarded with about the same amount of content as the original game.

      • Michael O'Connor

        Heck, most coffees here cost more...

      • RF9

        Especially when if you have the game you already know if the new content is worth getting. If you actually want it, then it must be worth paying for, otherwise you wouldn't care that it's not free.

      • Yannis

        Only comment that made sense so far.

    • iAjent

      Soooooo... You're unemployed? Or do you work for free as well?

      • Catacul

        Kids can't have a job.

      • FootSoldier


      • Jellybit

        Of course you never work for free. You get paid for the first week, then it only makes sense that they don't have to pay for any future work you do. But again it's not for free. They did have to pay you for that first week.

    • StealthDawg


    • Agkelos

      Expansion packs to any PC game usually cost at least 10x as much as this one ( thinking of FFXI and WoW). And it's in support of the devs. If you like it enough that you want to play the expansion, you should be willing to pay for it. Good entertainment isn't and shouldn't be free.

    • Dude.. Welcome..

      you're a moron. you can't keep dishing out new content without any sort of profit. teams work on these things and are PAID to do so. haven't you seen the trailer for the dlc? was that just incomprehensible to you? money's gotta come from somewhere, and if it's continually comin' from the companies who're creating the damn products that they intend to sell, they're not going to be making a profit, therefore won't be making a living, therefore won't be able to live. god, i feel ridiculous explaining this, it's so painfully elementary. piss off, you incompetent twat.

      these are the same deadbeats who defiled badland with crap reviews because, god forbid, they weren't being handed enough free post-launch content, despite their strongest argument being the coffee-change they tossed over for the game months beforehand.

    • HamboneMcGee

      Lead by example then, stop accepting a paycheck.

    • rick gregory

      Because you want something but you're too cheap to pay $2 for it? Do you and others like you even understand economics? IF they can't continue to support themselves by charging for what they do in this game they'll have to make money doing other things.

      Two Dollars. And you complain. How cheap can you people get?

    • gregmaletic

      You, sir, are an idiot. And a cheapskate. $2 add-on to a $4 game.

    • scamper

      This has been a 5-star game from the start, so ignore the “1 star until everything is free!” kiddy brigade. If $2 is “greedy,” then you simply don’t understand the value of creative work. You'll learn.

    • RF9

      I don't see how charging for the work you do is being greedy. How entitled have game consumers become? Everyone wants everything for free these days. I guess I'm just old and remember a time when nothing was free and you simply paid for stuff.

    • Gabriel

      $2 f-ing dollars. Listen to yourself. How bout go figure out why games are free and then ask yourself "why aren't groceries free?", "why do they charge for water?".....get a grip

    • Lane Daughtry

      Because developers want to support their families and build more games. The bass ackwards value perception by people about apps is crazy. We're discussing $1.99 for MONTHS of work and you're talking about greedy.

    • Jens Alfke

      Oh good, I was hoping some of the dimwits who complained about the update would be reading this post so they could get a good helping of our contempt. You don't have to pay anything for the contempt either! We're happy to heap it on you for free.

    • Jun Hyeon Mun

      The thing is, Monument Valley ISN'T like any other app or game. The craftsmanship and artistry of this game are absolutely unparalleled. All the article is saying is, if we aren't going to pay for awesome content, who'd ever want to create it?

    • a0me

      To be fair, a lot of high quality, premium games offer paid expansions, via in-app purchases too. I guess that some of the backlash could have been reduced if the game had a "Chapter 1" menu from the start, like in most other episodic games.

    • Estrica

      There are a couple of ways:
      - the game goes out incomplete, you will get content updates "free" until it's finished (usually you pay a discounted price)
      - you subscribe, you get the content updates (as that's the inly way they can make you keep on playing and paying)
      - a completely different game is sold that you can buy separately (usually this is the solution, but on phone it's possible to just update)
      - a separate dlc is sold (again, on phone it's possible within the app)
      - the game is free, but there is extra content to pay for
      This is more like a DLC, but could have been sold as a separate app. Being a programmer myself (though not game developement), I know how incredibly much effort and time is put on a project like this. It's completely normal they are asking money for it...

    • TokyoDan

      You are an asshole.

    • anabolicMike

      Your right and some of those devs are being far too nice. Look at Junk Jack X! It's amazing the updates those devs have been doing! They should be charging for them! There's three times the content there was and those crazy loveable fools give it away for free! I always buy some of their IAP (which I must add you do not have to purchase in anyway) Good for the devs who made this game for asking for some compensation for the obvious time they took building these puzzles. It's a couple bucks people, used to buy super nes games for sixty freaking bucks.... Stop being a bunch of losers, if you can't afford it then you shouldn't be playing it! Devs gotta eat too you know! Keep charging devs! Or in PixBits start charging for updates!

    • Wolfos

      If 10 people spend 6 months making a game, should it be free? Do you understand the cost of employing 10 people for 6 months? Assuming a low salary of $2k a month, that's $120,000.

      • Soflow

        Just because 10 people spend 6 months making a game it doesn't mean they deserve to make money. If you want a guaranteed pay check, get a salaried job. If you want to start your own company doing your hobby for a living, you get to take the risk of the market rejecting your business model.

        Everyone likes to complain about entitled consumers, but some content creators act like they have a god-given right to succeed as a business.

      • bilboad

        If people really don't want the game, then of course they're under no obligation to buy it just because the developers worked hard on it. But the people complaining about the developer charging $2 for their work are people who actually want to play the game, yet they think they're entitled to have it for free. I can't think of any rational way to defend that attitude as making sense or being in any way mature.

      • Wolfos

        I understand the sentiment, but that is not what I meant. I don't mean you should be giving them money if you don't think the game is worth it, but you shouldn't be complaining when creators ask perfectly reasonable amounts of money for things they make. We're talking about a $4 game for fuck's sake.

    • AjaxJump

      Yeah, I won't be buying this game.

    • T_Will

      This entitlement mentality is a much larger cultural problem. I'm not sure how we are going to reverse this way of thinking.

    • HyperDuck SoundWorks

      purchased.. free.. not sure this makes sense. It was free. If you don't want the extra content, you don't buy it. Chances are if you like the game, you will like it, however.

    • djstout

      6 dollars isn't even enough to buy two coffee at a cafe, so paying 6 dollars for a beautiful game made with love is very very fine to me

    • Space Gorilla

      I've never seen this "free free" price you speak of. Monument Valley costs four bucks, it was never free. The expansion is two bucks. You are the problem.

    • EgoAnt

      If we equate this to any other industry nobody would even think twice.

      Me: "So, I paid you to build this house, I lived in it for a year and loved it."

      Home builder: "That's great to hear! So you'd give us 5 stars for the quality of the house we built?"

      Me: "Oh, yeah. Definitely. But now I have decided that I want you to build a sun-room and a bigger deck. When will that be ready?"

      Home builder; "Well, that's going to take a lot of time and effort. The cost is $15,000."

      Me: "WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! YOU ARE SO GREEDY. ONE STAR!"

    • Maya Milusheva

      An actual developer here. Well, if it's greedy don't play it. Go play farmville. If you want quality you've got to pay and that's it. Quality doesn't come free. And honestly are you that CHEAP? $6 is too much for you? Get a job. Do you want to flood the app store with farmville clones? I don't think so...

    • Rubicon Development

      It blows my mind that 55 people so far have upvoted this. Just. WOW.

    • hamilton geyser

      lol thats not remotely "fair". you people are amazing.

    • jvm156

      remember when super nintendo games cost $69 and they were basic and too hard to get more than a few levels in before ya gave up... yeah stop whining

    • Phil Dhingra

      I blame the system. If you have every other dev shoveling freebie crap that to most people is good enough, then it will devalue the good stuff. It all becomes a race to the bottom for app devs. My radical idea: don't let apps be free. At minimum, apps should be $1. If songs on iTunes aren't free, why should apps?

  • spokentruths772

    True skate does this all the time yet no one complains

    • Wolfos

      Some of their new skateparks are barely worth the $1 they're asking for it. Badly textured and around 5 x 10 meters in size. Not saying they should be free, though, they should just be better.

  • Based Xatu

    This happened when tiny thief came out, too. Most of the down votes, were from people who got it free on apples Christmas program.

  • J.R. Jalapeno

    You need to post this as a review. This is ridiculous. People suck. These are the people who will spend 5 bucks on a latte.

    • cofunguy

      Sorry not true...don't like coffee. But also I know this is an expansion and some companies do charge for them. And when those companies do there usually is done backlash. Sad but true

      • cofunguy

        done -> some. Darn autocorrect!

      • rick gregory

        Fine, then a soda or something. The "$5 for a coffee" line is to show that many people will pay more than this about for something they will literally piss away. Yet when it's software, somehow it should be theirs for free forever.

    • APPEW

      Totally agree! Sites like TouchArcade and our community (still, to a much lesser extent) are the last islands of sanity. Too bad that user reviews are so tightly tied to the appearance and ranking of an app. When in the wrong hands, reviews become a powerful weapon and easy to manipulate. We believe that one of the main reasons for this app consumer madness is the lack of a community of reviewers behind the App Store. For a couple of months now, we've been preaching about the need of a strong community spirit among app users, and how this could help many to understand why paying for quality content should be the norm and not the exception.

  • mzinn

    Ugh! Some people. This is a brilliant game & is very fairly priced. No complaints here. I thank the developers for such a wonderful experience.

  • solinari6

    I was under the impress way back when, that they said if they came out with new content it would be free. Maybe that's what is causing the uproar?

    • gregmaletic

      Even if they did... two dollars?! Complaining about two dollars?! That is free.

      • jonas nielsen

        Doesn't matter, if they promised free content and then decided to make it paid they deserve the flack they're getting

      • gregmaletic

        1) Please link to where they promised free content. (They didn't.)

        2) In a fair world, this DLC would be $15-$20, not $2.

        3) Do people like playing games like this? If they do, they have to be paid for. Otherwise they won't be created.

        4) Two f-ing dollars. How could anyone complain about two f-ing dollars. It's embarrassing.

      • jonas nielsen

        Notice i said IF. I replied to your flawed statement regarding a situation where they promised free content. I never said they actually did

        As for 3. No, i'd rather see these types of pretentious wannabe art games disappear. I'm so tired of non games like Dear Esther, Gone Home, The Stanley parable and DQ getting hype from bloggers while having almost no gameplay

        If i wanted art, i'd get some from real artists like reading a good book, watching a great movie or listen to music

      • Shaun Musgrave

        I'm not sure what those other ones are and I don't think TA's talked about them, but I highly object to you calling DQ a non-game with no gameplay. Dragon Quest is a great series with deep, compelling RPG gameplay. Stand down!

      • jonas nielsen

        Yea my bad. I used DQ for Depression Quest, not the brilliant Dragon Quest

      • gregmaletic

        Monument Valley was likely the best game that came out last year. That it achieved that in approximately 90 minutes of gameplay only illustrates how powerful it was. (And no matter how you cut it, $4 for 90 minutes of entertainment is a completely fair price.)

        Do yourself a favor and play it. Why relegate yourself to commenting from the sidelines?

      • jonas nielsen

        Because by paying for it i'm supporting the idea that it's ok to release a game with less than 2 hours of gameplay

        I wouldn't pay 1$ for it either. I'm firmly against the trend of releasing shorter and shorter games disguised as psedu art no matter how much it cost

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        It's neat that your money is worth so much but your time is not. How many of these threads, about a game you won't even try, are you going to troll?

      • jonas nielsen

        You need to read up on trolling my friend and also, calling someone who provides valid arguments a troll is basically trolling which is quite ironic don't you think?

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        I'm not your friend. You call things that I like "pretentious wannabe art games," and you post repeatedly in threads about games that you will not play. That's the definition of trolling. That's not particularly ironic. It's just a little sad.

      • jonas nielsen

        Someone needs to look up the definition of trolling

        Tip my friend - It's not what cool kids at reddit says it is

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        So let's get this straight

        You are the arbiter of what is

        a. a good game
        b. a good value
        c. the definition of trolling

        what else can I learn from you today?

      • jonas nielsen

        Lots more but you'll have to pay 3$ for each lesson. I need the money to buy the next 4 MV levels!

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        You are smart and witty, and probably handsome, too. I hope we can continue this all day long.

      • jonas nielsen

        Sorry, your initial time is up. For more, please insert 3 dollars

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • gregmaletic

        Why is it not okay to release a game with less than two hours of gameplay? Short stories are a thing; why not short games? (The two best games of any length that I played last year—Monument Valley and Device 6—were in the two hour range.)

      • Edwin Ramirez

        90 minutes? Those 10 levels took me less than 40 minutes. I didn't rush through them either; it's just that each level was extremely easy.

    • Design by Adrian

      I'm was under the impression that it wouldn't. Funny, isn't it?

  • Tomate Diseño

    There's a degree of toxicity that comes with any form of add-on / DLC / updates I find understandable. It's not a new thing, as a kid I'd be tormented by the necessity to buy a single already on an album I bought for the B-Side, record companies were double dipping into my pockets - why wasn't this song on the album!? So while this is a different situation all I'd say is - keep your releases separate - everyone loves a successful follow-up.

    • jb

      I disagree. Dealing with multiple version-copies of apps is a pain in the ass, while doubling the content of my existing app for half price is awesome.

      • Tomate Diseño

        I'll take having multiples of everything rather than one core file to install that then has to download and install multiple updates to be experienced.

  • jrtoastyman

    Totally agree, one starring a game this fantastic over something as petty as the fact that you have to pay is absurd. If you fundamentally disagree with the idea of charging for add on content, perhaps you ding it a star or asterisk your review in the text, but for pete's sake, the game is objectively one of the best games in this genre and to rate it so low on that basis is unfair.

    My only complaint is that the game eventually ends. I'm trying to avoid playing the new levels all at once so I have something to look forward to.

  • Kevin MacLeod

    Sad, but after Tiny Thief (which had actual, real problems with the update, in addition to the paid DLC), this isn't surprising.

    I wonder if they'd be facing similar reviews if this expansion had been released as a separate app download with a separate price.

    • Ubisububi

      That's the real lesson here. Always release new content as a sequel so as not to befuddle the small minded.

    • Glorkbot

      I suggested that to them before release, that they should release it as a separate app, but they thought they HAD to release it as an update since they had promised an update.

  • Andrew Smith

    It is a glorious game. I've replayed it 4 or 5 times, and bought the expansion as soon as it came out. Please don't be disheartened ustwo, many of us love your game and appreciate you producing the expansion which you richly deserve to be paid for.

  • speedyph

    VERY VERY sad

  • NeonGreenKermit

    Honestly... some people do not deserve anything. It's a toxic mindset, the uberconsumer, who has never once attempted to create and sell something that might resemble a labor of love, who feels entitled to all things because nothing has any real value to them above the price tag. Absolutely disgusting. I have little money for games, but I part with my cash willingly to support those people who create the little things that enhance my life in meaningful ways.

  • Ubisububi

    Those F2Players (AKA Pay2Play Haters) sure are an entitled bunch.

  • nonstickron

    Guarantee the majority are kids, without any actual income to spend in IAPs, venting their frustration at life for their situation on a Gmae they liked well enough for its new content's inaccessibility to rile them up. In that respect, it's kind of a compliment. Lol.

  • GaZ-OiD

    Doubling the content (nearly) but there was very little content to begin with. I think the eight extra levels should have been free to those who bought the original.

    • Anotherkellydown


    • Shayddar

      I wish you to work for free moron

      • GaZ-OiD

        Your hard, so we now know you can spell moron

      • Shayddar

        And we know you don't know the difference between your and you're.

      • subshell001

        Wow, you really are a moron.

      • Soflow

        Why is everyone pretending not to understand the difference between having a job and running a business?

        You get paid to work a job because someone asked you to do it. No one asked them to make a game, and they don't automatically deserve to make a profit just because they did.

      • Shayddar

        With that logic of yours we wouldn't have anything in life.

        As an employee, you work for a business (company,...) right? Even though you are paid for the job you "were asked to do" but, the owner of the company has to pay you, the other employees, and him/herself. Do you still follow me? So, the profit is necessary to make a sort of living. And if you were to run your own business, you would need some profit to live.

        I am curious to know how you would do to survive without making money to pay for the basics. Having mom paying for you doesn't count.

      • jonas nielsen

        Completely fallacious and horribly flawed logic

        Just because someone make a product doesn't mean they're guaranteed revenue. The market goes by supply and demand. Capitalism baby

        By your, extremely moronic, logic i could make the worst game ever, price it 100$ and complain when it doesn't sell. See how stupid that is?

        Now i haven't rated this game because frankly i'm so tired of 'it's an artsy experience' games that i refuse to buy a game which can be completed in an hour. Yes it's 2 dollars but as the market is currently that's not cheap for a game on the appstore. We can argue if that's bad or not but that's besides the point. They're making a game in the current market and that's where they have to compete

  • Robert McGovern

    Well said!

  • Luciano1084

    Do people realize developers have to eat too?

    • Chris Brady

      Evidently not. Welcome to humanity.

    • jonas nielsen

      So that means they have an inherent right to overprice a game and complain when people are unhappy with that?

      • Fadzlan

        Well, I have to say, if anything above zero is considered "overprice", that makes me sad.

        In that manner, only the big guns can survive, and with that less choices in the mobile gaming scene.

        Well, I understand that to you the price of this particular game is worth zero, because its not your cup of tea. Heck you are even against the game direction, which is fine, we all have our own opinions.

        But when the majority says anything above zero is overpriced, it's kinda makes me sad for people who choose to stay in that industry.

        The devs are not complaining that the sales are low. I am just not sure that they should think that their game worth nothing.

        So anyone who creates any value should think that their work is worthless? Maybe it is worthless, but should anyone believe whatever they do is overpriced unless its zero?

        We all have our own opinions, but I think its a stretch to say anyone who thinks their work should be more than zero in price to be "entitled".

  • Qaioud

    Well. This has encouraged me to re-DL monument valley!

    I find this a difficult one, tbh.

    On the one hand, Rovio churned out absurd quantities of free updates in their pre-freemium days, in ways that set an unreachable benchmark for many devs.

    On the other hand, there are devs that make this level of outrage eminently understandable. Sid Meier's plane-based strategy games were pointless for gamers, but useful as cash cows; the recent addition of Civ "2" to the App Store (£10ish, for no significant new gameplay?) played into a similar theme.

    And on my third hand, I'd gladly pay £20 to have Real Racing 3 in its original, pre-update, less hyper-freemium state. And that applies equally to a barrel load of similar freemium efforts, for whom "free updates" are basically gouging mechanisms.

  • Patashu

    I'm gonna check this out, because the only criticism of Monument Valley I had was that it ended before it got hard enough. Thanks for the heads up!

  • bobcorrigan

    Ignore the trolls. Apple does. This game won a design award, and its likely that it will continue to "win" in the marketplace.

  • curtneedsaride

    Alright, even though I don't have time in my gaming schedule to play another new game, I'm grabbing it and the expansion just so I can leave a good review. This has been on my list since it cam out, but I'm still catching up on my backlog. I just bought the Knights of Pen & Paper added DLC. This is a good reminder to write a new review for that too! Thanks, TouchArcade.

  • bobcorrigan

    And I would ask that anyone prepared to leave a one star review do so with their real name. Take responsibility for your "I want everything free" childishness, IMO.

  • Slightlynorth

    Hipstamatic adds a $0.99 expansion every single month and no one bitches about that. Gamers are the worst.

  • mr_bez

    Thanks for the reminder to go leave a five star review after playing through the expansion earlier!

  • TomDy

    I am sorry but I do not blame people! Although I loved MV, it was so very short, esp. for the cost. I expected the new levels to be free as the game only lasted an hour.

    I would NEVER rate a game 1 star because of that, but I can understand why people are upset.

    • Yowan Langlais

      $2 for about an hour of gameplay. 2$!!! People pay almost $20 to go see a 1:30 long movie. What the heck people? Video games takes months and months of crazy effort to build, and you think 2 freaking bucks is too expansive?? The phone on which you're playing costed $700 and you're complaining for 2 bucks???

      • jonas nielsen

        Fallacious and flawed

        The market is what it is. MV doesn't exist in a vacuum and it's content/price ratio is too low. That's just how it is

    • RF9

      I can't (understand it.) If you have a beef with the length of the game for $4, leave a bad review for the game from the git-go or contact the developer and tell them you think it's inappropriately priced. Don't complain because there's a later add-on for a reasonable price. You were never promised more content when you bought the game for $4 so you're not entitled to an expansion for free.
      I can't believe how entitled people are about tablet games. The same people drop $60 on questionable XBOX and PS4 titles. Then turn around and spent $20 on DLC.

      • jonas nielsen

        Good point, one of the few on this article

        They definitely should have made the 1 star review from the start because honestly, charging premium price (as the market currently stands) and then delivering one hour of gameplay is not ok in my opinion

        Which is why i never bought MV

      • gregmaletic

        If you never played the game, you won't understand why it's worth way more than $4.

        Why wouldn't you want to experience one of last year's best games for $4? Why would you deprive yourself of that? You're the one losing out.

      • jonas nielsen

        I've seen enough to know it's yet another pretentious wannabe art game, sacrificing content for the illustion of being a work of art

        Those games can't disappear soon enough imo. There are plenty of 2-3 dollar games on the appstore that offers lots of content and great gameplay. I'll stick to those

      • RF9

        Dude, it's a *puzzle* game. And a creative one at that.

      • RF9

        In what world is $4 a premium price for a game? I can accept that you feel that it's priced too high but premium priced it is not.
        Did you contact the developer and tell them that you think it should be cheaper? No. You didn't even leave a review.
        This is the reason no one is making anything other than crappy free play to play games. Would you rather it be free and have to spend "$20 for a bucket of gems" to gat past an annoying artificial 1 hour delay?
        And 1 star? Really? 3 maybe for it being overpriced but 1 star is only appropriate for truly bad it non-working games.
        This is why we can't have nice things.

      • jonas nielsen

        4$ IS premium price on the appstore, like it or not. No game exists in a vacuum, it must compete with the games in the same market

        No, i didn't contact the developer because i knew from articles and screenshots that it wasn't my kind of game and why would i leave a review of a game i never played?

        I buy lots of premium games - games with content like Bioshock, Civ Rev, Banner Saga etc. I hate freemium games, that's not what this is about so don't give me the tired old cliche about i'm the reason why we don't have premium games

        I'd gladly pay 20$ for a proper simcity game on IOS

  • Anotherkellydown

    Wow, this is surprising news indeed. It doesn't make me sad, it makes me mad. This game has had in indescribable impact on my life, as silly as that may sound, and I was overjoyed to pay the lousy two dollars to get all these new levels. Playing it again this morning brought all those great feelings back. I actually forgot how amazing a game this was. When it first released, I played through the entire thing and was so satisfied with the time I spent, regardless of challenge, length, or whatever "negatives" people are placing on it. This is so disappointing, I can only imagine how ustwo are feeling about this. I'm going to the AppStore right now to leave a 5 star review and I encourage anyone else who is as upset over this as I am to do the same.

  • PoloBaquerizoH

    People is cheap, and don't understand the importance to support the art behind the effort of real quality developers, yes is truly sad to realize that. This game deserves the best and people should be glad to pay for more of it.

  • flyingeye

    I struggle with the idea this game lacked content to begin with. Under $5 for an hour of visually arresting art and compelling mechanics. If you want something that takes you "longer" I am sure you can go find plenty of timer based games to play. As the article notes these sorts of reactions are why we can't have nice things on the IOS platform.

    • jonas nielsen


      There are plenty of 2 dollar games which 10 times the content and no timers/freemium/engergy system crap

  • araczynski

    its simple people, vote (on itunes and in RL) or just STFU. everyone's entitled to their opinion. no matter how stupid it may seem to some, 1 person = 1 vote.

    • Rubicon Development

      Yes, but you're assuming others want to hear it.

      • araczynski

        No more/less than yours mine or eli's. This is not a case where you can have your cake and eat it too. If you trade with the masses you don't get to be immune from their wrath. Its business. They made a business decision and this happens to be the outcome, in this case. Live and learn or take your toys and play in another sandbox.

      • Rubicon Development

        We're taking our toys and playing in another sandbox. Surely you don't want all mobile devs doing that?

      • jonas nielsen

        No, not you but the devs who makes artsy story telling crap with no content? Yea, they can go make their games on another platform for all i care

        I don't care about the price point, making a game with an hour of gameplay is an insult to old school gamers and i'll never pay for it

        For the record i have bought several of your games because they have lots of content and are well made

    • jb

      Downvoted your comment.

      • Rubicon Development

        Yes, but you're assuming others want to hear it.

  • Rubicon Development

    I'm kinda through with reading all this freetard stuff about "apps should be free", "apps should be expanded indefinitely", "2 dollars is greedy", "devs should work for nothing", etc.

    Paid sales for us are pitiful on iOS now even with bowing to that peer pressure, so we're flat giving up on it. If our next Best Little War Game comes to iOS it will do so for the price it's going on Steam - $9.99.

    • dancj

      I replied to this earlier, but it's not there now. Has my past been deleted for some reason?

      • dancj

        Weird. My missing post has reappeared.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        It's the spam filter. Comments sometimes get stuck in there until Jared or Eli come and manually push them out. It's a bit zealous for an automaton.

      • dancj

        Ah - thanks

    • jonas nielsen

      And how do you expect your earnings to be on Steam?

      It's a cut throat market and while it might be a little easier on PC there are plenty of good games not earning enough in that platform too

    • RF9

      People wanting free is the reason iOS games are so terrible now. All that's being put out are fermium games with artificial delays that try to get you to buy a bag-o-gene for $5. $10, &20.
      Look what happened to dungeon siege. An excellent game destroyed with the greed-I'm model. I'd rather pay $20 on time for it to be as intended.

  • Jeremy Price

    Just re-downloaded and bought the new levels. I'll be happy to add a 5 star review to help balance the scales.

  • crapple2011

    Will buy the expansion now, even if I am only a few levels into the original game, also will give a five star review.
    So this game including expansion is USD 6 and people give 1 star ratings because of this? Are you nuts?
    And all this while a real money extortion scheme like Real Racing 3, an abomination second to none, still averages 3-4 stars!?

  • Wizard of Odyssey

    This is so depressing to me. I remember when a SNES game would cost sixty bucks, and you couldn't put it in your pocket. Monument Valley is a work of art and I'm also going to 5-star it and get the expansion just to tilt the scales in the right way again.

    UsTwo had trouble breaking even with Whale Trail, too-- another great game. Or maybe they just want MORE MONEY, which is fine.

    • Glorkbot

      I remember some SNES games were as high as $80!

    • jonas nielsen

      What SNES game could you complete in an hour?

      As for a work of art, i want games not weak attempts at art. There are far better mediums and artists for that. I'll read a good book or watch a great movie or listen to a great album if i want art

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Lots of them, especially the "run to the right and fight all the guys" variety. I'm sure you can find a list somewhere if you don't believe me.

        As for art, we all like what we like, but if you're one of the one-star-reviewers of this game because of a $2 add-on, then we have a problem.

      • jonas nielsen

        I'm not. I don't even own the original 'game' because i'll never play a game with just an hour of gameplay. It's insulting

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Serious question: how old are you? Do you remember the SNES from when new games cost $60, and all you had was magazine reviews and box art to go on? Or is your main experience with this era from Virtual Console or other retrospective "best of" lists? Because in those bad old days, getting a short, crap game was the norm, not the exception. Deep epics are what we remember best, but only because they were the top 5% of the available catalogue.

        Let's argue back and forth on the Internet all day about a $6 game you're unwilling to try.

      • jonas nielsen

        I bought the C64 at launch so i think i'm old enough to have a valid opinion - not that age has anything to do with this

        I never, ever, had a game on one of those old consoles/pcs like Amiga i could complete in an hour without having played it before. Not one

      • Shaun Musgrave

        Damn, so you'll never play Super Mario Bros. 1 and 2, Contra 1-3, Final Fight, Castlevania 1, the Double Dragon games, the Gradius series, the R-Type series, Mega Man 1 and 2, Bionic Commando, Sonic the Hedgehog 1/2, Gunstar Heroes, the Streets of Rage series, etc?

        Man, that's pretty weak for someone who's supposed to be hardcore.

      • jonas nielsen

        Could you complete any of them in less than 10 hours on your first attempt? Nope

      • Shaun Musgrave

        Uh, sure you can. It's literally impossible to not finish most of those in an hour and change unless you put the controller down or keep failing. I used to spend $15 to rent three NES/SNES games over the weekend just because I knew I'd have them cleared in a jiff. 10 hours is absolutely ridiculous. How do you spend ten hours clearing six stages in Final Fight? Even Zelda 1 only took me about five hours my first time through. I think on the NES, the only games I played that crested the ten hour mark were FF1, DQ2, DQ3, and Zelda 2. And yes, on my first time through. I can finish SMB1 in about six and a half minutes nowadays. Still spent a fiver to buy it on Virtual Console. Twice.

      • jonas nielsen

        I'm sorry but i call crap on you completing SMB1 in a couple of hours the first you played it, same with Zelda 1

        Also, you seem to be misunderstanding 'first time'. It's as in the first time you ever played it so i'll repeat my statement - i doubt you cleared any of those games in less than 10 hours the very first time you ever tried them

      • Shaun Musgrave

        I did, but you've already decided I'm a liar, so I guess we're at an impasse. Good luck in your future endeavors!

      • jonas nielsen

        Well, if you're actually arguing MV has just as much gameplay as SMB1 then we are indeed at an impasse because frankly that's just ridiculous

        At any rate, good luck to you

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        You're allowed to play Monument Valley more than once, too.

  • hil

    Thank you. I was very upset when I saw the ratings. That's horrible!
    I don't write reviews in the AppStore often, but I've written one now and told all my friends about this and they're pissed too and will give high ratings and reviews.
    Those damn Freemium-Kids!

  • falco

    Im not the guy who rated 1 star but considering how short it is...I understand some people don't like that it cost 1,99$ (just for 8 levels) because you can have a complete game for only $0,99 or free with much more content and replay value also fun and beautiful.

    • jonas nielsen

      Spot on

      Just because some people are desperate for games to be art doesn't mean it justifies lack of content for the average gamer

      I'm so tired of bloggers like on TA giving 5 stars to apps that barely qualifies as games and i'm using my consumer right to vote with my wallet

  • mallouk

    "I only play paid games"

    But to be honest, paying extra 2$ for this expansion looks like a rip off for me...
    I bought ios games for 6,10 and 20$ but that doesn't mean I'll pay extra 2 for this, why?

    Well after playing monument valley, witch I totally loved and enjoyed, me and I'm sure lots of other people wanted more for two reasons.

    The first is because the game was so awesome
    The second is because we felt we deserve more levels for what we paid

    Finally they did add more level for us, but unfortunately they made us pay for it.

    I don't want to repeat my self, but I really hate fremium or free games and I only play paid games still this expansion pack looks like a ripoff for me

    • Chris Gonzales

      "we felt we deserve more levels for what we paid"

      Sorry pal, but you're not entitled to anything. The only "unfortunate" thing here is your attitude.

      • jonas nielsen

        Actually, your attitude is far worse

    • jb

      "I really hate fremium or free games... but unfortunately they made us pay for it."


  • Dude.. Welcome..

    dense half-wits like those whining, emoji-spamming, unintelligible leeches bawling over premium new content makes it utterly embarrassing to be involved in this market.

  • TheOutlander

    I think there's a difference between a DLC and an expansion, a DLC is as it's name indicate: Downloadable Content meaning that more often than not is content that doesn't expand the game or makes a difference in the game in a significant way.
    Now an expansion adds new stuff to the content and can tweak the game in ways that make it feel fresh again.
    A clear example would be comparing all that CoD maps offered as DLC to per say, XCOM's The Enemy Within or Dishonored's expansion.
    Complaining for missing or meaningful content is OK, compiling about a paid expansion ISN'T and would NEVER be ok, no mater the length of the original game.
    But that's just my opinion about this.

    • Saucepolicy

      Xcom the Enemy Within is a standalone game, not DLC. Regardless, there are all kinds of DLC--- from horse armor to entirely new campaigns-- It doesn't imply anything other than it's "downloadable content".

      These whining children have it backwards. Freemium was a response to an unsustainable premium business model

      • Saucepolicy

        Just to clarify, Enemy Within wasn't available as traditional DLC within Enemy Unknown on consoles. It was a separate product but also contained the original content, just like the new iOS version. It was only on PC that it required the original game.

  • dancj

    It's okay. We can have nice things! I have plenty.

    I can sympathise with the disgruntled - though a 1 star review is extreme.

    A lot of games these days release in an incomplete form with more content to be added to round it out to a full size. At $4 for an hour of gameplay, Monument Valley certainly looked like a prime candidate for this.

    Oh and I really don't imagine anyone expects developers to work for free when they want expansions to be free. They probably expect the free expansions to creat a degree of goodwill and publicity which would increase sales of the game. After all anyone who didn't buy the game because of its short length will be more likely to sway when the game suddenly doubles in size. It's almost impossible to know for sure, but it's entirely possible that bringing out the expansion for free would have made more money than charging for it.

    • dancj

      (That post was nicely broken into paragraphs, but the TA app stripped them out)

    • Chris Gonzales

      "$4 for an hour of gameplay"

      This is the wrong way of looking at it. You're not taking into account the months of thoughtful design work, the creation of a full soundtrack that is awesome in its own right, and all the tweaking and attention to detail that made the original game so special.

      That it only took you an hour to play is irrelevant.

      • dancj

        I disagree. It's far from the whole story, but it does have an effect on the value of a game to me.

      • jonas nielsen


        I, as a consumer, shouldn't and don't give 2 shits about how long it took to make a product. I care about the end product, nothing else

        An hour of gameplay is an insult to old school gamers and i wouldn't even download it if it was free

        I for one am happy if this means less artsy pretentious stories masquerading as games

      • Chris Gonzales

        I for one would be happy to see fewer pretentious assholes masquerading as gamers and/or human beings.

      • jonas nielsen

        Ahh ad hominem, the last resort when you have no valid points. You do understand it's basically the same as admitting defeat right? lol

      • Chris Gonzales

        lol this from someone who described themselves as merely a consumer, i.e. someone who likely won't ever contribute anything of meaning to the world. But go ahead an feel superior about your terrible opinions, big guy!

      • jonas nielsen

        I will

        Thanks for playing even if you didn't put up a real fight

    • wonkeythemonkey

      I just logged in to say “kudos” for being the first dissenter in this thread to actually share a reasoned and logical opinion. You haven’t changed my mind, but I sure as hell appreciate the way you presented your case.

      • dancj


  • nicodemus82

    This just makes me sad.. And a little worried about the future of the App Store.
    Gosh I used to have to save up for weeks as a kid just to buy one video game.. These days you can get a hell of a lot of really cool content for some pocket change, and yet people still find a way to complain about it. smh

    • Eli Hodapp

      This is the truly incredible part to me. I remember working for MONTHS as a kid to make $50 to buy a NES game. Now you can buy far better games for the change you find between your couch cushions and it's not enough for people.

      • Jeremy Price

        I remember buying Spy Hunter on NES for $50. An endless driver as it would be known now. Imagine that even being more than $1 these days.

        this sort of thing always worries me that no one will develop premium titles for ios (see rubicons post above). I buy many of the SE titles and will be buying the new XCOM later this week, but I'm also 35 and have the discretionary income to do so. I have to believe that there are many others out there in the same place I am, older gamers looking for a premium experience and willing to pay for it. At least enough to keep those premium games coming. But I may be wrong. SE keeps cranking them out and not bending on price so that gives me hope.

      • Wizard of Odyssey

        Remember that Spy Hunter was an arcade game first. One coin would buy you limited lives once the clock ran out. To keep playing, you would need to keep paying, and your progress would not be saved between sessions.

        The NES version of Spy Hunter like owning the arcade game on freeplay. Pay once, play all you like.

        Six dollars (the price of Monument Valley plus its expansion) would maybe buy you a couple of hours on an arcade Spy Hunter machine if you were pretty good at it. There was nothing like it on home systems at the time for several years.

        There are tons of home games that were expensive to buy but quick to play through. Check out Howlongtobeat dot com for nicely sorted lists and wonder in how good we have it nowadays.

    • Dude.. Welcome..

      they're not even conscious of what they're complaining about. they're just reacting, like savages would. in a very barbaric (and spoiled-rotten) way, they're reacting to them not being able to have something they want as easily as they could, and because they feel entitled to that thing that they want, they're dumping themselves and spewing nonsense about how skewed the /world/ is for not operating around /their/ ideals. they're animals. not even cool ones either, like tigers. they're just a bunch of dumb, awful lemmings, all verbally throwing themselves off of a cliff's edge in unison.

  • Shaun Musgrave

    This is pretty embarrassing. Games have been devalued to sub-snack level in the eyes of the masses.

  • speltrong

    It's well worth the price, and we should support developers who are this dedicated to the craft. This easily would have been $10-15 on PSN or XBLA - $4 is crazy cheap for something like this.

  • ItouchBrett

    Pretty sure all those 1 star reviews are from kids.

    • Dude.. Welcome..

      doesn't change the hit the game's going to take from those negative reviews. algorithms control the top-selling charts based on reviews.

  • Adams Immersive

    A game should be worth its initial price, and $4 is less than a smoothie, which might even have some really nasty kale in it, or come with an ill-fitting lid.

    If Monument Valley were not already worth $4, then some might consider that reason for a 1-star review right from the start (though I'd disagree).

    But if it WAS already worth it, then there's no reason any additions have to be free. It's nice when they are, but that's above and beyond: you already got your value. Did the original game get worse because the creators didn't give you a freebie? If so, then shouldn't it be one star even if there were no add-on at all? Because you still didn't get a freebie then.

    Saying that new content must be free is often the same thing as saying there should not BE new content. Because it's not free to make.

    • Matt W

      Indeed the alternative is they don't add anything to the game and move onto another project they can charge $3.99 or more for.

      • Brett

        Or release these levels, self contained, as 'Deeper into monument valley'

    • Wizard of Odyssey

      MV for $4 is like a really good smoothie, and you get to keep the cup!

      For $2 more, you can fill it up again with new levels!

  • RodrigoCard

    The only thing that bothers me is that they appears to have included the expansion content within the app instead of downloading it for people who bought it.

    This bothers me because my 16gb iPad is almost always full and I needed to delete stuff to install the update even not needing the update right now. I ended getting the old version from the trash and installing it back.

    Anyway, I plan to buy this expansion after I beat the main game, and of course would never one star this great game. 🙂

  • boydbme

    Thanks for the article. Rating 5 stars and buying expansion now. People are unbelievable.

  • pinta_vodki

    Gosh, people are dumb and greedy. How much do you guys pay to watch a movie in the cinema in the US? I bet for a lower price Monument Valley will give you more depth and entertainment than most movies that came out this year.

  • Woodrith

    Agreed with Eli on some points he made in the forums here. Fault from probably both consumer and devs in the App Store, people expect not just patches, but new new new content, for free. This is why premium games don't fare well and why freemiums do. If you want good or great content, creativity, innovation, and a great game you pay a premium price for it. That pays the devs which allow them to continue to create. If you don't want it, don't pay for it. Oh and if your one of those, I didn't know what I was getting for my money, Google something called reviews. Or if you can't be bothered, I understand, just gift me your money instead so I can enjoy the games for you.

  • Miss Cassafras

    I, for one, will now be buying both Monument Valley and its expansion. ^-^

  • bageljoy

    Wow people can be so unreasonable. I've picked up the expansion and rated 5 stars, hopefully the negative people don't hurt the game too much. I want more expansions!

  • zeekfizz

    I didn't give it a bad review but I won't upgrade either. It's a 1 hour game. That's the problem as I see it. 2 now with the added levels. 6 dollars for 2 hours send high. But to each their own. Bad reviews for it are ridiculous though.

  • Spooky

    Find it amazing how petulant and precious some people are over a couple of quid.

  • Daniel Stransky

    It really says something about our society that this news doesn't actually surprise me. It angers me, but it's not catching me off guard. I was actually complaining about something very similar to a friend yesterday in regards to 1 star reviews of a product on amazon based simply around the price while every person that paid that price rated it 4-5 stars.

    This case is a little different with a paid game charging a few dollars for an expansion. Have any of those 1-star reviewers ever played the angry birds games where you could buy additional boards at a cost.

    People need to be less entitled and understand that Devs need to eat too.

  • Be-Rad

    That's my review of those people who are reviewing Monument Valley (and any other game in a similar fashion) with 1-Star.

  • Bob

    If there's one thing I've learned in my 48 years of life on this planet, it's that there's a hell of a lot of really shitty, small-minded people out there. Why does a paid expansion for a game warrant a 1 star review?? I mean if you can't afford the dlc, don't buy it! I can't afford a Ferrari. I'd love it if they gave them away for free - therefore Ferrari gets a 1 star review.

    The Devs created a cool game. They put in a certain amount of time and they chose a price point for the game that they felt was reasonable for the work they had done. If you bought the game and loved it but wished there was more, I don't see how you could be upset about spending a couple of bucks for a bunch of new levels. If you bought the game and didn't like it, then what does the cost of the new levels matter? You don't want them anyway right?

    There's no law that says every game on the app store has to be 99 cents and get 200 new levels added post release. Sure, there are games that have added lots of free content after they came out. But you know what? Most of them have gone freemium now. Many of my faves have done so over the past few months - gone freemium and riddled withs ads. I'd have preferred to have had to pay a buck or 2 for those updates rather than have the games ruined later on...

  • slamraman

    Just saw the one star reviews in the UK AppStore. Properly embarrassing. First one said 'they want me to pay again' as if they were being asked to purchase the same levels again. The new levels are £1.50 here and are utterly beautiful. The old level 8 on the first set of levels is worth the entrance price alone.

  • Martymcsmartie

    They made a lovely enjoyable game, I liked, I bought. They made another lovely game, I bought.

    Hopefully they ignore the muppets and make more nice games, otherwise we wait for them to not make any more and there you go.........wheeeeeeee

  • J.R. Jalapeno

    They should have put it as a stand alone game Monument valley 2

    • Saucepolicy

      Then people would have 1-starred the sequel as a greedy cash grab because they should be supporting and expanding the original. It's a no-win situation.

  • GetOuttaHereYouIAP

    The same people who do this sort of 1-star nonsense probably support LamerGate.

  • Goggles789

    All the add on content for cytus has been paid offerings. Why has this particular game sparked a controversy about paid updates? I played the game when it first came out and couldn't get into it, but I still left it a decent rating. Leaving one star for a paid update is seriously petty.

  • Goggles789

    There are other games that offer free updates but paid updates are nothing new. Strange that the iOS user base is pissed.

  • icruise

    I totally agree that $2 is reasonable. The problem is that other games have conditioned people to expect regular content updates for nothing, which is really not sustainable except for the Rovios of the world (and I'm not even sure about them). I also really don't like how one-star reviews have become the catch-all way for people to express their dissatisfaction with an app.

  • turtluga

    This is not your typical "here's your 50 more free levels" crap. These are painstakingly crafted levels that took a lot of design and coding time.

    But then, a typical pea-brained gamer would not realize the amount of effort involved in making these things.

  • MaqueGenio

    "it's pushing more developers to abandon iOS and try Steam instead,
    where they can sell a game for $15-$20 without anyone screaming bloody
    murder." And you gave the solution right there. We need Steam (i mean the whole thing not just an app) on iOS and the rest will follow. Now good luck convincing Gabe. But seriously, this is the only answer. Appstore currently has too many issues to push iOS gaming further. Its a toxic enviroment where quality software has no change to survive and their costumers are mostly clueless people.

    • Saucepolicy

      No it isn't. PC gamers are just generally willing to spend more for premium experiences than mobile gamers, but they're also being conditioned by Steam's annual sales events and outfits like Humble Bundle to just wait for the inevitable, outrageous discounts that are just as bad for devs as the AppStore ecosystem. A Steam store for iOS games doesn't solve a damn thing and Apple would never allow a competing store in their walled garden, regardless.

  • TechHandle

    Let me get this right, some stingy kids are whinging because they think all expansions should be free. Even when this expansion is arguably larger than the original title, yet priced at half the cost.

  • Steve Reaser

    I just don't get how some of these reviewers don't hear the insane words they are writing... "This is amazing! I adore this game! Hours of entertainment... but I just don't think it's worth $3.99".

    Really? Hours of entertainment is not worth $4 for you -- presumably you're doing well enough, as you have an iPhone. $5 for a coffee, sure, but not for hours of entertainment.

    • flimbus

      Insane is one take on it. Another is dead rational (though highly unethical... but who cares about that these days?). If Apple's key strategic advantage over certain large Android vendors these days is premium paid content sustaining a healthy and talented developer community, then what better way to undermine the advantage than engaging in a bit of the old social engineering, in the form of gaming the Apple Store? We've already seen this kind of monkey business with paid bloggers and paid commenters. So why not paid "insane" game reviewers?

  • Jesse_Dylan

    How depressing! It's not like it's $20 or something. It's $2...

  • Guest

    I'd rather pay 2 bucks for some uniquely crafted levels for this game than what some idiots shell out for a couple of lollipop hammers. I'm glad I have a PC to play games on as well, because all the good devs are just gonna tell the app store to eff off and we'll all end up playing candy crush and dungeon master clones.

  • j.dillinger

    I paid $8 for a beer at the airport and it took me 10 mins to drink. I didn't complain because I chose to buy it (well, rent it). I can't believe people are playing the "entitlement card" over a $2 expansion and down voting someone's hard earned work.

  • Rip73

    Worst article ever!!!!!

    Not the article itself, thanks Eli for posting it and making the points. All needed to be said.

    The fact that people would one star one of the greatest iOS games ever because of a paid expansion, jeez I don't even know what to say to that kind of....... I don't even know what it is,..., cheapskateness, self entitled first world problem, the end of quality iOS premium or just plain ignorance.

    And, yeah, this is why we can't have nice things.
    Expect developers to look at those reviews and decide to go to steam instead. And who can blame them.

    If I hadn't bought the game and expansion, I'd buy it again.
    Man, the mentality of people using the App Store is ridiculous and just not worth the effort anymore. No wonder micro transaction games are all I'm seeing being developed lately.

  • Samhain666

    I'd rather pay 2 bucks for some uniquely crafted levels for this game than what some idiots shell out for a couple of lollipop hammers. I'm glad I have a PC to play games on as well, because all the good devs are just gonna tell the app store to eff off and we'll all end up playing candy crush clones.

  • radioactive_pal

    I bought this expansion while waiting to spend three bucks on coffee. I am an adult with disposal income.

  • Fooruman

    I noticed the debacle in this game's review section on the App Store and decided to post the following review:

    It has come to my attention that some truly stupid individuals are giving this game one-star reviews because the developer had the audacity to release a paid expansion back, essentially doubling the amount of content in this excellent game, for $2.00. I'm here to set the record straight. Before you let the one-star reviews left by these mindless Neanderthals stop you from purchasing this phenomenal app, please read this and think for yourself about whether the game sounds right for you. Don't fall victim to the brainless hive mind mentality seen in these reviews.

    Monument Valley is a game like no other. It is best described as a puzzle game, though that description may be somewhat of an over-simplification. As the player, you are tasked with helping your character navigate fantastical environments and reach the end of each level. As you progress through the game, things gradually become more difficult, with new puzzle elements being added. In addition, a compelling narrative slowly unfolds as you get further into the game.

    From a presentation standpoint, Monument Valley is stunning. Each environment is more beautiful than the last, with excellent music to help set the tone.

    Now for the controversial part. The base game is well worth the asking price, and will provide you with quite a bit of fun and more than a few head-scratching puzzles. However (here's where it gets tricky), the developers have also just released an expansion for the low asking price of $2. This expansion essentially doubles the length of the game, and the new levels included in it are just as great as (if not better than) the levels included in the base game.

    Some folks are apparently upset that this expansion wasn't included for free, but that's utter nonsense. The asking price of the base game was more than fair considering the amount of content it included, and the developers easily could have released this expansion as a standalone sequel for the same cost as the base game - and I'd still feel it was fair. Instead, though, the developers have generously offered us double the content for half the cost.

    In conclusion, if you are looking for a well above average puzzle game with stunning presentation, Monument Valley is well worth your time. If you buy the game and find yourself wanting more after playing through it, you'll be happy to discover that you can double the amount of levels available to you for half the cost of the game. Don't let the rantings of some self-entitled gamers who want everything for free stop you from experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime game.

  • nestor

    TA should repost their 5-star review.

  • Dani Estrela

    Monument Valley is a game that could easily be charged $10.

    People give value to wrong things nowadays...

  • TheNoobOfTheCentury

    I agree with MonstersUnderBed. I hate dlc, even in monument valley. Yeah there could be a support button or something extra and unnecessary if you spend a $ (like junk jack x), but if you put a price tag on anything, COD, AC Unity, Valiant Heroes, Walking Dead, or Monument Valley, that should be the final price. DLC should be optional, and not for additional levels that should have been included with the game already. And if the developer doesn't get their expected sales, then release a free update to attract newcomers, and encourage the players to spread the word, but not be in their faces saying "log onto facebook for an instant bonus!" The developers should stick to their words with whatever price they have, and stick to it. Hopefully people realize that "but they put so much work into it, please take my money" is just really really dumb. Think about the money the developers already made from their game. Just saying.

    • TheNoobOfTheCentury

      And even though its only $2, they are still taking your money for something you already should have been included in he game.

      • Foursaken Media

        They're not "taking your money." They're selling a product (the expansion, in this case), which consumers can choose whether to pay for or not. If they enjoyed the game and want more, go ahead and get the expansion. If they've had their fill, that's fine too, they can completely ignore the new content - but that shouldn't change the enjoyment they got from the original experience.

        The reality is it doesn't matter if they made $50 million+ from the launch of the game - the new content is completely extra, and something that you can choose to buy or not. Just because something is popular or successful doesn't mean the consumer deserves more of it, for free...

      • Saucepolicy

        You have zero grasp of how games are made. Monument Valley tells a complete story, it is the game the devs wanted to make. They acquiesced to fan demand for more levels and you think they just withheld content that was ready day one. In your ridiculous entitlement you are just telling devs that they'd be better off never making new content for games you love, because it will be viewed with distrust and vitriol unless they give it away for free. The title of this article is spot on. Enjoy the freemium cesspool as people like you drive amazing developers from the AppStore.

    • crapple2011

      Why should the extra levels already have been included in the original game? What kind of logic is that? You get to decide what originally should have been included? That a 3,99 game should have included double the levels right from the beginning?

      • TheNoobOfTheCentury

        Yeah, the developers should have included them in for free. I know that I am not a person who comes up with the prices, but isn't it common sense that when you buy something for however much money it is, you get the whole package and not half of what you paid for?

    • Shaun Musgrave

      So if they released the levels as a separate app called "Monument Valley: Forgotten Shores" for $1.99, that would have been fine for you? If so, that's odd logic. If not, then why do you feel the developers should work several months for free? This obviously isn't something they banged out in a level editor in two weeks.

      I can appreciate the viewpoint "this is not worth $2 to me", because, hey, it's your $2. I have more trouble with "I think this content looks good, but I don't want to pay anything for it", or in the case of one-star reviews, "I want to play this a lot but I don't want to pay anything so your game is crap". Those kinds of statements feel divorced from a healthy perspective, and they're not very respectful of other people's hard work.

      • TheNoobOfTheCentury

        Well junk jack x also wasn't made quickly, and neither the updates. Every update has a long list of new features. Are they charging you to play them? No. They get their extra money from little extras and hats that are completely optional. I am just saying that the DLC for another half of the game is kind of lame, they could have made that free and added something like a hat or new clothes for the characters for a dollar or two for you o show your support.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        You didn't answer my question, but I think I see where you're coming from. Sure, selling hats and such are another way to bring in regular income while you work on substantial content for free, but I don't think that model fits every game. Selling "hats" in Monument Valley would be like having a guy selling peanuts during a theatre play. I love buying peanuts during a ballgame, but there's a time and place, you know? The entire point of MV is at odds with that sort of transaction.

      • TheNoobOfTheCentury

        And to your question, no, it should not be released as a second new game. That would probably result in more raging towards the developers. It should be a free expansion for all owners, then pull off a wayward souls pricing like the person somewhere below me said. That would encourage more people to buy it before it is all jacked up, then have a sale for back at $4. And you could make more money that way rather than adding IAP. Ok now bye to this conversation, this is just mine and many other people's opinions. Thanks for the good arguments, too and I hope you see my point.

      • whitestatic

        It's also, like other comments here and in the app store, coming from people who know nothing about app and game development and even less about the business of making and selling a product.

      • TheNoobOfTheCentury

        Well I sure do know that if I were a developer and wanted to appeal to the majority of my fans, I would not want to add DLC for more levels. If I were thinking about making more money, then I would have a sale or add optional IAP's. I am not here to argue, but simply state that if you pay for a game, you should get all the gameplay. Anything extra could be included as optional IAP's. I am just stating that this is what some people that do not like this IAP feel. They feel like they are kind of getting ripped off a little bit, which is sort of true, I pay $4 for a game, I want the whole thing. I am not here to argue, but simply state this is why some people are rating it one star. Should it be that dramatic as to rate it one star because they don't like the update? No. They could simply email the developers that they do not like it, and who knows, the developers could possibly listen. Bye, and I hope you all see this point.

      • Shaun Musgrave

        But you did get the whole thing. This is an expansion pack. It's a pretty normal thing in the game industry, and it usually costs a lot more than $2.

    • cloudpuff

      How come they should have been included already? The game was complete when released.

  • DAN13LG

    Well this all escalated quickly..

  • Jachim Soyer

    Sorry guys, developers deserve intense scrutiny and it doesn't matter if they're indie or not. Have you seen the shady practices out there? Developers make a title for mobile for 1.99 then charge Steam users $10.00 to buy the exact same thing?

    Sorry, I can't be arsed to care about a developers non-issues.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      How does that apply to *this* developer, who hasn't done that?

  • Jason Wilkins

    Maybe they should have done like Wayward Souls and increase the cost of the game for new buyers but give it to existing custoners for free. But honestly, they shouldn't be hit like this whatever they decided.

  • Ubisububi

    Daring Fireball just linked your story. It's about to get some legs...

  • Anthony

    Good job. I didn't really like the main game, it was a bit too easy, but now I'm going to pick this up and give an actual review.

  • rabid

    And because people rate candy crush 5 stars in the face of all king has done and in the face of all the evil game elements the community has spoken out against so constantly.

    • falco

      So weird and also strange

  • ghunda

    "I'll pay Apple prices for their stuff but $1.99 for a well made game? F that. Now where's my pumpkin spice latte with extra whip?"

  • Arbitrary Hubris

    I've long had a theory that the people who get really upset at having to pay for a game are the same people who torrent all of their pc games. Can't do that on iOS so the entitled brats rage against normal commerce where we pay for something if we think it's worth and and pass if we don't.

  • zergslayer69

    Well guess there you have it. If you want to release additional content you need to slap a "2" after it so people go "omg this sequel is great and even cheaper than the original! 5 stars!" Because people want more icons on their springboard.

  • David K.

    I agree with the sentiment that people leaving 1 Star reviews for not getting something free is abhorrent.

    That said, I think its questionable to call Monument Valley a game. Its more of an interactive art piece than a real game, as there is very little control you, as the user have over what happens. The puzzles were largely straightforward, in some cases all you did was simply tap from one obvious doorway to the next. Because of that, and the very short length, there isn't any real replayability in Monument Valley either. The art and sound were gorgeous of course, and the story was interesting. But I really don't feel like its fair to call it a "game".

    • Saucepolicy

      So? Does being an interactive art piece, as you call it, make it somehow without value? Films are completely passive experiences and you pay more for them. It's fine not to have enjoyed it and it's fine to think it was overpriced. Your subjective interpretation of what constitutes a game is irrelevant.

  • Holcman

    I'm reading reviews right now, and they make me want to jump off a bridge. "I paid a whole $4.00 for this game, why do I have to pay again for a measly 8 levels!? Rip- off scam robbery company akxjfbkjwebfkj!!" End quote.

  • PlannedObsolescence

    Blame Freemium games for that hive mind.

  • Magellan

    People are ridiculous, they don't want to pay for anything nowadays. I just bought the game to support the developers after reading this article.

  • Dailon Huskey

    South park was right and this one star people are the devils minions.

  • Swift2

    Free games and free software make you dependent and whiny. If the horrifying threat is a game might cost as much as $5, nobody will actually be hurt.

  • Freddie deBoer

    Bravo and amen.

  • 61050

    i think god had the right idea about that flood thing he did back in the day.

  • Galley

    To show my support I just purchased the game, and will purchase the extra levels as well.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Pure greed by GAMERS. Only $1.99 and they go back and rate the game 1 star??? I bought the initial game and consider $1.99 a RIP OFF for fir DEVS!!! Only a measly $1.99 for a terrific game extra content. I am more than happy to lay for extra chapters and extra content and so should EVERYONE. I hate Freemium and paying for consumables but extra content is hours extra gameplay for peanuts. I'm absolutely APPALLED.

  • Mars Tseng

    Monument Valley was the best APP game I'v played in 2014. It is really a depressing news.

  • Lickzy

    "All games would be SOOOO much better if they were freemium, full of timers, energy, and IAPs" said nobody ever.

  • Blake Harrell

    Should've just issued as a new app and called it Monument valley 2

  • Quazonk


  • DeepSix

    It's these stupid entitled people nowadays who don't want to pay for anything... I remember saving up $70 to buy a cool Playstation 1 game 15 years ago... and I never complained! Now people are pissed because an indie developer who already released a game for $2.99 is asking for another $1.99? Are you $#%@!#$ kidding me?!?

  • jebaugh

    Eli is right. We should pay for more content. This isn't free tea refills with dinner, this is another entree or side dish. Eat; pay.

  • Aleric

    People are actually posting on the App Store thing along the lines of "I cannot believe I had to pay $2 to get more levels, it should be a free update for more levels if I already paid $4!"

    This is the equivalent of saying "I really enjoy Starbucks Coffee when I bought it yesterday, but when I went back for another they wanted to charge me another $4!!! I already spent $4 yesterday... What gives?"

    Seriously the disconnect between people and the content the consume is astounding. This is one of the best games on the App Store and seriously $6 is nothing in today's market, barely 1 coffee at Starbucks. The devs aren't greedy, the users are...

    • dancj

      Maybe some people feel the cup of coffee was only half full and now Starbucks are asking for another $2 to finish filling the cup.

  • MissFit

    I hate working for free. I'm going to check this game out, and if it looks good, I'll buy it. I really hate that so many people think that others exist to serve them. $2 is hardly a burden, Christ, people pay twice that for a corporate cup of coffee.

  • jackiemac

    It's good to see support for the developer. 5 star ratings on the App Store for the current version have far eclipsed the whiners!

  • falco

    On canadian store just a few bad review its good

  • Lemmonz

    I was gonna comment, but with all the ones above me who'll see it?

  • timborama

    Honestly, they would have been better off to come out with a version 2, and charge $3.99 again. As a developer, that's what I would have done. People get stupid when they see IAP. I know I do, and would never buy a paid app that also has IAP. And again, as a developer, I would never make a paid app that also has IAP.

    • falco

      If you want more episodes in Wolf Among Us or any telltale games, you have no choice but buy the episodes in the game just like lego Star Wars the only bad thing is if something goes wrong you have to restore purchase but where the problem? I don't see any...

  • Shilo White

    This article gave me reason to purchase the game and rate it 5 stars.

  • ender79

    I submitted my 5 star review, and I will have no problem when the time comes to pay for the expansion. Because I know I will have a good time for a couple of hours. I don't understand why we pay the crazy high prices for coffee and donuts and yet some have issues with $2!? Don't like it? Vote with your wallet don't get it, BTW the new candy crush game looks good and they don't charge for updates 😉

  • Sean Metzgar

    I have the solution everyone... how about we all go back to paying $50 for games/expansions, standing in line on launch days, and having to deal with a massive box that doesn't fit on our shelves. Grow up and pay for the update; people worked hard to create it, and should be paid accordingly.

  • Jacob Gehman

    Unfortunately my iOS device died several months back, so I'm unable to buy this at the moment. But I do have an Android phone, so the second I get paid next week I'll re-buy Monument Valley for $4, then buy the new levels for $2, and I still won't feel gyped because that's how awesome this game is.

    I'll be sure to leave my sparkling review in the Android store, too. Because F those 1-stars.

  • Earth Vs. Me

    Paid expansions will always result in backlash on the App Store. If you want to charge for new content, it's smarter to just release it as a stand-alone app. Gamers seem to be pretty cool with that.

  • Guest

    This is so wrong. People are willing to pay 5$ or 4€ for Latte, but not for a mobile game? Please, let's not talk about greed here.

  • FIFTHSUN2012

    Downloading, now. Get a clue people. Not everyone gets to live for free in their parents basement.

  • Zeital

    I don't get why people complain about free/not free when they more than likely spent $200 on candy crush or something to that likening

  • grovian

    I voted with my wallet. Loving the new maps 🙂
    But then again I like when I understand what I get for my money. F2P is shady. This game definitely worth the price!

  • vahramas

    I once walked into a candy store and bought some candy. It was delicious. I wanted more, but the owner would not give me some for free. So angry.

  • FootSoldier

    WTF! Is wrong with some people. Quality cost money. Cant complain about all those candy crush, and Flappy bird clones if every game in the App Store should be free. I'd happily pay for the expansion, so the developers can make more beautiful games. WTF.

  • ioscody

    People are idiots! They can afford to buy an iPhone or android phone but won't spend 2 dollars for DLC. This is why studios are doing this F2P shit because of the people wanting everything free. If u can't afford it then why did u buy a fuckin iPhone that literally needs money to work.

  • Zeke

    It's the Android effect. Deadbeats who are used to getting everything for free if they surrender their privacy to Google whine incessantly about having to pay for anything. Just ignore them. They don't actually buy anything anyway.

  • Anonomation


  • Crius

    You're telling me that the games are not done by teen in their garage that doesn't have to worry about nothing because they still live with their parents? Oh, come on!

  • TouchMint

    Honestly they made a mistake by trying to be nice and releasing this as an update. They should have just released it as Monument Valley 2 and hardly anyone would have complained (The idiots that rated this one star would have been clueless). Its really too bad this is why apps dont get big updates and why freemium rules...

  • Dacon Dieve

    They probably spent the same amount of time developing the new chapter, but they charged less than half the entry fee. I would have paid full price for the 90 minutes I got out of this extension. Anyone too cheap to pay a developer on their $400+ tablet is a dickhead.

  • TokyoDan

    Maybe I'm not a big fan of the types of games that generally get great reviews here (Monument Valley is one of the exceptions) I admire Touch Arcade because they always stand up for the developers of the good games (the ones that aren't designed to rip off the players).

  • mcpeppergames

    This is an amazing game and paying some bucks for an update with new levels is perfectly fine because developing such a great game costs a LOT! To be honest: I don't get all this 'race to the bottom' nonsense when it comes to paid apps. People are willing to spend their money at starbucks but when it comes to great paid apps they go nuts. Stupid!

  • TokyoDan

    I really really wished that Apple would make the minimun price of any app or game on the App Store at least 2 bucks just to punish the cheap skates who don't want to pay. And if you can't afford to pay 2 bucks (talking about developed countries here) you are a pathetic loser, or your father is if he can't afford to give you 2 bucks for a game.

  • anabolicMike

    Your right it's an embarrassment. Game was worth twice the 4 bucks I paid for it. I played it through and it was fantastic. I for one and more then happy to pay for a content update in any kinda game. Especially in a game this one that was utterly phenomenal! Any of the people who hit on star ok that review are counted as losers to me. No wonder devs eek out what they can.... Good job Eli you tell the bitches quit whining and pay the devs!

  • Chuck Shotton

    The problem isn't free vs. paid upgrades. The problem is the broken App Store review process that allows this sort of bad behavior to persist.

  • Luca Corsini

    while beautiful you could finish a $3.99 game in ten minutes, and adding five more minutes to this game for half the price seems quite pricey... if the game had more levels from the start maybe this expansion could have received better reviews

  • beronk

    Game publishers just want money.
    Yes the game is great well design but too damm short for the price in the first place then they release an short expansion for a fee? I believe there is going to be more SHORT expansions for a fee of course.
    I finish the game in half of a day thats why is short beautifull but to damn short...

  • ElPumo

    Thank God these people complaining about paid updates aren't employers. They'd expect to pay you for the initial project and then have you work for free after that.

  • Ann Caldwell Adair

    I gave my 2007 car a 5-star review. They came out with an update and I didn't get it for free. Bastards.

  • Robin Clarke

    First off I think Monument Valley is a great game and ustwo are within their rights to charge whatever they like for updates. However I don't think it's entirely fair to characterise customers complaining as being entitled.

    The convention on iOS, as it should be on all platforms, is not for players to pay proportionally to the costs incurred by the developer. There are (profitable) games on the store that represent 10x or 100x more person years of development work than Monument Valley, and many of them are the same price or even free.

    The reason that virtually all iOS premium game developers of the last five years have offered free updates is that updating a game in a significant way benefits them through a new wave of press coverage, featuring, chart visibility and user activity/reviews.

    I think ustwo have been unfortunate in that their update falls between two stools - making new content for MV is too labour intensive (and large in file size) to dripfeed it out regularly, and Forgotten Shores is not quite big and self-contained enough to be a standalone sequel. As a result the $1.99 IAP is anomalous and hard to compare to something accepted elsewhere.

    Monument Valley was a huge success, and has received as much free marketing from Apple (and Google) as it's possible to get. It has proven (along with The Room, Threes, Monster Hunter, XCOM, etc. etc.) that premium games on iOS are a sustainable model. Nobody is holding a gun to ustwo's head and making them release DLC.

    I find it ironic that we're arguing in favour of a model that has been exploited mercilessly and to the detriment of customers and game design on console and PC.

  • Blodia

    "Seeing a game as awesome as Monument Valley as a one star game on iTunes is seriously one of the saddest things I've seen lately."

    Then you should get out more.

  • npago

    A few years ago, the buzz was that consoles etc will become obsolete because tablets will take over. Devs started making games for the iOS (and porting old titles over) Since that time, games have become rarer and rarer on the app store and devs have moved away.

    The sole reason is due to the consumer base (full of f---ing skinflint retards) The games are now designed around a specific model to accommodate the piss-ants.

    Case in point. The Banner Saga did not do well, and wasn't even promoted by Apple on the Australian or Japanese stores. However Fish Frenzy Mania was, and things like Bitcoin Billionaire are a runaway success. That's right, the ass-wipes would rather play Bitcoin Billionaire (mindless clicking) rather than something with depth or thought.

    Praise be to those few devs who still support the iOS or take a dip in the pond. I no longer have a computer, but I still like to play a few games that I can't get on console (Baldurs Gate etc)

    And to everyone defending this 1-star stuff, go E__ S___ AND D__!!!

  • Scape211

    Guys whether you own this game or not, I think we should give these guys as many 5 star reviews as possible. I'm not really into these types of games, but i know quality when I see it and 6 bucks is chump change for it. Even a simple 'this game is awesome' review would help turn around negative feedback.

    • dancj

      The App Store won't let you leave a review for an app you don't own.

      • Scape211

        yea I realized that after I said it. I was hoping no one would notice my stupid mistake, but alas this is the internet 🙂

      • dancj


  • Madison

    This is why the App Store is full of crap and real gamers who LOVE this in-App CONTENT update and support developers who make premium games without timers, coins and other BS are moving back to consoles and handhelds: the "I want it all for free" crowd in combination with useless in-App has destroyed the App Store and if something good comes along like Monument Valley, it becomes victim to a group of consumers brainwashed by the freemium model who want everything for free and complain if they can get 18 levels of gorgeous gameplay for six bucks. SIX BUCKS. My God. You people are the reason the App Store has become the Crapp Store.

  • Earth Vs. Me

    You can't just point the finger at the self entitled masses for ruining mobile gaming. The industry shares just as much blame for pandering to those cheapskates with disposable freemium games, encouraging that attitude of cheapness and entitlement. If anything the industry is MORE to blame than casual mobile gamers. Getting mad at comsumers is like blaming the dog isntead of the trainer.

    • dancj

      The mobile gaming industry is far from ruined. There are cheap games, expensive games, free games, freemium games and paymium games. The only real villains here are the paymium ones masquerading as premium games.

      People who get cheap games and publishers who make them are all just reacting to the market. It's all good.

  • Space Gorilla

    Good things cost money. Monument Valley is well worth the money. Anyone who is so cheap they won't spend *six dollars* for a great game, maybe just piss off.

  • David Gileadi

    To join the "to be fair" camp, I expected the update to be paid and was eager to pay for it—Monument Valley is completely worth it. However my iPod Touch 5 didn't show the upgrade price and tapping to buy opened up a never-ending hexagonal spinner. I couldn't find a support link either; the one on the app store just leads to their corporate site. So it was a bad experience and tempted me to give them a bad review (I didn't).

    Luckily I own another, newer iPad and for whatever reason it showed the price and allowed me to make the purchase. And that purchase then transferred successfully to my iPod Touch.

    The bottom line is, at least for me and perhaps for others, there may be a reason other than sticker shock for low reviews.

  • Rubicon Development

    People are saying that both in this thread, generally and even silently (by not spending). But mine is more of a general point that applies to all the endless whining from self-entitled people that think a game should cost $0-$3 just because it can be run on a phone. Like that makes it easier to develop for than PC or Mac.

    • dancj

      No. You're incorrectly inferring it from what they say.

      • Rubicon Development

        It's not an inference, I've seen it written down many many times.

      • dancj

        Not in this thread.

    • dancj

      Oh and developing for a phone isn't easier than a PC, but the size of the market outs much bigger and the marketplace is that much more crowded. It's just a reflection of that that means most games will have to be very cheap to make a profit - and even then your pods aren't great unless you've got something really special.

      • Rubicon Development

        That was true a few years ago. Not so anymore, not even close. Short version is we can't afford to practically give stuff away anymore because very few games get anything like the installs they used to.

  • raquor

    I bet if they would have released it as Monument Valley 2 they would've been just fine.

  • laszlomag

    Not to worry. Generation Freemium will learn the hard way when they go out in the market place how awesome it is to work for free.

  • Janos Sitar

    For the folks banging on the $4-$6 for "only" an hour of gameplay drum: see how long it takes you to spend that much money in an arcade. The mechanic to suck money out of your pockets is part of video game history. And an indie developer offering a set of levels for a nominal charge should be applauded for not going the Candy Crush or FarmVille route of micro transactions. It makes sense for the gameplay mechanic and "chapters" that they're trying to build for their story.

  • Mike Chandler

    Im not a developer, but I recognize that these guys have families, mortgages, bills. So, its only fair and right in my opinion that they charged for this.

  • Jason

    The only issue is, the original game was really, really, short. Normally I'm happy to pay for updates to good games, but I really felt like they owed me a few extra levels for what I paid originally. Not an excuse to trash the ratings, but still.

  • The kernel

    2 dollars is no unreasonable price for the smile it put on my daughters face. And anyone who complains about it, obviously doesn't see the value. I do everyday. Thats good enough for me.

  • Design by Adrian

    I made sure to update my review to reflect the latest version (in their favour)

  • Lucía Bazán

    All this fuzz for $1.99! Don't drink your Venti, no foam, extra super skim organic milk, 2 extra shots of non caffeinated expresso, two shots of unsweetened syrup for a day and you can afford the upgrade

  • Jimmbo

    I'm grateful for these particular haters. If they hadn't made such a fuss about absolutely nothing, I would never have heard about this great game. I bought it (with expansion pack) for six lousy bucks and am hoping the devs get tremendous success so they create more great games which I'll happily spend my money on.

  • robotnyk

    I think the problem is, that they didn't clarify this upfront, and some of the communication from the devs might have reinforced this idea, that there will be a free update with new levels. I don't mind that it's a DLC, I'm not buying it though. It is a beautiful game, but it's a bit of a one trick pony, IMO.

  • Pivi

    Okay, now I'm on my way to the app store and give a 5 star review.

    And karma will get things right in the end. Ustwo made something incredible, so they deserve our support and money.

  • TestSalad

    This is the free market at work.

  • Aeian T'goni

    Video games are a luxury item. I have zero respect for people who throw tantrums about not getting them for free.

  • Machiknight

    If they had released it as "Monument Valley 2" with the same price, people would just happily pay it without batting an eye. Kinda ridiculous! This is what "free" games has done to us.

  • HUKASFILM LTD. ✩ @ghookahs

    Boo hoo, people are using the app store review function and you just don't like it. Suck it up and be a man, take your 1 star.

    So sick of mobile champions shitting on Steam out one side of their mouth.

    Monument Valley is a terrible, pretentious game.

    What do you expect from a community that actually enjoys Candy Crush.

    Mobile gaming isnt fucked because of bad reviews, its fucked because you like shitty games.


    • mattreeder

      I don't agree with your comment, but it was hilarious and enjoyable to read lol 🙂

  • mrusicmaker

    I've always been used to paying for games outright and would much prefer to do this than pay in bits and pieces. Especially considering the low prices these games sell for.

  • rewind

    Wow, a lot of comments. They kinda tricked everyone by saying that new levels were on the way. People (including me) assumed that they would be free. Also, when most people buy a game, they expect at least a few updates without a price tag. The majority of developers update their games for free. Ustwo could've at least given us a few levels for free, and then charged for the rest. So yes, ustwo didn't owe us anything, but they certainly could've been more generous.

    • vahramas

      "People (including me) assumed..." ... assumed. There you have it.

      • dancj

        Assuming isn't that bad. We only assume that the sun will rise the next morning and that we won't all start floating up into the air.

  • rewind

    I also feel that people don't appreciate how much work goes into making games. The developers don't just wave a magic wand and POOF, new levels appear. It takes time and effort. I can guarantee that if these complainers had to experience the process of making games, they would be a lot more understanding. However, I still believe that, as a "thank you" to the customers, part of the update should've been free.

    • hamilton geyser

      When did "thank you" become "here's some free stuff?"

      • rewind

        How else do you thank your customers? By just saying "thank you?" No. Most developers thank their customers by giving them some free updates. It's okay to charge for some updates, and I fully understand that. They don't owe us anything. But there should be at least one free (or partially free) content update before they start charging. ----- The best example of this is Plague Inc., where the developers gave us a few free updates, and then charged for others. And it was a perfect balance, almost nobody complained.

  • rewind

    I just looked through the version history, and it's very deceiving. The way they state it almost implies that the levels will be free. Clearly, ustwo needs to communicate better with their fans. After reading that, I have to side with the customers here.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      Which customers? By the looks of it, most of the customers are fine with them charging for the levels. I mean, we're all customers here, even me.

      • rewind

        Most people on here were fine with it. But out in the non-TA world, there were many angry customers. It was a little deceiving that they kept mentioning the new levels coming, with no indication that they would cost money. As a result, many people who are used to free updates (ya know, for Angry Birds, Minecraft, basically every popular game) naturally expected this to be free as well. If ustwo had said "we will be adding new levels available for purchase" or something along those lines, this whole fiasco wouldn't have happened.......... (By the way, sorry for the late replies. I was on a cruise over the few days.)

      • Shaun Musgrave

        Go look at the App Store reviews now. Or check its position in the charts. I'd say that most customers in general are fine with the expansion, not just TA.

      • rewind

        But there were a lot more negative reviews and people weren't fine with it yesterday, right? Isn't that why this article was written? But now, somehow, the reviews are glowingly positive. To be honest, I'm still a little confused about how the reviews could've been so negative yesterday, yet they're so positive today. -----Anyway, this article (and every news outlet) says that many customers were angry, so I was trying to explain why these customers might've felt this way.

  • hamilton geyser

    Ultimately, people are idiots, and user ratings are utterly worthless.

  • xStatiCa

    After seeing this I just downloaded the app and bought the expansion. This game deserves the $ for sure. For new content I have no issues with paying for IAP unless it was said to be free from the start. It is micro-transactions that I refuse to buy.

  • Dez

    Free update is out of courtesy and a commercial decision. I never thought of asking for either of these in this game because with the quality it holds, they deserve to get paid. Most of all, come on guys, you can't even get a cup of Starbucks with the cost they are asking for, stop being a cheapskate.

  • Guest

    That is what you get for giving your kids medals for tenth place for the last 15 years. A bunch of entitled spoiled brats who can now vote on Apps and will do so with the same level of entitlement.

  • Ahmed Aldoori

    All this complaining yet you still spent $5 on a pumpkin spice latte every day this October.

  • Bergtrolletshevn54

    I don't have played the game yet, but it looks interesting and I'm gonna buy it.
    However I can't believe that people are upset because the expansion was paid, really.
    I mean... it would be far cheaper than the 99% F2P out there.

    Let's see how long it takes before the App Store will be freed from the free to play model...

  • jonas nielsen

    They should have rated this 1 star after they bought the original to send a message to devs - It's not ok to charge a premium price and then include barely any content

    Meanwhile i see lots of poster here on TA stating they've bought the expansion or the original game and rated it 5 stars just because of this article. Do these people realize that that's even worse? At least the 1 star raters have a reason to do so, you're just rating a game based on what a blogger says

    Also, i'd like full disclosure here because i have a sneaking suspicion that Eli knows the devs personally. Is that the case?

    • Andrew Fretz

      Lets make a list of things we should boycott for charging a "premium price" that are consumed all too quickly:

      - hamburger
      - triple latte
      - bottle of beer
      - slice of pizza
      - going to a movie
      - taxi ride
      - deli sandwich
      - carnival ride

      did I miss anything? no sweat, just add your own.

      • jonas nielsen

        Oh yea, the fallacious it's no more than a cup of coffee

        If i bought a cup of coffee and it was only a quarter full and cold i'd complain then too

      • Andrew Fretz

        if you want to use a term like fallacious, maybe you should look up entitlement too.

        Are you entitled to X number of hours in a game you bought? There is a reason people support this game, and its not because its a quarter full and cold.

      • jonas nielsen

        I never bought it my friend because i don't support pretentious story games with no content. How is that entitlement?

      • Andrew Fretz

        Like I said, you can look it up if you don't understand how making judgmental statements like "no content" and "premium price" is entitlement.

        You tell me how $4 is premium and saying the game has NO CONTENT is a fair way to judge a game that is critically and commercially loved. If you think you deserve more content(saying the game has none) or deserve to pay less($4 is PREMIUM LOL), then thats entitlement.

      • jonas nielsen

        Ah ok, so you're in charge of defining entitlement? Sorry, i didn't get the memo

        Who gives a shit about a bunch of bloggers loving the game? If you believe any such review isn't extremely biased then i have bad news for you. Go google gamejournopro list and go from there

        4$ dollars for a game with one hour of content is a ripoff compared to what else i could get for 4$ on the appstore. That's a fact

      • Andrew Fretz

        So a game with more content, regardless of quality, is a better value than a game with less.

        I'm fine with being in charge of defining entitlement, because you just defined fallacious

      • jonas nielsen

        I'm just going by your logic. Any complaints about it being fallacious...well you know where to direct them

        Also, a game with one hour of content regardless of quality is not ok

      • Andrew Fretz

        Thats a nice strawman argument, but I never mentioned "any complaints" just your fallacious ones.

        A game with one hour of content should be judged on it's content, not on the stopwatch you seem to be holding up to it.

      • jonas nielsen

        It is judged by it's content - there is only one hour of it and that's unacceptable

  • Nibble Apps

    Here's a review we received for one of our apps today. I tried to explain via email before receiving this review that we have no power to charge people more than the price of the app, this is all controlled by Apple.

    The sad thing is, there's probably a load of people out there that would have happily paid $3, $4, $5 for this update, but the makers thought "hey, let's make it nice and low priced, then everyone is happy".

    This only contributes to people further saying "let's not bother to develop for iOS, nobody wants to pay for apps". Best advice: Ignore the bad reviews, focus on making the best app possible for those people that are happy to pay.

  • Wizard of Odyssey

    User reviews should count for something. Bad reviews can hurt the sales of good products.

  • Rombout

    Perhaps it was better to launch as a second game. A lot of other developers do this without screaming customers.

    • Lochheart

      For this case, I think they better relauch a game.

      Monument Valley is great. Really great and as a first game from this developper, hype is very high.

      But, when you play it, you finish it... you pay (2.59€ for me or something like that) you find a great game but a very short game.
      I want to play more this kind of games, but not play an addon of this game for the same price.

      I pay every extention of Galaxy On Fire 2 because I know that the stuff are different, and I will play it for hours.

      Will I pay 2$ for a new amazing game ? yes.
      Will I pay 2$ for an upgrade I 'll finish in an hour ? no.

  • Lucas Corso

    > made by real artists, working in a real studio, getting paid real salaries, with real families

    No love for developers?


  • Björn Olsson

    This post made me go in to the App Store and rate it 5 stars. Brilliant game!

  • Sean Noonan

    As a developer that's trying to support premium myself, it's great to see the community backlash to this mud slinging/negative behaviour. The great thing about premium gaming is that you can vote with your wallet if you feel so strongly - no need to try to sabotage a game you may have previous enjoyed's score.

  • Zenfar

    Good to see this one getting the 5 stars is deserved!

  • TheSootyOne

    I absolutely loved Monument Valley and the new expansion, and was happy to pay the asking price.

    For those of you bitching and moaning about 'greedy devs': f*ck you. F*ck you and your self-entitled 'I don't want to pay a fair price for my entertainment and I don't care if the devs earn a living waaa waaa waaa!' shitty attitude. With a sharp stick, turned sideways.

  • Edwin Ramirez

    This wouldn't be a problem if Monument Valley was longer. "Quality over
    quantity" isn't an issue when a decent quantity has an excellent

    I bought MV knowing that it had only 10 levels but it took me a bit
    more than 30 minutes to win a game that, while really pretty to look at,
    didn't have much substance, nor challenge, nor replay value.

    Hitman Go cost me almost the same and had me hooked for weeks trying to get the three marks for each level.

  • FirstMan2013

    Oh man lol. I feel your pain Monument Valley. 99.9% of my bad reviews are people complaining about being scammed and having to pay (a whole $2.99 mind you). I think it's mostly the younger generation who grew up stealing every bit of movies, music, and software off of Bit Torrent. Maybe when those folks get older and get jobs, they'll be nice and offer their services for free, so as not to be scamming their bosses or customers.