It was in October of last year that publisher XD Network announced that they’d be bringing developer Optillusion’s unique perspective-based puzzler Moncage to multiple platforms including mobile, and when they formally announced a release date for the game last month I said at the time that I’d be first in line to pick up the game. Well this week Moncage launched on PC and mobile, and I indeed was the very first person to download the game! Well, that’s probably not true, but I did grab Moncage as soon as possible and I couldn’t be more impressed and delighted with it so far.
Also in that post from last month, I explained that Moncage was a tricky game to put into words, and it’s probably easier to just watch the trailer to see what the heck it’s all about. That’s still true! But let me give it a shot anyway. Moncage features a special cube where on each side of the cube is a different scene. These scenes are fully 3D and the side of the cube acts as sort of a window into each scene. Moving the cube around also changes the perspectives you get on each scene, allowing you to see “inside" it. The crux of the game is about manipulating the cube in such a way that one scene aligns with another scene so the two can connect and bring an object to life that changes something in one or both of the scenes. Ah heck, just watch the dang trailer.
The way the scenes connect to each other is so clever, and oftentimes quite challenging. Sometimes it’s pretty apparent which two objects are meant to connect together, but other times you’ll spend a ton of time swiveling each scene around just hoping something sticks out. While this means you can feel pretty lost at times, when you do figure out what the game is wanting you to do there’s a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and a wonderful “Aha!" moment. Moncage very much has the soul of an escape game, blended with an object puzzler like The Room, and with a dash of classic point-and-click puzzler thrown in for good measure. It’s a great blend.
You also don’t mind so much when you get stuck because Moncage is a gorgeous game, and just exploring every nook and cranny of these tiny little scenes is enjoyable on its own. You’ll be rewarded for exploring too, because there are hidden pictures to discover across the game’s 50 different scenes that detail an overarching story. And you’re never truly ever “stuck" because Moncage features a very thoughtful hint system. Finally, on mobile, the game will set you back just $3.99 which is 25% what it costs on PC, and in my opinion manipulating the cube in the game is tailor-made for the touchscreen, so not only is it cheaper but it feels like the definitive way to play. Do I need to say anything more? If you enjoy puzzlers, unique concepts, gorgeous visuals, and premium games then Moncage needs to be in your life right away.