One project I really admire is the puzzle game Monument Valley, developed by Ustwo Games. It was based on concept drawings by company artist and designer Ken Wong. Monument Valley‘s visuals were inspired by Japanese prints, minimalist sculpture, and other indie games. Looking at their clean, simplistic visuals makes me happy. I also really love their color schemes, and I like that their game gives people a sense of delight. I also appreciate the game’s meaningful visualization of the relationship between mother and child, and that it illustrates a metaphor for the “ever-evolving relationship between child and parent: one that shifts from reliance, to mutual respect, to a reversal of caregiving.” Monument Valley came out in 2013, and Monument Valley 2 came out in 2017.

In contrast to this game of puzzles, I also really like another phone game called Neko Atsume. It was developed by Hit-Point Co. and came out in 2014.  This game allows you to play with cats who visit your virtual backyard, and take pictures of them and “collect” all the cats. I like this game because there are simple interactions to allow me to feel delight and become attached to the cute cats, such as feeding them or taking “snapshots” of them. And although there aren’t any puzzles for me to solve like in Monument Valley, I still find myself attracted to the game and enjoying the simple, cute interactions. These two projects also have very different aesthetics, and I find myself enjoying both.

A screenshot of one of the puzzles from Monument Valley. I really like the color schemes and geometric aesthetic.

Monument Valley 2 Article

A screenshot of Neko Atsume. The cats interact with objects you set up in your yard.

What Neko Atsume is

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