There are moments in Monument Valley 2 where you can't help but smile. Little eureka moments that shift the foundations of play in the most literal way are littered through this beautiful but brief experience.
And while it starts off in a similar vein to its illustrious predecessor, it soon spreads its wings and moves in some interesting new directions. There's art here, not just in the imagery, but in the beauty of the game's design.
Then there's the atmosphere that permeates everything. This is a game about mothers and daughters, the cyclical nature of life, and how we carry on the legacy of the people that came before us. It is, in short, nothing short of incredible.
The game follows a similar path to its forebear. You're manipulating levels, twisting and sliding mechanisms in order to change the geometry and create new paths. It's sort of like an Escher painting come to life.
This time around there are new mechanics thrown into the mix. Sometimes you're controlling two characters, and need to fathom out how to get them to the same place. Other times you're controlling just one, but the other will follow your movements on a different part of the level.
There are times when you're moving the whole levels around, altering the architecture as each twist changes your perspective. You're rarely stuck - it's fair to say that the level of challenge here isn't the main draw.
Instead usTwo has managed to create one of the most adventurous games on mobile, despite its arch linearity. As each piece of the puzzle slides into place you feel like you're making momentous, breathtaking discoveries.
There's a beautiful, simply told story that's left open to the player's interpretation. That's not to say that it's not going to warm and break your heart though. One particular sequence where the colour has drained from the world is particularly moving.
It's not just the large parts of the game that will make you stop. Everything here is so wonderfully put together, from the birds that scatter at your approach to the whales swimming in the background. There's so much here that it demands your attention.Valley uprising
Yes it's brief - you're probably going to finish Monument Valley 2 in a single sitting - but in those couple of hours you're going to have one of the best gaming experiences available on any device, let alone mobile.
This is a deliciously tactile, malleable game. One of its levels is full of more ideas than most games on the App Store can cram into their entire run time. Plus it's beautiful. So very, very beautiful.
I can't stress enough how good Monument Valley 2 is. It builds on what came before - in a very real way, it's a sequel about sequels. And its story about legacy cements ustwo's own position as one of the greatest developers working on mobile.