Monday, July 31, 2017


I consider Monument Valley the best game of 2014, so when I heard a sequel was available I purchased it immediately. Truth is I find difficult to play on mobile/tablet normally, I just favor PC/console. But it´s perfect for trips! So I managed to finish it on my way back to Malmo, and here are my impressions:

First thing is: If you played MV1, you don´t need much more to understand the sequel. It doesn´t add much in terms of game mechanics. They put more effort on the scenarios being more dynamic, and the little twist of controlling 2 characters simultaneously. Other than that the basic principles of the original game are still present: Escher-esque environments, small story hints – More to suggest thoughts than a real plot – and “find the exit” puzzles without any possibility of dying

The game is so similar to the original that it could have been marketed as an expansion. Also I think it´s shorter than the original – Or maybe I found it easier. Only 2 hours of gameplay for me. Overall it´s still enjoyable and suggestive, but I expected a bit more from a sequel

But if you liked the first one, you´ll surely cherish this one. And since the original one was so good, that´s no little thing


I often collaborate as a jury on different Spanish awards. Last year Love you to bits was one of the contestants. Despite some good remarks I didn´t see it particularly outstanding… but I got a free copy. It waited at my mobile´s desktop for a year until I gave it another chance, and my opinion about it changed drastically

The design is surprisingly mature and self-contained: It´s essentially a graphic adventure without relying on any text. Your character can move around the scenarios (never too big) without the possibility of dying, using the objects you can find freely, and it´s not possible to get stuck. This provides a stress-less experience, knowing the solution is always available and you just need to spend a bit more time to find the way

Although this basic principle could be too basic, and risks a repetitive experience, the dev team does a good job in iterating over the main mechanic to create always fresh content. Also the difficulty is fairly well balanced - not too difficult, not too easy. The proof is I don´t recall to have used any internet walkthroughs to find solutions (only for collectibles, I gotta admit)

Visuals are very nice. Cartoonish but with its own style. The music is amazingly evocative, too. All together the game has a high level of polish, with plenty of little details that clearly shows the team knows what they were doing – or they had a lot of time to spend on it

Not much on the minus side, to be honest. I guess some of the “time travel” levels were a bit obscure to understand, and I didn´t like some collectibles can be missable. Other than that it´s one of the best games I played this year for sure. Highly recommended for all ages and genres!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


As part of an upcoming Gamasutra article I'm writing, I’m checking some narrative games and one was Until Dawn. I didn’t have it so I borrowed it from a workmate (Thanks, Patrick!) and had the chance to finish it. Well, finish one branch that is. It's one of those storytelling games whose ending changes based on some key decisions you make along the plot
Overall it's a variation of the Heavy Rain model: It lacks exotic gameplay but the story is much more polished, centered and digestible. That would be the first "plus" on the list. Aside from that it's a nice adaptation of the teenage horror movies into a videogame - which feels fresh - there is a good amount of story background through dialogues and collectibles and graphics are well executed
One thing I particularly valued was the branching journal, which explains all the decisions you made so far. Similar to the choice recaps at the end of Telltale games, but more nicely presented and always available
On the minus side it doesn't add so much in terms of game mechanics to the genre, and the homage to how those movies are resolved make it a bit predictable. Is still a good game, excellent if you like the genre, particularly if you consider that the tone of both Quantic Dream and Telltale products is extremely dramatic: No matter which decision you make, you know the characters will be doomed to an uncomfortable outcome. Also in those games most of the golden path is pre-defined, and trick you into petty choices to make you believe the plot has actually changed when actually it hasn’t that much

In Until Dawn you can either save all characters or they can all die, so the decisions seem to be more meaningful, and actually there is a “Happy ending” you can achieve. In short, highly recommended for the storytelling genre lovers, or people interested in entering into that type of games. Not sure about other type of players, though