Monument Valley Forgotten Shores Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the video game score Monument Valley Forgotten Shores by Stafford Bawler.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 92
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 21.4
Album Excellence: 64.8%
Monument Valley is a puzzle game developed and published by indie studio Ustwo. The player leads the princess Ida through mazes of optical illusions and impossible objects while manipulating the world around her to reach various platforms. Monument Valley was developed over ten months beginning in early 2013 based on concept drawings by company artist Ken Wong. Its visual style was inspired by Japanese prints, minimalist sculpture, and indie games Windosill, Fez, and Sword & Sworcery, and was compared by critics to M. C. Escher drawings and Echochrome. The art was designed such that each frame would be worthy of public display. After a closed beta test, it was released for iOS on April 3, 2014, and was later ported to Android and Windows Phone. The game received generally favorable reviews. Critics praised its art and sound design, but noted its lack of difficulty and short length. It won a 2014 Apple Design Award, was named Apple’s best iPad game of 2014, and sold over two million copies by January 2015; by May 2016, sales of the game exceeded 26 million. An add-on expansion, entitled Forgotten Shores, was released for iOS devices on November 12, 2014. The score is composed by Stafford Bawler.
I remember I bought this game for the iPad when it came out and what a wonderful calming experience it was. Sure the puzzle elements were tricky, but the whole mood of the game from the music to the graphics was pure zen. I could meditate to that kind of mood. I reviewed the score to the original game, but finally we have the official score to the expansion pack released in 2014. I’m expecting 30+ minutes of the same calming music I experienced in the original game. The score opens with ‘The Chasm’ and I must admit it sounds a bit different than the original, maybe a bit darker, more epic. Still, you can argue that the same mood is there. It isn’t a complex kind of score, but a mood based one just like the original. It’s not until the second cue ‘Forgotten Shores’ I get that nice warm feeling from the first score. It’s so dreamy and yet it’s so familiar. This is music to meditate to. The meditative state continues with the beautiful ‘Untold Stories’
Sometimes we just need to get away and there’s nothing better to have music following you on that journey. This is a score that’s certainly takes me away from the daily grind. It’s just a simple but pure musical experience that takes me into this beautiful world. I don’t feel danger, but I feel safe here in this world. The exception might be one cue, ‘The Thief’ which interrupts the “flow”. I can’t think of many scores (if any) that is as relaxing as this one. It would have to be the original Monument Valley and that’s the main strength of this score. There really aren’t many others like it and if you would just take a breather and relax with some calm music, I can’t think of better scores than this one.
2. Forgotten Shores
3. Untold Stories
4. The Serpent Lake
6. Halcyon Court
8. The Citadel Of Deceit
9. The Oubliette
14. An Old Friend