Indie darling Monument Valley has released a brand new expansion, Forgotten Shores, out now for iOS. Key word there: Expansion. These new levels come at a price, and developer ustwo is copping a lot of abuse over the decision.
First things first: You can go grab Forgotten Shores from the iTunes App Store right now. In Australia, it’ll set you back AU$2.49 – and that’s on top of the original game’s price point of AU$4.99. In a world of 99 cent apps and free games, this makes Monument Valley stand out.
The thing is, Monument Valley stands out anyway. It’s a beautiful, incredible game that is top of our list when recommending iOS games to friends and family. It’s a delicious example of what can be done with the medium, and we’re delighted to see that the new expansion effectively doubles the amount of content in the game. Having played – and loved – the game, we’re more than happy to fork over less than the price of a chocolate bar to get the new levels.
…it seems other people don’t necessarily agree with us. iTunes reviews of the game on the App Store are plummeting, as fans seemingly alternate between giving Monument Valley five stars (because it is amazing) and one star (because it’s not free).
So. Today, if you have a spare $6 or so and haven’t yet played Monument Valley, try to resist buying that coffee with lunch. Head to the App Store and buy Monument Valley. If you like it, leave a positive review. Support an indie developer who is doing something wonderful (with real artists and real developers, this is their real job).
Otherwise, the negative reviews and “fan” backlash will push developers like ustwo out of mobile development – maybe to something like Steam, or maybe away from games altogether. And that, my friends, would be a tragedy.