Monospace; the Projection of 3D onto 2D

The latest game worth checking out in the iTunes App store is Nonverbal’s “Monospace.” (iTunes link.) It’s a fairly simple puzzle game to understand, packed with 64 challenges, but one that can get devilishly annoying on the higher difficulties. There’s no music[1], no fancy effects, nothing but a good sized set of logic puzzles that can be solved at your own pace; there are no time limits. Add the intuitive controls and the $1.99 price tag and you have yourself a nice, little diversion that’s hard to resist. It sure beats hitting the daily’s Sudoku.

The “official” video demonstrates the mechanics of the game quite well:

What’s interesting about this is that it has the same kind of “project 3D items onto 2D space” mechanic that’s been used in a number of games recently: Nintendo’s Super Paper Mario, Kuju/Zoe Mode’s awesome (but mind-busting) Crush (play the Crush demake Squish), Sony’s Escher-inspired Echochrome, and the upcoming indie game Fez. Polytron’s Fez (trailer) is easily, indie or otherwise, one of my most anticipated games of this year.

It’s not enough to call it a trend — more of a synchronicity — but it’s something. These mechanics exist as if, after a decade and a half of 3D games, developers have just now started to realize that they’re still being displayed on 2D screens. Why not make use of that?

  1. Though for some idiotic reason it still disables your music when you start the game. Thankfully, a double tap of the home button will resolve that but it’s still annoying.
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