Developer Ustwo’s delightful perspective-based puzzle adventure Monument Valley 2 and turn-based Tomb Raider spin-off Lara Croft Go are currently free on iOS and Android, should you be searching for some additional indoor entertainment this weekends.
Monument Valley 2, described as an “illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness” by its creator, released back in 2017, offering up an enhanced slice of its predecessor’s wonderfully chilled, perspective-shifting challenges. As before, the goal is to rotate each perfectly formed stage, sometimes manipulating specific contraptions, in order to create impossible, Escher-like pathways and guide your tiny charge, Ro, to the exit.
The sequel’s big twist, however, is that Ro is now joined by her daughter, with some stages requiring players to shift both characters in tandem, each performing one half of an action needed to proceed. Eurogamer’s Christian Donlan shared his thoughts on the cleverness at the heart of the Monumental Valley series earlier this year, if you’re keen to know more.
Lara Croft Go, meanwhile, transforms the gunslinging acrobatics of the world-renowned adventurer’s familiar temple-roaming hi-jinx into a rather more considered, puzzle-focussed affair. Coincidentally also opting for a lovely, low-poly isometric aesthetic, the general gist is that players are able to move Lara along fixed paths each stage, shifting from node to node.
There are ancient traps to contend with, and beasts to defeat, but it’s all given a rather more cerebral twist, thanks to its turn-based core. Timing and direction of approach are often crucial to overcoming challenges (with perils frequently only moving when Lara does), so it all becomes a clever game of careful planning and placement. It’s a lot of fun, and despite its fundamental deviations from the main series, still a surprisingly authentic tomb raiding experience.
Basically then, grab either or both for your iOS or Android device and you’ll have yourself a very pleasant few hours of entertainment this weekend, all for the entirely reasonable sum of free.