How cultural heritage inspires creative studios to create best-selling games

If you’re the happy owner of an iPhone or iPad, you might have heard about ‘Monument Valley’, one of the top 10 best-selling games in the App Store at this moment. The aim of the game is to help a faceless girl called Ida through the ‘impossible architecture’ before her. Players interact with the buildings, rotating and dragging them in order to clear Ida’s path.

Monument ValleySource: ustwo

The game is clearly based on the ‘impossible reality’ lithographs of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher. The developer of the game, the British digital creative studio ustwo, is bringing masterpieces such as Staircase, Tower of Babel and Belvedere to a new audience of gamers that otherwise might not know the work of Escher at all.

The game is truly a work of art in itself; the studio not only brought interactivity and gameplay to Escher’s ‘impossible’ worlds, but also added interactive audio: while manipulating the buildings, the audio reacts to provide an atmospheric and beautiful soundscape.

Of course, this is just one example of how creative developers turned cultural heritage into an addictive game. Do you know other great examples? Please let us know in the comments!

Explore the works of M.C. Escher on the Europeana portal.

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