Two Fave New Apps: Monument Valley and Petting Zoo

It’s been a long time since I talked about something besides knitting on this blog, so let me tell you about two apps that have been making my iPhone fun lately!

The first is the puzzle game Monument Valley, which is an all-around beautiful experience. You play a silent little princess navigating a surreal landscape of Escher-like towers and blocks that work in mysterious ways.


The mechanics of it reminded me a little bit of the game Fez, but Monument Valley differs greatly in its approachability and ease: the puzzles start without the delay of a boring tutorial, and build in difficulty to something challenging but not frustratingly so. It’s a game that I think has a calming effect on most people, which is something I always appreciate my phone doing. Really, I enjoyed Monument Valley so much that I didn’t want to “waste” it by playing it while waiting in line at the grocery store. I played it at the end of the day when I could let myself get drawn in by its strange little world.

The other app I’m digging lately was recommended to me by Kay Gardiner of Mason Dixon Knitting, of all people.


It’s called Petting Zoo, and it’s an “interactive picture book” by Christoph Niemann, the illustrator responsible for some amazing features on the New York Times website, among other things. I suppose the primary audience for this app is young children, but I’m not ashamed to say that I find it delightful as an adult. Its simple concept: line drawings of animals that you poke and prod to make them respond in amusingly elastic ways. The actions start with simple concepts, like “pet the stretchy dog”, then get gradually more surreal and unexpected. (The melting panda is a favorite of mine.)


I’m enjoying this app so much that I’ve been using it sparingly, trying to delay the end (which I haven’t seen yet) as long as possible. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my 3-year-old niece the next time I see her, but in the meantime I’m happy to enjoy it as a 33-year-old.

Both of these apps cost money, but are extremely worth it. Oh, and why am I talking to Kay Gardiner about apps? Because I was telling her I was thinking about making one. How fun would that be???

6 thoughts on “Two Fave New Apps: Monument Valley and Petting Zoo

  1. Oh my gosh! Monument Valley is painfully beautiful. I have sworn off app games as of late but I may have to make an exception for that.
    Yes make an app, I would love to see what it is. Hey make a pitch to the Ea mobile studio here and it would give you an excuse to visit lovely PEI. But do it in the summer, it is not fit right now. ;)

  2. You know, I really hadn’t thought about working with a studio, but maybe that’s a great thing to look into. It’s a completely unfamiliar world to me, after all. And I would LOVE an excuse to visit PEI—in a warmer month!

  3. It would probably be more satisfying to your creative process to not work with a studio, but I don’t know much about outside pitches either. :)

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