Moncage Review

Game: Moncage
Genre: Puzzle, Simulation, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam, (Windows) iOS & Android)
Developers | Publishers: Optillusion | XD Inc.
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: EU € 14,99 | US $14.99 | UK £13.49
Release Date: September 22nd, 2022

Review code used, with many thanks to XD.

Moncage, an award-winning vignette puzzle game, has been available on PC and Mobile since November 2021. Those of us on Nintendo Switch can now also experience the mind-boggling genius of this creation.

Is It Just a Cube?

A camera in a glass cube?

In Moncage, there is no character to customise or control, it’s just you and the cube on the screen. Through a few simple on-screen instructions, you realise you can rotate the cube, zoom in/out on certain areas and highlight key objects. As you follow these instructions you start to get a sense of what is unfurling before you.

Mmm… a toy truck.
The ladder on the wagon’s side looks familiar.

A teddy and toy truck in a suitcase on one face of the cube and a broken down lorry with the wagon at a factory site on another. By carefully manipulating of the cube, you can line up the toy truck and broken lorry and suddenly the vehicle becomes whole and drives off, revealing the next part of the story.

A perfect match!

I should point out that you don’t need a perfect alignment for the game to move forward, close enough and the object glows and the story progresses. If the match doesn’t glow, then it might be that it’s not the right time for that puzzle solution.

I was impressed by just this first (rather simple) match, so gosh, wait until some of the other combinations!

Don’t Be Fooled

Does that gun barrel look like camping gear?

Not all of the puzzles are as simple as matching two trucks. There are some very obvious matches, cranes, wheels, tables, patterned fabric, but then there are some which require subtleties of colour or shape. The amount of ingenuity that the developers of Optillusion incorporated into Moncage is mind-blowing!


When times get tough there are several help options. The first is to check what objects are highlighted as key items by using the FOCUS option

Something to assist that light bulb moment!

If that doesn’t inspire new thought, then there is a very helpful hint menu. If the two or three clues don’t enlighten you, then the video (available once all the clues have been shown) will clarify exactly what is needed. Most of the time I knew what was needed, but just hadn’t quite got the right method, so the video really helped. Nevertheless, there were times when the solution was so obscure, I don’t think I would have ever solved it without help.

More Than a Puzzle

Can you find them all?

The puzzle game by itself is brilliant, but there are also two lots of collectables, photos and medals. Within the 50 scenes shown on the cube, there are 28 photos hiding.

Hiding in what was a closed drawer.

As with the puzzles, some are easy to spot, and some are truly hiding. After several run-throughs, I was still missing a couple. Unfortunately, with the nature of the game and how scenes appear and disappear, it’s not clear which scene would contain the elusive photo.

But what are they for?

There are also 15 achievement medals to collect. The medal gallery doesn’t tell you the name of the medal or what you have to do to achieve it, until you’ve gained it. Some are awarded for completing sections of the game, but others are for quick reactions. Unsurprisingly, I’m still missing some of these and as a perfectionist, not knowing even the name to give me a clue, is frustrating.

And The Story

A poignant reunion.

Both the scenes are shown on the cube as you progress and the collected photos reveal the underlying narrative.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the story – a child and parent; a lighthouse; a factory; a war; a hospital – even the publishers call it “an ambiguous story about a young boy and his father”.  But as I ponder it more, I feel that there is a deeper, more thought-provoking message in Moncage, similar to that in Unravel and Unravel Two, a sad twisting fate, with a trickle of hope and redemption.

Luckily, this isn’t a literature exam, so I will dwell no more on the whys and wherefores, but leave you to enjoy the story as it presents itself to you.

But… There is always a But

On the whole, the game mechanics worked fine. There were times when it showed that it was designed with a mouse in mind, and assumed knowledge of what keys to use within the help/settings menu, but these didn’t ruin the experience. There were a few judders due to frame rate, but nothing significant.

For something so small, it caused major problems.

However, I did encounter a game breaker, literally. About halfway through, there is a scene with a small bomb. The bomb needs to be manipulated through various scenes, one of which contains a tap. I turned the tap just as the bomb was underneath it and the bomb disappeared… forever.

As the game autosaves, there was no way to return to a point prior to my mishandling of the said tap. I did search for possible solutions, but in the end, just used the Reset Game Data option and started again. Interestingly, although I lost my collected photos, I did retain my achievement medals.

On a subsequent run-through, I purposefully missed some of the puzzle alignments and the bomb would roll around, eventually explode and respawn as expected. However, when I exited the game at this point, to return some hours later, the small bomb had vanished again. So beware!


If you like the slight of hand of a magician or the artistic brilliance of trompe l’oeil, then Moncage will not only be a visual delight but will truly engage those little grey cells in puzzle solving. Without the little frustrations around the collectables and the small bomb glitch, it would have scored our highest rating.

Final Verdict: I Like it a LotI like it a lot



We love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.