Main image of article The Indie Game at the Heart of 'House of Cards'
In the new season of the Netflix series House of Cards, President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) takes a break from his Machiavellian machinations to… play an indie game on his iPad? The game in question—glimpsed midway through the season—is Monument Valley, a puzzler in which the player guides a princess character through structures reminiscent of an M.C. Escher design. The game’s slow pace and gentle aesthetic seem like an odd choice for an aggressive (and murderous) character like Underwood, but maybe its trickiness is meant to appeal to his character’s slippery nature. Check out the latest gaming-related jobs. House of Cards has featured video games before, almost certainly as product placement for Netflix partner Sony. But no money changed hands in the case of Monument Valley, according to a new tweet from its developer: “People have been asking, so we can confirm that MV appearing on House of Cards wasn't paid product placement, just a cool collaboration.” Certainly it won’t hurt the game’s sales, either.

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Image: House of Cards/Netflix