I don't understand how the game "Monument Valley" played a role in Frank's plan putting a "philosophy" behind his AmWorks program. When he started typing on the keyboard and showing the screen to his subordinates, it was not revealed what was in that game the he saw useful. I never played the Monument Valley, I just read that it's a puzzle game. So can anyone shed some light on this?

  • 1
    I have played this game, and it requires a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to solve some problems. You may have to move walls, stairways, and walkways, (sometimes as a precursor) to allow your character through doors, passageways, and along cliffs. In other words, you have to be able to think many moves ahead. Sometimes you have to not only SEE the angles, but MAKE a few of your own - true politician-style.
    – wbogacz
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 13:53
  • As stated it was the review of the game that was key to the plot. However, I imagine TV and cultural critics in the future will have fun using the game itself for all sorts of metaphors to describe Frank's manipulation of the white house.
    – DA.
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 16:28

3 Answers 3


Tom Yates, a very famous author dedicated with many prizes, wrote a colorful review of the princess game Monument Valley. The whole review reads as follows (Frank reads it to Yates when they first met):

Whoever you are, whoever you think you are, believe that you're also a silent princess. Your name is Ida. Your journey is one through a forgotten landscape of twisting staircases and morphing castles, atop floating stones defiantly crossing an angry sea, within dimly-lit caverns cobwebbed with ruins M.C. Escher could only grasp at in a dream state.

Altough Frank was used to play action games (I think, it was Halo?) in the first seasons, he is seen playing Monument Valley on his tablet (S03E05, after about 15 minutes), which seems to be far away from his normal taste in games. Later, he shows the review for this game to Remy and Seth in order to convince them that someone (Yates) who can write reviews with such a colorful language and which are so famous are perfect to write a book about the philosphy of AmWorks.

He tells Yates (middle of S03E05) that his review was the reason he tried this game:

I tend to play shoot-'em-ups. The indie games don't really interest me. I need adrenaline and action. But when I read this, I had to try it.

  • 2
    Sorry - that he mentions at some point that the review is the reason he tried the game in the first place. Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 14:39
  • @RodrigoGómez You are right! I rewatched the scene and will add it to my answer. Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 17:03
  • He was playing Killzone 3 on a PS3.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 2:22
  • @Lilienthal yes, I know, But I didn't find a way to edit it using the SE iOS app. I have just deleted the first incomplete comment, I'll try editing the other on the computer directly. Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 15:45

It wasn't the game that mattered, but its review, written by Tom Yates:

Having read Yates' effusive review of Monument Valley, President Frank Underwood, longtime fan of shoot-'em-up video games, was so intrigued by its flowery language that it made him depart from his usual video game tastes and give the indie game a try. The occurrence made Underwood decide to look Yates up and commission him to come up with a piece of non-fiction political literature on the America Works, thinking that such a work would inject the public perception of his jobs program with some positivity.


In addition to these plot related answers, I'd add that there is a significant amount of product placement in the show itself.

One particular egregious point that sticks out for me is in Season 2 when Frank Underwood goes over to Peter Rousseau's and sees Rousseau's son's Playstation Vita, which is very poorly performing

 Underwood: "Is that a PS Vita? Which games does he have?"
 Rousseau:  "All of them."
 Underwood: "I have a console at home I play sometimes to relax. 
             I oughta get one of these for the car."

There are a number of other really heavy offenders, but if you give it some thought while watching the show they become really hard to miss.

The show does not list any disclosures for product placements and states that products like the Vita are used "with permission." Additionally, according to the LA Times, a spokesperson from Netflix says they don't have any product placement deals in place. I don't personally find that believable myself.


  • Wow, Neftlix says no product placement? As if the mention of Playstation Vita served any other purpose...
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 17:40

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