Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine review
Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine is basically Pac-man and his friends going on heists. With pixelated artstyle, guards who chase you, and the job of grabbing the gold and escape, Pocketwatch Games simply took the fun of an old game and added a whole lot to it.
Surprisingly, the story is more than an inch deep, yet it is told in very simple manners by short dialogues as you start a new mission. A few of these dialogues introduces you to a new member of the heist group – a member which can be helpful, if not vital for the groups success in later levels. The interaction between the characters, even that you only experience the very surface of it, is quite amusing and you actually get a gist of the different personalities, even that you only see silhouettes and written dialogue.
In short, a group of thugs has escaped from the prison, just before the player takes hold of the control. Now it’s your job to help them out and away from the police – this includes bank heists, help a friend that’s under house arrest, and get to the boat at the harbour. It seems that everything that can go wrong, goes wrong though. Go grab that controller and help the criminals.
You see everything from a top-down view during gameplay, and each mission starts with a briefing that tells you the main goals. Now it’s up to you if you want to go for the gold, the time or just plain fun with friends, in the couch or online. As you progress in the game, new enemies will appear on your way. Guards with stronger weapons, and dogs that can get on your scent – which ultimately means you can not escape from these unless you go through a door or climb up or down a ladder.
You can choose the character that will fit your playstyle the most, and you can choose which strategy to beat the mission – go all in guns blazing, just run around in a chaotic mess with guards running on your heels, or sneak around in an attempt to get through the mission without alerting anyone. Choose between getting all the gold or a fast time, or check out what items you can interact with throughout the levels.
The characters you can choose between have different abilities, thus different advantages in different situations. Here’s a few examples: the Locksmith can open doors faster than anyone, the Pickpocket has a monkey that will collect the gold within your range and ease the collecting work, and the Lookout have a wider range of view, including out-of-sight guards and icons for which weapon they carry. Choose your character carefully, even more so online as the Pickpocket and Lookout is very useful characters.
Beer up and fire up your X360, throw the controllers at your friends and get started on those heists. The chaotic multiplayer will make you scream at each other for alerting the guards and starting a Benny Hill-like running around the map in pure terror. Well, as much terror a game can provide anyways.
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A Unique Experience
As with other indie games, this game stands out from the blockbusters by not focusing on a life-like environment and fantastic graphics. The gameplay is the focus, and it’s doing a good job via simple, but quirky dialogues and a pixelated style in graphics. The music is made by the same guy who made the award-winning music for last years Journey, and goes very well with the game – it even changes pace from mellow but entertaining piano as you sneak around, to an upbeat rhythm during chase that slowly paces down to the piano as the guards starts to relax and go back to their positions as you manage to hide.
If you’re looking for a great game to play with friends on the same screen where you work together, this game is one of my absolut top recommendations. You really have to coordinate your moves if you want to get through the missions without alerting the guards. The game is also fun on your own, but it’s made to be played together. The style is distinctive, I love the details that have been paid attention to, and stuff that doesn’t really count has been dumbed down in an elegantly matter. I’d like to see what Pocketwatch Games comes up with next.
Miss; Some might find it annoying that when playing together, and if everyone is dead at the same time (you can revive each other) you fail the mission and have to start all over. When you are playing alone, you have four lives to make use of.
Need; The console version didn’t get the map editor that the PC version got, it could have extended the life of this game on XBL.