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Monaco is a fun, frantic game about pulling off the perfect heist

Alex Cocilova | May 9, 2013
The criminal path is paved in gold as you rob everyone blind in this fun and frantic co-op indie game.

Grab a drink. Cue the Ocean's 11 theme. Monaco: What's Yours is Mine is a game about pulling off the perfect heist by sneaking, stealing, failing to sneak and making great escapes across a variety of beautiful time-trial levels laid out like casino blueprints.

Want a taste of the action? Take the viewpoint and controls of Hotline Miami, add a dash of tactical strategy a la Hitman Absolution, sprinkle in the best bits of your favorite bank heist movie and shake it all up, then serve on ice. Monaco: What's Yours is Mine will go down smooth.

Playing the game

Monaco provides fun, excitement, laughs and some playful frustrations. You can play alone if you like, but I recommend recruiting three friends to back you up as you tackle the heists.

The main challenge of the game is navigating through gorgeous, blueprint-like levels to complete an objective and then escape without dying, but at the end of every level you're judged based on how long it took you to pull off the mission. Your objectives span a gamut of illicit activities, from breaking open a safe to robbing a bank or breaking a fellow criminal out of captivity. You can also collect coins along the way to (inexplicably) bolster your ammunition reserves, and you need to collect all the coins on a given level for the best possible score as your final time for the mission is increased based on how many coins you miss. You get three attempts to complete the mission--die, and you have to try the mission again with a different character.

The controls are simple: move around with the WASD keys and aim with your mouse. The keyboard controls are perfectly serviceable, but Monaco's fast-paced top-down gameplay really lends itself to a gamepad controller. Though the action can get hot and heavy when guards are on your tail, it never gets too complicated: if you want to activate or use anything, just move into it. For example, if you run into a locked door just move into it to begin unlocking it, but be careful--these actions take time complete, and a guard could discover you at any moment.

Like Minecraft, Monaco is a game with simple graphics and basic gameplay systems that combine to create situations which let you flex your creativity while solving problems. There are tons of things to interact with: Pick up weapons and health, lockpick doors and safes, hack security systems and lights, then sneak through vents and alleyways while the enemy bumbles around trying to figure out what went wrong. 

Your character navigates each map like a figurine on a blueprint, and areas of the map come alive as your character's cone of vision sweeps across them. Anything taller than you will block your sight, creating a fog of war across the map where guards and attack dogs can hide. The sound design of Monaco is excellent: when enemies get close enough you will hear their footsteps as well as see footprints on the grayed-out area of the map where they're walking, giving you a good idea of their speed and direction.


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