Monaco is a top-down stealthy game in which you take on the role of one of eight thieves to pull off heists because, well, that’s what professional thieves do. Pictured below, an example of being a bad thief. Clearly hiding in the bushes near a dead body is not the best strategy.
Monaco is about being sneaky and thievy. By nature, I am neither of these things but I love the hell out of this game. Sometimes it’s fun to try to play the game the way it’s meant to; to be as sneaky as possible and not get caught, and then other times it’s a combination of being sneaky and then running for your life because sneaking out of the building takes too much time. Since your score is calculated based on the amount of loot left behind and how long it takes to pull off the heist, sometimes it can be worth it to take your time to collect all the loot, and then run like hell to get outta there. The graphics are simple enough, your character is just a pixelated colorful humanoid shape, which doesn’t give away much of anything and the map is laid out like blueprints, and your view of the map is limited to the area around your location.
The levels are relatively short and get increasingly more difficult as you progress and have some rage inducing moments, I’m currently stuck trying to successfully clear out the discotheque. Whether you are using a shotgun, smoke bombs, band aids, wrenches, tranquilizer guns or assault rifles the amount of ammunition is linked to the amount of coins you have picked up, every 10 coins= 1 ammunition. Which when playing by yourself is fine as long as you aren’t too careless, but once you’re in co-op, and having four people running around the map, loot can be more difficult to come by, especially when someone plays as the pickpocket, because his damn monkey runs around stealing loot and I’m sure your friends are as greedy as mine are.
The co-op is good, in theory… but because of the stealthy nature of the game, things don’t go so well sometimes. Everything may be going fine but then someone fucks up and sets off an alarm. It could be advantageous to play co-op and have a decent team, but where do you find one of those?
I don’t know how much replay value Monaco has, once you go through the two campaigns, I don’t know what else there could be to do… unless they add more campaigns, which would be nice. You may play a level a bit differently based upon which character you choose, but that’s about it. Each character has their own special ability for instance the hacker can insert viruses which can disable security equipment and the lookout can see the locations of enemies in the area, the mole can dig through walls and the cleaner can knock out enemies who are not yet aware of your presence.
All in all, Monaco is a fun way to pass the time without a huge time commitment. It’s fun to play with friends, even if you do horribly. We played together a few times and it can get chaotic at times, especially when you decide to run around like a maniac and if you have an overzealous mole that tunnels through everything, you lose any type of stealth and nearby enemies investigate the ruckus. With limited ammunition, too many enemies chasing your ass it’s guaranteed you will probably die, but who cares? When in co-op your friends can revive you, as long as they don’t die in the process too. It’s a simple concept that is well executed and definitely worth a shot and it won’t break the bank with its $14.99 price tag.