Available for free to Xbox Live Gold members through September 15th, Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine is a fun, delightfully-pixellated, retro-styled arcade game that has you stealing everything from money to passports and even yachts. But is it worth the HD space?
You play as one of eight classes – the first four are available immediately, the other four being unlocked as you progress through the campaign. Of course each class has a unique primary and secondary ability that grants an obvious edge to the sneakin’ and the stealin’.
Locksmith – Primary: Open locked doors and safes in 1/3 the time of the other characters.
Secondary: Open cash registers and ATMs in 1/3 the time of the other characters.
Pickpocket – Primary: Pet monkey that collects coins without alerting guards or setting off alarms (passive).
Secondary: Hides in bushes quicker than the other characters.
The Cleaner – Primary: Can put non-alerted guards to sleep.
Secondary: Heals with health packs quicker than the other characters.
The Lookout – Primary: Senses all NPCs if standing still or sneaking; reveals map in immediate area.
Secondary: Can sneak through windows and staircases quicker than the other characters.
The Mole – Primary: Can dig through most walls.
Secondary: Can break jewel cases quicker than the other characters.
The Gentleman – Primary: Generates a disguise when hidden that allows him to avoid detection for a short time when exposed.
Secondary: Can enter getaway vehicles quicker than the other characters.
The Hacker – Primary: Sends “viruses” through outlets that can disable security systems.
Secondary: Can hack computers quicker than the other characters.
The Redhead – Primary: Can “seduce” (my word, not the game’s) one NPC at a time allowing for freer movement.
Secondary: Revives dead teammates quicker than the other characters.
I played primarily as The Lookout until I unlocked The Gentleman who became my go-to class. With him, you didn’t have to be quite as sneaky to avoid detection as his disguise – while only lasting for short bursts at a time – allowed me to move from one hiding place to next; constantly regenerating the guise. There’s a certain degree of nanny-nanny-booboo-ness to walking right in front of the guards while taking their stuff!
The game also affords players optional weapons like shotguns, sleep-dart firing crossbows, and smoke bombs to deal with the pesky and ever-increasing numbers of guards.
- Decent as a single-player offline game, but really hits its stride with online multiplayer. Playing with others diversifies the class abilities which makes things easier, but also comes with the added difficulty presented by the greater number of bodies trying to navigate and pilfer while remaining undetected or, at least, escaping with their lives from the alerted gun-toting guards. The balance the game strikes is very good.
- The levels are on the short side, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to commit even an hour to accomplish something noteworthy.
- If you die during a heist, you aren’t stuck trying again with your other two lives as the same class. On the other hand, if you did want to try again as the character you just got killed, you’ll have to restart the level from the beginning.
- The pixellated presentation made it difficult to discern certain things visually. For instance: At one point in the game, dogs are introduced without preamble to the security you’re trying to infiltrate…only I had no clue that what I was walking past was a dog until it started barking and biting my behind.
- When you kill a guard, you can move his skeleton around in attempts to hide it and prevent detection. However when a teammate dies, you have to revive him where he lies; even if his or her skeleton is lying in the path of a laser tripwire. And Lord help you if they die in a doorway because it becomes completely unusable until they’re revived. You cannot run past or over them to avoid the guards’ bullets yourself. Learned that one the hard way.
- The map highlights the coins strewn throughout for ease of pickup which is great because “cleaning out” a level unlocks future levels. Oftentimes, though, certain NPCs have coins on their person that you have to bump into them in order to obtain and those are not marked on the map. I missed a few “cleaned out” accolades due to this, and it forces you to randomly run into the open in the hopes of snagging a coin that isn’t guaranteed to exist. Its risky.
All in all I’d say if you have gaming friends that are up for something a little different, then snag this one! Its definitely fun with the right wingmen or -women.
Each of the levels is like a puzzle, too, so if you’re into problem-solving you’ll really enjoy working your way through them. This will be a game I return to on rainy days and when I my partners-in-crime (XBL friends) feel like stickin’ it to the man one more time.