Monsters & Monocles (PC) Preview

By Athanasios 25.10.2016

Review for Monsters & Monocles on PC

Retro Dreamer's debut creation is another of those bajillion indie titles that use NES-inspired sprites and tile-based levels. For many, the overabundance of such games is enough reason to pass this by. Not advisable. Monsters and Monocles doesn't offer a new innovative concept or anything, in fact, it clearly smells of early '90s, co-op arcade through and through… and maybe that's why it's so enjoyable, even in its current Early Access state.

The top-down world of Monsters and Monocles is a typical example of one that the average gamer will need somewhere between three to five minutes to get the hang of. Move around with the directional buttons, aim with mouse or analogue, shoot, dash/evade, occasionally pick up a weapon or power-up, and, like the golden oldies… of old, battle with a boss at the end of each chapter. Simple? Yes, but this arcade-like simplicity is a true bliss here.

Even better? This was built with co-op in mind (local and online, for one to four players), which, needless to say, makes this a lot better, to the point that there's really no point in playing alone. Honestly, if there's a "flaw" here besides the existence of a couple of bugs (understandable for the time being), that's how the solo game just feels… okay. It would be nice if there was something to spice things up for lone wolves, or at least, if this had the option of adding some AI companions.

Screenshot for Monsters & Monocles on PC

Three things that make this more interesting: first, weapons get stronger as long as the player keeps on killing things, increasing a multiplier in the process, thus making the already frenetic action even more so. Secondly, various relics can be found on the levels; relics that upgrade anything from speed to weapon effectiveness once equipped, and, after the boss fight, it's possible to spend coins to improve them. Finally, levels are randomly generated, ensuring that no playthrough feels the same.

Yes, Monsters and Monocles doesn't have a lot of content, and, for the time being, not even enough options. Nevertheless, its simplicity is its strength, and, generally, it's obvious that the developer focused more in making this enjoyable instead of complex. Oh, and as a side note, the retro graphics are great and full of colour, and the horror theme-park music is spot on, and perfectly fits with the Victorian/Steampunk/Monster-fanfare style of it all.

Screenshot for Monsters & Monocles on PC

Final Thoughts

Fast as it is challenging, and simple as it is fun, Monsters and Monocles might not be as packed with content as other shooters, but it doesn't really care about that - all it cares about is being entertaining, and, fortunately, it's exactly that. The thing is, though, that it's mainly focused on co-op multiplayer, since the solo play feels kind of… dry in comparison - at least for the time being.


Retro Dreamer


Retro Dreamer





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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