Release Date: 16 Aug 2016
Developer: Retro Dreamer
Let’s use this review to talk shop. When I wrote this my closing remarks were “It’s alright but it’s nothing new” and that struck me as something of a common theme. Looking back through my backlog of reviews some of them play like a broken record with the same point over and over. It’s not a surprise really, there are lots of games out there that attempt to get into the same genre and are overshadowed by the leader of their type. So I have now made a decision. After this review if my conclusion is “it’s alright but X is it but better” then i’m just not going to waste my time or your time.
So with all of that out of the way let’s look at Monster and Monocles. It’s a twin stick retro-inspired 8-bit shooter. Think Nuclear Throne or Enter the Gungeon, in fact that’s the game exactly. If you’ve played either of them you’ve played a better version of this. There are lots of weapon types but Gungeon has more. Multiple characters but Nuclear Throne has more and they actually do different things. There are a decent selection of monsters that fight differently but it’s smaller than either of the other game.
The game itself ends up consisting of slowly clearing through rooms of monsters, trying not to aggro so many that they surround you. There’s a dash which is absolutely required before you manage to upgrade you starting pistol (which is terrible). The boss battles are dull bullet sponges that take far too long and are really easy to beat.
The only way that Monsters and Monocles stands out is with its very British monster aesthetic. There are lots of top hats and your health is restored by tea. It has also got a variety of missions on each floor but even then it boils down to clearing through rooms so all it really changes is how long it takes for the next floor to unlock.
At the end of the day there’s just nothing you get out of this game that you can’t get from others and as it’s new it’ll probably be more expensive. It’s competent and not bad but at the end of the day… it’s alright but it’s nothing new.