Monsters and Monocles is a frantic top-down shooter for 1-4 players. Use teamwork and your arsenal of weapons to defeat the overwhelming hordes of evil, either locally or online. All the levels are procedurally generated with new layouts, objectives, and secrets each time you play.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (54 reviews) - 77% of the 54 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 16, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We've been working on Monsters and Monocles since early 2014 and have spent the bulk of that time making sure that the core of the game feels great for solo, local co-op, and online play. We are now at the point where we need to expand on this foundation with more variety and content across all aspects of the game, including levels, enemies, weapons, and customization, to ensure that each play session is unique and interesting.

Early access provides a great opportunity to get the game in front of a larger audience to help us fine tune and shape the game's balance and content, while also making sure that network play is as smooth and robust as possible.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We’re aiming to finish the game within 10 months while doing monthly content updates along the way.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version will have a much wider variety of weapons, enemies, upgradable abilities, objectives, unique random events, traps, and unlockable characters. We’re aiming to have 6 distinct zones, each with their own secret areas and bosses.

The full version will also have full steam workshop support for player created characters, weapons, enemies, and environments, as well as standard steam features like achievements, trading cards, and cloud saves.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current early access version is fully playable for 1-4 players, both locally and online. There are 4 playable characters and 3 complete zones, each with their own distinct type of procedural generation type, enemies, and boss. There is also a functioning HUB world in which levels can be selected and unlocked, and relic abilities can be equipped and upgraded. There are currently 20 distinct weapons and more than 20 relic abilities.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We plan to have the same fixed price for both early access and full release so that all players get the same value whether they adopt early or wait for final release.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We plan to have a fully transparent task list available to everyone to show what we’re currently working on, along with future update plans. We’ll be actively following the steam forums and email feedback to collectively help us balance every aspect of the game. The community will also play a hugely important role in helping us create fully featured and stable network play across all supported platforms.”
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Recent updates View all (14)

June 26

Content Update 6 - Now Live on Testing Branch

Short Version:

We’ve started an initiative to rework all the map generation in the game, and the mansion is the first zone to get changes. There is a new branch called “testing” that you can download now that contains the work to date. Our next update will focus on adding even more content to the mansion.

Long Version:

For a long time now Craig and I have felt like the map generation isn’t quite where we want it to be. We have a list of features that we’d *like* to see in the maps - unique/rare one-off rooms, NPC places, trap rooms with more design than “randomly placed spikes,” rooms with unique visuals, and more. We’ve made several efforts to prototype these features in the existing map structures, but were never really happy with the results, and the effort to author a single space of the type was so great that we would likely fall well short of the variety that we want to see.

As a second but equally important issue, we’ve been frustrated with the game pacing on the existing map structures. We feel like the moment to moment combat is fun but over the course of a zone the pacing is basically a constant level of challenge. Ideally it would vary more, with peaks where the combat is more intense, and valleys where players get a bit of downtime to recover and explore.

So with those issues in mind, we decided we needed to redesign the map generation system to better fit the needs of Monsters and Monocles. Our multi-step plan to validate a new design was:

  • Create a small tool to allow for testing and modification of the basic generation algorithm
  • Port the new generation code to the Monsters and Monocles codebase
  • Create a tool for defining the map segments with all the required metadata
  • Rework map rendering system to handle new segmented map generation with varying tilemaps per segment
  • Create several new rooms/segments for the map generator to use (empty rooms, combat rooms, trap rooms, treasure rooms, etc)
  • Replace the main combat floors of the mansion with the new map system
  • Test and ship

The initial tool for testing out the new designs wasn’t much to look at, but it allowed for very quick iteration on both the generation algorithm and different room shapes for testing. The tool itself was working after a couple days, and then I spent the next three weeks working on the algorithm, tweaking potential room shapes and sizes, generating large batches of maps for design discussions with Craig, and then finalizing details like calculating a critical path, adding looping paths, etc. We spent a lot of time at this stage because it is far and away the easiest stage to fix problems, and the more we got correct at this stage the easier the rest of the stages would be.

(Screenshot of the test tool we used to create the new generation system)

Once we were done with the prototype tool phase, I quickly brought the core algorithm code into the main game codebase and reworked it to start generating the necessary data structures required for play. I also developed a file structure in the Tiled map editor to start drawing out map segments and define all the necessary metadata. At this stage the goal was to be able to add all the data we need but also do it as simply as possible, since added complexity will increase the time to create variants, and eventually reduce the overall number of variants we can create. During this phase we reduced the segment creation process from around 2 hours per segment to approx 25 minutes (with a bit more time required for trap rooms with complex layouts). We feel pretty good about these times, but we plan on tweaking the Tiled map editor a bit to meet our needs even more.

Now we had map data being generated, and all of the data structures were valid, but we couldn’t see the maps! I needed to rewrite the map renderer to change from a monolithic map to creating and rendering several small segments. Fortunately I was able to reuse a lot of the existing renderer infrastructure, and just went through a refactoring process to increase the flexibility.

At this point we could see the the new maps and actually start to play! Well, we could run around the maps anyways. Once we hit that step I had to slowly start adding back in all of the remaining features that make a map playable - enemies, props, objectives, hidden entrances, exit points, etc. While I worked on that we also created more map segments and added a new trap type - a spinning blade of death.

And while I was working on all of this stuff, Craig had been reimagining the visuals for the mansion and using our new tooling to overhaul all of the tiles and details. It’s a huge step forward for the game visually and it’s not even using all of the new options at his disposal yet! I can’t wait to see how it looks when he’s done. He also plans to revisit the props and other objects to bring them to a consistent level.

(Mansion tiles: before)

(Mansion tiles: after!)

So, that’s a rough outline of the work for this update, and we’re launching it all today in a new branch called “testing.” If you’re interested in checking it out you can do so by following these instructions:

  • Right click on Monsters & Monocles in your library
  • Select “Properties” in the popup menu
  • Go to the “BETAS” tab in the dialog that appears
  • Select the “testing” branch
  • Close the dialog. At this point steam should automatically queue the patch download for you. If it doesn’t quit and restart the steam client. You’ll know when it’s worked because you’ll see [testing] next to the game name in your library

We hope you enjoy the new map system and see the same potential in it that we do - we’ll continue to push more changes and content into it as part of the testing branch, and once batches of work have stabilized we’ll push it from testing to the main game branch as well.

Thanks as always for your patience, and have fun!

-Ryan & Craig

2017/07/26 - 1.8.6386 (Content Update 6) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: This build is currently on the TESTING branch because it is not guaranteed to be stable and we will update it as needed. Changes will be pushed to the main branch as appropriate. What's New: * Removed original mansion map generator * Added new map generation system based on room variants * Added 10 combat room variants * Added 5 trap room variants * Added 1 treasure room variant * Added a boss room for skullington fight (and slightly reduced overall space for fight) * Removed original mansion tilesets * Added all new gothic stone tileset * Updated map renderer to support multiple tilesets within a single floor * Added a new spinning blade trap type Known Issues: * Spinning traps can desync in online MP on clients

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May 2


From: Overlord
To: Minions


I have two major items to touch upon in this memo.

First, our Research Division has announced that a new monster type named the “Papergeist” has escaped the experiment labs and flown to the zones of engagement. It is a ghost with an endless search for knowledge and will devour any books and papers it comes across. Give it space and do not let it consume any of our internal memos! It’s already eaten a collection of my early journals from my early days as an analyst in Central Services, and I don’t know what it will do with the information. If you find a Papergeist and manage to recover any portions of my journal, please return them to immediately. And don’t read them. You must promise not to read them.

Second, our Spymaster has informed me that the heroes have recently received upgrades to their airship. The new device is called Turing’s Enigmatic Analyzer, or T.E.A., and will begin to track a wide variety of tactical information for them. They have also added a fragment analyzer that can take partial pieces of pages and attempt to reconstruct them into a readable whole. To help process all this information they have also added a B0T-13R model robot to keep things running smoothly. Please, minions, redouble your efforts and show the heroes that any attempt at improvement is a futile effort.

Overlord of the Secret Criminal Organization of Nasty Evildoers

Att. Intel Report 1.7.6331

INTELLIGENCE REPORT #: 1.7.6331 TOPIC: RELEVANT CHANGES IN ZONES OF ENGAGEMENT What's New: * Turing's Enigmatic Analyzer has been added to the airship * Fragment Converter Device has been added to the airship * Your trusty butler, B0t-13r has been added to the airship * The first book of journal pages has been added to the game * Papergeists have been added to the game * Added codex entries for weapons, items, and relics Changes: * Reworked entire seeding system so each game starts with a single distinct 'parent' seed, that all other seeds and generators are built from. This improves our ability to replicate levels more consistently and also moves us a step closer from being able to share seeds for fixed runs/challenges Fixes: * Dynamic lighting had broken with unity 5.6, now fixed * Several shader objects had broken with unity 5.6, now fixed * Debris particles should now appear as expected * Fixed bundle name on mac to fix issue where game wouldn't load

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About This Game

Monsters and Monocles is a frantic, Victorian steampunk themed twin-stick shooter all about using teamwork and heavy weaponry to battle the hordes of evil. A naive occult collector has unknowingly unleashed a great evil that is spreading across the globe, and it’s up to you and a team of quirky paranormal investigators to find the source of this dark energy and blast it back to where it came from.

Online and Local Multiplayer

Take on the challenge solo, or play with up to 4 players online or locally. Your team shares a single pool of lives so you need to stick together, revive fallen comrades, and watch each other’s backs.

Customize Your Play Style

Search out and use powerful weapons to aid you in battle like the blunderbuss, stake launcher and the crumpet cannon - a steampunk toaster that fires weaponized crumpets.
Find and equip relics to customize your weapons and add new abilities to match your play style, and upgrade them by looting chests and destroying enemies.

Procedurally Generated World

Each level is procedural so you and your comrades will be faced with unique enemy placement, traps, secrets and objectives each time you play. Your trusty airship the HMS Scone acts as your hub and lets you gear up before taking on challenging levels like the haunted mansion, snowy Victorian streets and a cursed Pharaoh’s tomb. Each area ends with a fearsome boss encounter, such as a demonic chimney sweep or a giant cyclops skull.


  • 4 player co-op - both locally and online
  • Co-op centric gameplay - Revive teammates and shared pool of lives across all players
  • Challenging single player
  • Every game is different - Procedural levels, enemies, relics, objectives, and secrets
  • Customizable abilities - Collect relics that can be upgraded across play sessions to match your play style
  • Full Controller support
  • Huge bosses
  • Sound design & Music by Hyperduck Soundworks
  • Dogs wearing smoking jackets

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Core i5 or Core i7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 400 Series or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Additional space required for any mods downloaded
    • OS: 10.8 or greater
    • Processor: Core i5 or Core i7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Discrete GPU required
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Additional space required for any mods downloaded
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 or SteamOS
    • Processor: Core i5 or Core i7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Discrete GPU, Nvidia GTX 400 Series or better
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Additional space required for any mods downloaded

What Curators Say

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Mostly Positive (54 reviews)
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