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Tooth and Tail [official site] is to Command and Conquer what Monaco was to an actual bank heist. If you took an RTS and threw it into a pot then burned off all the fat, you’d be left with something that looked a little like the latest from Andy Schatz and his team at Pocketwatch Games. But would you lose some of the flavour as well? I played the game at GDC (Pip beat me, as usual) and spoke to the team about its design, artistic and mechanical.
Below you will find the 25 best stealth games ever released on PC. There are sneaking missions, grand thefts, assassinations, escapes and infiltrations. Stay low, keep quiet and we’ll make it to the end.
If one thing has become clear to me over the last couple of years, it’s that Those Who Game need even more ways to spend their cash on discounted games. In the lull between digital sales events that are engineered with more precision than Black Friday’s SWAT support, wallets are exposed to a paltry forty two thousand bundles and Steam has not yet incorporated second-long flash sales into its infrastructure.
Good news arrives in the form of Indie Pi ata, a collection of games selected by developers. They’re all on Steam and if you own one, you qualify for discounts on the rest. I’m not particularly interested in the discounts (too common), but I am intrigued by the idea of dev-curated collections. Particularly now that keeping track of ‘new’ releases on Steam has become rather difficult.
With Pocketwatch Games starting work on its “RTS you could play in a party setting” Armada, it’s time to stop coddling Monaco and set it free into the big wide world to stand on its own two feet. Run, Monaco! Be free! It’s hard to let go, though, so Pocketwatch has packed one final patch for its darling little heist ‘em up: cheese & Marmite sandwiches, a kiwi fruit (forgot a spoon though), a Tunnock’s Tea Cake, and the fourth and final official Monaco campaign.
Monaco developer Pocketwatch have announced a new game, which they are currently calling “Armada”. This is, they stress, currently a working title, and the game is in the very earliest phases of development, having no real art to its name. But there is a strong concept, and they’re keen to talk about that.
I caught up with pocketwatch man, Andy Schatz, to talk about the new game, which he described as “an RTS you could play in a party setting.” Have a nose at that below.
[Earth-shaking slapping sounds can be heard in the distance, like fresh lard being cannon-fired at an ancient war drum]
Do you hear that?
[A glass of water ripples ominously; a largely decorative Jello mold does the same, but fails to be particularly frightening]
Something’s coming. Something big.
[Dogs whine, horses stomp frantically, one or two people glance up from Western-shootout-caliber staredowns with Facebook on their phones]
It’s… it’s… SEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL.
Delightful co-op heister Monaco is getting in the holiday spirit… of Christmas, for Halloween. The Jim-approved wonder has stolen from the, I guess, someone> to give bounteous gifts to the poor/you, resulting in an update that will knock your socks off (or your entire Halloween costume, if you’re going as gigantic sock). For one, there are zombies, because there are always zombies, but also the update’s added an entire mini-campaign titled Monaco Origins that’s rich with character-driven backstory. Details belooooooooooooooooow.
What do you think of Monaco? Jim thought it was entirely delightful, and he was tickled neon pink (and neon every other color) by its roguish charms. This bit of his opinion rainbow, especially, is pertinent: “I particularly like The Hacker because he shows off what teeming systems the levels present. While anyone can hack a computer terminal, The Hacker can use plug sockets to send ‘viruses’ spinning around the level infrastructure. This allows you to disable alarmed doors, security cameras, and so on, but it also gives you an idea of how much there is going on in any single building. It’s a beautiful thing to see buzzing around you. It adds more life to a game that already feels fresh and awake and busy.”
Basically, the levels are brilliantly intricate webs of life, interconnected circulatory systems that you must slice and dice piece-by-piece. But now dismantling is only one side of the coin, because Pocketwatch has released The Mole’s Workshop, a free set of level editing tools with Steam Workshop integration.
Monaco won the IGF in 2010 with a compelling prototype and a handsome smile. In 2013 it’s being released as a sprawling, brilliantly-composed heist game that is poised, like a ludological cat-burglar, to steal our imaginations. The years of polish show in layers of features and detail, while the core idea that won the IGF – of single or multiplayer replayable heists – continues to produce gold on every playthrough.
This is one of the most important independent games this year, and might well end up being one of the best-loved games of the decade.>