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Monzo attempts to bring model kit construction to your mobile Exclusive

August 21, 2014 | By Mike Rose

August 21, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing, Exclusive, Video

"In my childhood I made models. I was a fan of tanks. My uncle, he was a hardcore builder - he made big ships, sometimes taking six months. With Monzo, we're trying to make it simpler."

If you had to guess what Czech Republic studio Madfinger Games was going to build next, you'd probably be quite off the mark. Following gory titles like Shadowgun and Dead Trigger, this mobile game studio is now building a game about... model kits.

Monzo is a model kit construction simulation. Players are offered numerous models to piece together on their smartphones or tablets, and once you've picked what you're going to build, you then have to virtually unbox the pieces and slot them together, bit by bit.

The models on offer are really quite diverse too. You can build model cars, motorbikes, fire trucks, drilling machines, Da Vinci machines, even weapons like Colt pistols.

Madfinger is attempting to bring the age-old art of model building to mobile, with the aim of making players really feel like they're building things. You can even paint your models afterwards, then use the camera on your mobile device to "place" them in your room.

"No blood. No violence," Madfinger's Tomas Nawar tells me. "Just another part of your brain to connect with." The problem that Madfinger has found is that there's not really anything else like Monzo out there, so building the game over the last two years has been pretty tricky.

"There's no past games to take inspiration from," he noted. "We tried a lot of different versions." Building something like this has also made the studio question whether what they've built is even a game at all.

"We realized that this is not a game on a traditional scale. There are some secret ideas right now that are connected to this game. In the future, there will be some connected games.

"No blood. No violence. Just another part of your brain to connect with."
Indeed, according to Nawar, if Monzo takes off in the way that Madfinger hopes, this will be just the start of something big for the company. In perhaps the same way that Skylanders models work alongside traditional video games, it could be that your Monzo models can be used in later releases in the franchise.

But for now, the team just wants to wait and see what happens. "It's not a hardcore game, you know?" the Madfinger man notes. "It's meant to be for having fun for a short time. Some people will remember their childhoods, and some are still modelers."

When the game launches, hopefully next month, there will be around 20 models to build. The game will be free-to-play and offer a small number of models for free, and subsequent model packs will be available via in-app purchases.

And Madfinger plans to add new models every month, until there are hundreds of models available. A kid-focused version of the game is also planned.

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