It’s Only Money was released in early access by developers Usual Suspects Studios on 16th June and its overall score on Steam is Very Positive. The game is a third-person sandbox simulation game where they encourage you to “steal back the city”. I got a chance to get a hands-on look at the game and share my thoughts.
Money makes the world go round.
The game boasts a similar game style to that of GTA but is seemingly more quirky and random. I love a bit of quirky humour in my games and know I’ll love this one. Do enjoy your crime simulators and like to cause a bit of mayhem on the streets? Let me know your favourite games below in the comments!
It’s Only Money throws you into the action straightaway working your gruelling shift at Rockhaven’s biggest factory. Here you run from machine to machine repairing them by completing mini-games. These range from three types, keeping a pointer in a section as it moves, lockpicking, and cutting wires in order. You are fired from your job soon after but thankfully, the skills you’ve learnt on the job can aid you on the streets. Finding yourself homeless and with not even a penny to your name, you are forced to rob and plunder what you can to survive. I found this a unique take on the typical make your riches kind of game like GTA in that you literally start with nothing.
The controls are fairly basic, and lootable bins and boxes are easily found. There’s my first couple of dollars. You find that you can also pickpocket pedestrians. Here the fun starts. As I approached the pedestrians I found you can auto-follow while you complete one of the mini-games learned before, in this case, keep your pointer in the area game. This mini-game comes in varying difficulties and I found it to be hard at first as the pointer was very sensitive. You also had to be wary of paroling police officers who take chase and will kill you if caught. Their uniform is weirdly in homage of the business bosses of the companies. Anything found can be pawned off to gain you that extra money.
There’s a quest system to guide you on your rise given by friends made along the way and after grinding away I found myself stealing cars using my lockpick skill and owning my first business. These businesses can make you extra money. The first I could buy was a slug racing business which races slugs you find around the city in a course that weirdly encourages them on with salt. As the money flows in so does the danger. More dangerous missions come your way enticing you to risk everything and often pitting you against the law. Fortunately, fending off attacks gets easier as you learn new fighting skills like uppercuts and power kicks.
Money is everywhere and just waiting to be taken from stealing items and pawning them to actually earning through businesses. Money can easily be taken away though. You’ll be charged for every bit of destruction or charged hospital fees if you should get injured. Even damage to the street lights and street fixtures has a monetary penalty. The urge to collect more money to afford better stuff is an addiction and this is where the game thrives. Finally, however, you can afford better clothes to better customise your character, cars, businesses and more importantly a home.
Graphics & Audio
There’s a cartoonish feel to the game with its simplistic vector-based graphics and effects. These suited the game a lot and there was never a lack of interesting and vibrant things to see around the city. On a scale of Minecraft to GTA this game was definitely around the mid-point still having some blocky designs but smoothed out. The UI and interface from its money counter with a cool animated money effect, to its easy to use inventory felt intuitive and stylish. Every design choice seemingly was to create a cartoon feel to the game which I loved.
The audio very much goes hand in hand with the game’s cartoonish look giving us fun-sounding music and fx. This is especially noticeable when fighting. You’d see stars around the enemy’s heads as you thwacked them and rewarded them with a satisfying sound. The sandbox world you find yourself in has all of the sounds you’d expect from a bustling city, car noises, and talk from pedestrians making it feel lived in.
I found myself getting lost in the city of Rockhaven. From humble beginnings exploring the sewers and the streets to its businesses and houses. There’s plenty to do and see throughout and none of it got old and boring after a few hours. Indeed, after a few hours of playing this game, I felt I had only scratched the surface. For those who enjoy GTA or similar sandbox life simulators but enjoy a quirky twist, this game will have you hooked and you’ll struggle to put it down.
It’s Only Money excels at the wacky and random. You’ll be equally surprised and laughing at many of the things the developers have included in the game. The game however is an immersive sandbox money-making life simulator at its heart. I enjoyed its social hierarchy and the struggle to rise up from the literal sewers. It’s a visually stunning cartoon-looking and sounding game that should appeal to kids and adults alike. I encountered no bugs even with it being an early-access game still in development. Definitely give it a go should you get a chance.
I award It’s Only Money a Thumb Culture Gold Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.