Mona Lisa, the mischievous art heist and forgery game in development by Northern Irish game developer Italic Pig, has been selected as the 2017 Branding Sponsor of Casual Connect USA.
Casual Connect USA is a world class event with a focus on matching the creativity of the games industry with new media innovation and investment to find the next big thing. At each of Casual Connect’s four yearly events, an independent games company with a unique product and art style is chosen to fully brand the event. This year, they’ve chosen Mona Lisa.
The opportunity means that attendees to Casual Connect will be getting a taste of Mona Lisa’s unique art style on the event programme, badges, signage, social media and more. Italic Pig’s quirky characters, peculiar scenery and slapdash forgery artwork will emblazon the event, and introduce tens of thousands of people to both the game and the indie studio for the first time.
In addition to this prestigious honour, Mona Lisa has also been selected as an Indie Prize nominee, representing all of the UK as the only game to be nominated.
“It’s amazing to see how much Mona Lisa’s ‘Arcade Art’ has drawn acclaim during its development,” says Kevin Beimers, Italic Pig’s Director and creator of the Mona Lisa property. “I imagine it’s similar to what the creators of Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution must have felt in their early days.”
Mona Lisa is an artistic new heist and forgery adventure for mobiles and tablets. The player takes on the role of the mysterious Mona Lisa, Renaissance Italy’s greatest art thief. Mona sneaks into the studios of the other great masters of the 16th century using Leonardo’s arsenal of gadgetry, locating precious works of art, and swapping them out with slapdash forgeries created by the player during the robbery in under two minutes.
Mona Lisa’s hook is its speed-painting engine, which, in Kevin’s words: “offers the player the satisfaction of creating something beautiful in minutes, without silly things like lack of talent getting in the way.”
This isn’t the first time that Mona Lisa has punched above her weight and taken home the title. Recently, Italic Pig Director Kevin Beimers “made history” at PocketGamer Connects London by unanimously winning the Very Big Indie Pitch; never in the seven years the VBIP has been running have all 15 judges agreed on a single clear winner.
In 2015, Mona Lisa was one of only four UK companies to be awarded a sizable grant from the Creative Europe Media Subprogramme for the development of narrative-led video games. The award was soon after matched by an equally sizeable investment from Northern Ireland Screen.
Italic Pig specialises in character-driven adventures of the irreverently epic variety. Their debut game – Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark – is a quantum physics action-adventure game for Xbox One, PS4 and Steam that has been nominated for several writing and industry awards, including Best Game Script from the Writers’ Guilds of both Great Britain and Ireland. Mona Lisa recently won Best Casual Game at Game Connection Europe, and has since been marked as “one to look out for”.