Monday Night Combat



Strategic shooter is set in a fight-to-the-death game show.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Set in the future, this dystopian game turns lethal combat into an arena sport watched live by crowds and broadcast to the world. Fake billboards are posted around the play area and commercials for fictitious products play during breaks in combat. The action and society depicted are both pure fantasy that could not reasonably be confused with the real world, but the violence is nonetheless quite glorified.

Positive role models

Our protagonists never speak, so we don’t know their opinion of taking part in a sport in which participants fight to the death. Regardless, they are proficient and show no hesitation in their lethal actions, making them poor moral and behavioral models.

Ease of play

The tower defense strategy element means there’s more to the action than most third-person shooters. Still, the objectives are simple enough that it shouldn’t take longer than a half hour or so for most players to feel at home.


Players use guns, grenades, swords, turrets, and special abilities such as dash attacks to fight both bots and player-controlled characters in this third-person shooter. There is no blood or gore; defeated opponents simply fall to the ground and disappear.


A female character seen in cut scenes shows deep cleavage.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Monday Night Combat is a third-person shooter set inside a futuristic game show in which contestants fight to the death. It’s pure fantasy, but the lethal combat is presented as a sensationalized sport. The Players use guns, swords, and other weapons to defeat a mixture of human and robotic foes, though there is no blood or gore. Note that this game supports open voice communication during online play, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.

What's it about?

The penultimate entry in Microsoft’s 2010 Summer of Arcade series of downloadable games, MONDAY NIGHT COMBAT is a mixture of over-produced sports television, third-person shooting, and, of all things, tower defense strategy. The object of the game is simple: Don’t let opposing bots destroy your Moneyball. If you’re playing in Blitz mode, that means installing, maintaining, and upgrading turrets that will protect your zone. If you’re playing as part of a group online in Crossfire mode, you’ll need to divide your time between defending your base and leading bots into enemy territory.

Is it any good?


It’s a bizarre blend, but Monday Night Combat is undeniably fun. The turret defense strategy is filled with subtleties and takes time to master, and the class-based combat, which forces players to learn new abilities for each soldier (like the assassin’s cloaking power or the sniper’s trap-laying skill), is solid. With just a couple of different game modes you may think the action would become tedious, but arenas are loaded with unique features that players can spend money to activate, such as jump pads, making the tactics required between matches sufficiently different.

But it’s not perfect. If you play alone, it can be difficult to balance time fighting and managing turrets. Plus, a couple of the character classes are a bit wonky (the massive tank, who hobbles around in a giant shell of armor and can take loads of punishment, doesn’t seem to hit as hard as he should given his name and the enormous weapon he carries). But it’s fun. And completely different. Definitely worth a try for fans of action or strategy looking for a fresh twist on their favorite game types.

Online interaction: This game supports online competitive and cooperative play with open voice chat. This leaves the door open for players to share personal information and younger gamers to be exposed to inappropriate language from other players.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about combat as sport. This game takes the concept to its extreme, but what about modern sport? Is there a difference between a physical game like football and one such as boxing or mixed martial arts, in which the indisputable goal is to hurt people?

  • Families can also discuss the differences between fantasy and realistic combat. Is the former safer for younger players than the latter? Why?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Available online?Available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:August 11, 2010
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:T for Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence (Xbox 360)

This review of Monday Night Combat was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byizacis February 24, 2011

ok for everyone

it is a game i think kids should play and is not bad at all
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 11 years old October 8, 2011

monday night combat needs a commercial break

A mediocre Xbox Live Arcade game. The game's fun and all, but it's far too repetitive to the point where you could sit back and watch the bots win. And considering the fact that you can only upgrade skills to a 3rd level, all of this being monitored by the world's most annoying announcer, MNC is a baffle upon how it blew up so much. Maybe it was its endless consumerism fun, maybe it was its strategic tower defensive style, something could've caused it all! Anyways, for tower-defensive fans, I'd recommend this game, but not if you're a seriously picky gamer.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Kid, 12 years old March 19, 2011

its ok

i found mnc a good game i just never found my self attracted to this game its just that with other games like. cod. portal. smb. i i found myself playing alot this one i didnt play much its a good game i dont hate it its just that i never played it


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