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Awesomenauts is a 2D sidescrolling platform game in the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre. It is developed by Ronimo Games and published by DTP entertainment. The art style and general inspiration for the game is the fact that it is based on 80’s kids cartoons, which it really shows with the intro to the game.
The game is based around an intergalactic war, where the two sides (red and blue) have reached a stalemate and now they are hiring mercenaries to fight their battles. There are three distinctly different maps and six unique heroes with a seventh on the way. Each team is protecting its solar drilling operation via a series of turrets and robotic armies.
It follows standard MOBA conventions so anyone familiar with other games of this type will be able to slip straight into it. Waves of robots will spawn for each team and will progress towards the enemy team’s base, attacking everything in their paths. Each team starts with a core which they have to protect and 3-4 turrets which will help you protect the base. To win the game, destroy the core by destroying turrets along the way and using your robot armies as meat shields to push lanes and protect you.
Currently there are six characters and they all have their unique strengths and weaknesses; some are easier to pick up and play while others require more thought but they all can be played in a multitude of ways due to the upgrade system. All characters also have completely unique abilities including their standard attacks and their jumps. Each character has to choose three upgrades from a selection of six for each of their skills at the beginning of a match. At first you will only have four unlocked for each skill but as you level up as a player you will unlock more upgrades as well as the three characters that start off locked.
Characters can be boiled down into support, bruiser, dps etc but the wide berth given by upgrades can turn these on their heads. Froggy G is a hip hop frog that has a splash dash that stuns and a powerful close range whirlwind. It stands to reason that he can do dps (damage per second) but he can also tank with upgrade to his skills. He can reflect bullets with his whirlwind and have longer stuns on his dash. Voltar the Omniscient is primarily a healer as his main attack only heals; after an upgrade though his flying drones can decimate opponents with their flurry of attacks and his heal can be inverted into a damaging attack instead. These are just two of the characters while the others do have primary roles as well, you can really change it all based on personal preference once you reach a high enough level to unlock the upgrades you want.
Maps are symmetrical and all have very different playstyles due to the layout and the variations of paths and types of traps and neutral monsters. Neutral monsters are low health and passive creatures (with one exception) which will drop health when killed, making them important places to return to when you take damage and need healing. One aggressive neutral monster resides on one of the maps; it drops Solar as well as health when killed but is also incredibly dangerous and can kill most characters in about three hits. Maps also house other things such as traps and cover to hide in; one map has cover in the centre along with the aggressive neutral monster, another has a little cover and a trap in it. The last map houses a gravity field in the centre of the map, has a single lane at the beginning of the match and has a cage which releases special flying robots for you to use for lane pushing.
Games are played as two teams of three players, which houses you and up to three people. AI controlled bots take the place of any space without human players and they will be replaced on the fly as players drop in and out of a game. If you join a game that has already started then sometimes you will have more gold than you would from the beginning and sometimes less; it all depends on the situation your team is in. If your team is losing by a large amount then you will likely be ahead of your teammates. Another problem is if someone joins at a crucial moment then the bot instantly disappears, being good or bad depending on the situation. It is also important to learn to play three characters; as there can only be one of each character on a team and teammates may choose your favourite.
Solar (the games currency) is invaluable for multiple reasons; aside from using it to purchase upgrades for your character you will also use it to gauge how strong enemies are. For every 100 solar you collect you gain a level; levelling only shows your opponents and teammates roughly how strong you could be due to upgrades. This way you’ll be able to make quick decisions on whether to run or fight enemies. Solar is gained over time, from defeating any enemy and from being picked up off the ground; however you will lose solar for dying.
The game runs with the 80’s kids cartoon vibe and it shows trough all aspects of the art. The characters are based on crazy characters with weird backstories and visual looks; Sheriff Lonestar, Voltar (the brain in a jar) and Froggy G stand out as the sort of character stereotypes that came out of the 80’s cartoons. It carries the cartoon look all the way throughout the game and it suits it well as a colourful and stylised look.
The sounds are also very 80’s-like as well, with an intro which is spot on in terms of getting the exact tone cartoon intros had back then. Each of the voices is a stereotype of one sort or another and they all fit very well, each character also has theme music which plays when you first select them or earn a killing spree with them.
Presentation and Audio
Everything about the game captures the spirit of 80’s kids’ cartoons; the over the top character designs, their voices, backstories and the intro sequence. It has a lovely visual aesthetic because of what it’s imitating and sounds good to boot.
Anyone familiar with the MOBA gametype will feel right at home here and anyone used to multiplayer platform games should be able to get the hang of it really fast. The tutorial, will teach you all the basics and gives a good place to start but like many MOBA’s it comes down to playing more to learn a characters ins and outs. Problems with disconnecting from games mean progress can be lost in a instant but it is being addressed in the upcoming patch.
The three maps and 6 characters do give a decent amount of variation and more is promised to come. The characters and maps all feel well balanced with any problems characters have being more due to personal play style than anything else. Lower level players do get cheated a little due to some higher level unlocks outshining the standard ones. Joining games late can be good or bad depending on team composition and whether you are winning or losing. The players level progression can be restarted once level 45 has been earned, for a badge next to your name but all other unlocks are reset.
It’s a fresh take on the MOBA genre and is the first 2D sidescrolling one on consoles. It doesn’t have a huge amount of progression but what is there is fun; as long as disconnects don’t take effect. People aren’t opposed to leaving games when it gets tough, so you may find yourself playing against bots often but there is an option to join another player filled game via the ingame menu.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.