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    Awesomenauts

    Game » consists of 8 releases. Released May 01, 2012

    Aliens, robots, and futuristic cowboys collide in this MOBA-inspired 2D arena platformer inspired by late-80s and early-90s cartoons.

    vigorousjammer's Awesomenauts (PC) review

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    Better than most MOBAs?

    I've never been a big fan of DOTA, LoL, or any of the other top-down, RTS-heavy type of traditional MOBA games. Part of this stems from the general obscurity of learning how those games work, and part of it because of the relative amount of negativity that comes from your teammates when you do the tiniest thing incorrectly. Knowing some basic concepts and strategies of MOBA games (Feeding, staying behind your creeps while attacking a tower, etc.) I went into this game thinking it might be a bit more accessible for someone like me who appreciates these concepts, but could never get them to work in any of the traditional games.

    Turns out I was right! Awesomenauts does a fantastic job of introducing you to those concepts with it's opening sequence, and explains why they're important. Also, instead of having a complicated number of items in the shop, you pick your character's build before each match. This allows you to strategize how you'll play your character beforehand, and gives everybody enough time to read how each of their character's abilities work.

    There is still a bit of a learning curve for each character and it'll likely take you a match or two just playing as them to figure out how to play a character effectively. This provides a pretty even playing field when going online, as it's relatively easy to learn how to use a character's abilities effectively. Yet it's still hard to master, and you'll likely find a good amount of challenge depending on who you face. The game is played from a 2D side-scrolling perspective, and the maps have their own two-lane system, with some towers on each team's side, blocking enemies from getting to your base. This gameplay style is much more streamlined from something like a traditional MOBA, yet you still have all of those MOBA-style abilities that you'd expect (such as knockback, healing, defense turrets, invisibility with a damage bonus, etc.) baked in to each of the characters instead of items that you equip to them.

    The art style of the game may not be for everybody, but I definitely enjoyed it's 80's Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe, which they evoke with a great amount of efficiency. The graphics play a big role in evoking that charm, and they have some quality animation for sure, but it's really the soundtrack and especially the goofy voice acting that really sell that tone. The polish on the Interface and UI really sell that vibe too, and even on the loading screens going into a match, you get a different song depending on which character you picked. It's these little touches that make it more than just your run-of-the-mill 2D game.

    If there's anything negative I can say about the game, It would be the lack of a single player mode. I know they were focusing on making a multiplayer game, and you're able to fight by yourself with two bots on your team against three other bots, but with such vibrant and interesting cartoony characters, it would have been nice to see a single player mode.

    The roster of characters also feels a bit small compared to your traditional MOBA game, with only 11 characters to choose from. Half of them are locked initially, having to level up and unlock them much like Call of Duty perks. They have also updated the game with two more free characters, with what looks to be two more characters on the way. Still, a roster of 15 characters if fairly small for this style of game. They make up for it by having each character be different enough from each other to offer some amount of variety, but a few more would have been nice.

    Overall, the game is excellent, and does for me what other traditional MOBAs never could do. It makes me want to actually pick it up and play it again and again. This is a game I've went back to numerous times and I've always had a blast with, and it's a great time with friends as well. I'd recommend it to nearly anybody who's looking for a good multiplayer game.

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