We all know that MOBA games have been a big deal in the gaming industry for the last few years. And it’s normal considering that the game mechanics are simple but can be made complex by gamers : you have some lanes, some characters all with 4 special abilities (or 1000 like that dude Invoker from Dota 2), you have 5 vs 5 players beating each other like there is no tomorrow and a lot of teamwork which will bring you the victory screen. So the the question remains, what can you bring to a MOBA game to make it unlike any other? And this is when I found Awesomenauts.
Awesomenauts is a 3 v 3 side-scrolling MOBA game.The turrets, the base, the shop and the creeps remain the same as in any MOBA game, but being side-scrolling the jump button is the law here. So most of the dodging in this game is made by jumping really high and really fast for avoiding incoming attacks. Each character has 4 abilities: The first two are the normal attacks, which upgraded with specific loadouts can become very powerful plus the jump (as I said jumping is a big deal here). The other 2 are the custom abilities for each character. These abilities ranges from siege, moding your character and launching massive damage against your opponent, to enhancing your health and attack speed for a few seconds during the game. Having only 2 custom abilities is not much, but each of these abilities are dependent on the upgrades that you can buy from the shop located in your base like any other MOBA. You can choose up to 3 features for each ability in the loadout menu.
This is where you decide if you want your normal attack to do more damage from the beginning, or if your AoE ability can give you health back, depending on how much damage you do to your opponents or received from them.
The currency in this game is acquired by collecting Solar. Solar are small silver/golden cubes. You start the match with 235 Solar and you can collect more once you are deployed with a Drop Pod from the mothership, which is the spawning area. A nice twist on the in-game currency mechanic is the fact that it does not depend on the “last hit” method from other games. They just drop for all the players by killing the creeps, destroying turrets or killing the enemy’s Awesomenauts. Of course there are skills in the shop that give you +17 Solar / min during the game or just a one time ability that gives 130 Solar so you can upgrade multiple abilities at the same time.
There are only 5 maps in the game but I found them very fun, each of them having an unique feature. For example on the Sorona map you can find a huge button in the middle which when pressed spawns a big worm that eats whatever is above it (I died many times because my teammates weren’t paying attention ). On the Ribbit IV map we have two creeps that give you more Solar and heath but if your character is not fully upgraded or close to it, it could take a while to kill them.The battles are done on two lanes so you can work your way through the turrets found on the bottom lane, or go on bthe top lane to get around them.
From the intro movie of the actual gameplay you can see that this game doesn’t takes itself too seriously. The plot is that two teams are fighting over some drills that are gathering the Solar which I was talking about earlier, and of course the blue guys want what the red guys have and vice-versa. The entire theme of the title is around ’70s-’80s space movies, with a very cliche rock song to emphasis on the awesomeness. Awesomenauts is still receiving patches; The last one was released on the 28th August, Patch 2.6 Reloaded. They added a lot of things that the community requested and the most important one is the new A.I. fights. This was needed because, if in one of the teams a players isn’t present, the game would automatically add a bot on that team. Until now these bots didn’t do pretty much anything but now they are more engaged in team fights and make pushes on the turrets. Other features to this new patch are:
- A profile screen added
- An A.I editor
- A bunch of new skins for some characters. You can find the detailed description of this patch on their website
This game caught my eye because of its art design and since i was hearing only good things about it I thought, why not just buy it. I can’t say that I’m disappointed, it’s a fun game to play with two friends and to try to have a different approach from the classic MOBA games. Instead of the top-down view now I have to think the battles on a more vertical approach because of the side-scrolling and the two lanes being on top of each other. I recommended this game if you want to see a new approach to a very well known game style.