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One Year Later: Awesomenauts Is Still Awesome


There are games which capture you for weeks on end, which you finally set down in a huff and know that you are done in that world forever.

And then there are games which you find yourself booting up when you have nothing else to do, just to see whats changed, just to play for a half an hour here and there – and then you realise you have a thousand matches played and have probably played it more than a handful of those other games combined.

Awesomenauts is one of the latter.

For anyone not familiar with it, Awesomenauts is a curious mixture of rock solid MOBA (see DotA or LoL) gameplay in completely unique design. It looks more like Worms than any traditional top-down MOBA (god I hate that acronym), but has the same frenzied gameplay and ability match offs of any of its big brothers in the competitive gaming scene.

Styled after the 80s Saturday Morning cartoon, Awesomenauts pits crews of space bounty hunters against each other in fantastical and often comical locations, set throughout a fictional galaxy at war. But these characters are closer to super heroes than they are to Boba Fett, with types ranging from a rapping frog to a French speaking lizard assassin. And then theres that guy who is basically a brain in a jar wearing a robe.

Yes, this game is definitely different.

But I worked all that out a year ago, when the game first launched on consoles. So why wait this long to review it?

Well it’s probably because I want to emphasise how rare this kind of game is. No not a MOBA, and no not a cartoon style adventure – I’m referring to that mythical breed, much like gamings Unicorn.

A game that is supported with developers who actually hear things from the players and then use that feedback to change things in the game.

Take a step back people, the guys at Ronimo (the developers) mean business.

Over the last year I have been amazed at the countless balance fixes, hero tweaks, map corrections and new ideas thrown into this game – to the point that it’s currently almost unrecognizeable from what it once was.

A playful throw around title from Xbox Arcade has become a fully fledged Steam-based competitive brawler, with players as skilled as any you would find in a LoL tournament. Sure the matches might be a bit more bite-sized and the item builds a little less complex, but the elements all boil down into a balanced and frenzied game which has only got better.

So what? You might ask, thinking of paid subscription titles like World of Warcraft which receive weekly updates regularly without causing a fuss about.

Well, what sets Awesomenauts aside is that the developers launched this game barely a week after their publishers went bankrupt – that is to say, they had no money when they did so.

And while they could have left it alone, generating a little bit of scratch on the side while they looked for new jobs, instead they have been fighting for it ever since – releasing new heroes, new versions (PC and Mac) and so many balance patches they could even put LoL to shame.

It’s for this reason that I would implore anyone the least bit interested in the genre to check out Awesomenauts. It certainly was fairly awesome when I first played it around a year ago – and from the looks of things, it’s only going to get more awesomer in the future.

And that’s about all the awesome related puns I have in me. You’re welcome.

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