Posted: December 26
Imagine a mad Soviet-monkey who flies a jetpack that can manipulate time and space fighting a squid-admiral who tries to slam him with his anchor. If you burst into laughter while you tried to do this, this game is for you. And if you didn't you should try it as well, because Awesomenauts offers some really slick gameplay behind it's silly façade.
Awesomenauts is a match-based MMO that is best described as the child of a SNES-era Mario title and League of Legends. Don't go away yet, my fellow LoL-hater! The only elements this game borrows from LoL (and other MOBA's, such as Dota) are that you have to destroy enemy turrets behind the cover of your minions and that you win by destroying the enemy's nexus, or the drilling core as it's called in Awesomenauts. The Mario-element would be it's cartoony style and ofcourse the fact that it has only two dimensions.
Well, now you've got an idea of what to expect from this game, I will proceed to the actual review. The presentation is pretty damn neat. While the cartoony style might not be for anyone (I don't know what to think about it myself), you have to be a downright madman to call it ugly. Oh, have I mentioned the humour? I think this game is the funniest I've ever played. The music is great as well: all 16 characters have their own, unique theme in the character selection-screen and the in-game music is pretty neat, too. I do believe that the character themes are a bit of a wasted effort, though, as I think the devs could have spend the time and money better by fixing some of the issues I will address later.
The gameplay is almost as fancy as the presentation. It's pretty neat to jump around the map and shoot your enemies. You can also upgrade your character as the match progresses, in a similiar fashion to LoL. However, the upgrade system is much more simplistic. I consider this positive, as LoL's system requires quite some time to dive into and Awesomenauts's absolutely doesn't. You'll fully understand it by the time you complete your first match.
However, not everything of Awesomenauts is as beautiful as the butterfly spirit (yep, that deity can actually be summoned by a certain character). Although it isn't critical, the game suffers from some balancing issues. Some characters are quite a lot stronger than others and easier to play, too. This means that you'll find a few characters constantly dominating the match. While it is entirely possible to counter them for an able player I think the devs should pay some more attention to this problem.
A much more major issue are the servers, or rather their absence. Each match is hosted by one of the players. This means that when the host has ♥♥♥♥♥♥ internet, you're screwed. Things become even worse when the host decides to quit. The game will go black for a few seconds as it attempts to find a new host. Don't be scared away by this fact, however, as it's really the only major issue I can think of.
All in all, you should really buy this game, even when it's not on sale (;