Ronimo games has become known as a quality studio. Only two games deep they have become known for games that are interesting, fun, and easy to pick up and play. De Blob, their first game, was released as freeware that caught the eye of THQ who subsequently bought the rights to it. Sword and Soldiers was a good looking 2-D side-scroller that was a fun RTS style game that saw them at the helm of a money maker, with positive reviews for its fun gameplay and an art style that was fun, injecting a light hearted nature to the game. Because of this, Awesomenauts was a game that many were anticipating. And it did not disappoint.
Awesomenauts is not your average sidescroller. The game focuses on arena combat in a very cartoony setting. You have multiple turrets that you have to take out to get to your enemies base and each turret is a chore to take out on its own. With bullets flying both directions the pace can get frantic quickly around these chokepoints, and with multiple tiers, vertical movement becomes just as important as your side to side. 2-D arena combat that is quick firefights between players you may think thats enough to make any game, and you’d be right. The added benefit of streams of robots, not unlike a DOTA style game, only makes the pace seem that much more intense. Every time you defeat a turret an extra, an even larger robot comes into play for your side. That causes your team to want to make an extra push while you have the advantage, and will also put a crosshair on whatever area you go after because the opposing team knows you have that strong piece in play. It is a fun mechanic added to an already cool idea.
From sword using melee classes to fast moving mid-range gunners and damage absorbing tanks, there are no shortage of variety to the characters in this game. Each character is unique, and you can never double dip on a team, so if someone on your team picked a tank character, then you are unable to choose a tank. That keeps the teams somewhat balanced. Each character has two special attacks and each special attack lends some even more unique elements. Having grenades at your disposal can be a huge plus against some. You get to kit out which upgrades you will have available for you before the fight, and you have to buy them as the fight goes on. This offers a cool element for good players, allowing them to kit up fast and have a very decisive victory. Although in some matches this made it so that a comeback was all but impossible because the opposing team had such an advantage.
As you play you gain levels which unlocks different add ons for your character. This leveling mechanic makes it so you have more options, yet are never overpowered. I never knew the opponent’s level unless he was using a character that wasn’t unlocked until way late in the game. This was fine, because the levels only seemed to open up different players. Your tank may move a little faster but not hit as hard, or your medium range might have a longer range special attack. Things like that are a cool way to add in options for players no matter what character they play.
All in all this is a super fun game. I can easily see a group of friends putting this into rotation on a game night. Little bit of Super Smash Bros, little bit of Awesomenauts. Its a fun multiplayer game that has a pace that is fast enough to be fun but not so breakneck you feel stressed that you aren’t doing it right. There are some nitpicky things. I sometimes felt the sense that I’d come into a game part way through and be to far behind too make a difference. But all in all the art direction was fun enough to not make me all that worried about losing, making it an easy to pick up multiplayer game that you can easily play for hours.