Welcome to Mechanically Beautiful, where we look into the widely debated topic of whether or not video games are considered art. I’m here to say that yes, I do believe video games are a form of art. If you are not a believer of this idea, then maybe these articles will change your mind. But even if they don’t, you will get a chance to hear about and maybe look into some beautiful games in the industry. Today, I’ll show you guys the crazy, cartoon MOBA game, “Awesomenauts.”
“Awesomenauts” is a casual style platforming MOBA made by the indie company Ronimo Games. “Awesomenauts” is a game based around the ideas of other MOBAs, like “Dota” and “League of Legends”, but it has some interesting twists. This is a game that is totally 2-D where the lanes are above or below you that you must platform to. The game has a bit more focus on faster combat and using your two main skills, with more focus on position and timing.
Many MOBAs go for a realistic style look or something along those lines, like “Dota” and “LoL.” Well, “Awesomenauts” isn’t about all that serious nonsense, if you couldn’t already tell by the name. This game is done in a cartoon style, flash animated, happy go lucky look. The game is covered in bright colors and crazy lights and weird looking Awesomenauts.
“Awesomenauts” has a sci-fi setting where heroes of the galaxy, called Awesomenauts, are battling each other for the resource called Solar. This sci-fi setting means that all of the maps are themed to this cartoon, sci-fi style. All of the turrets in this game are large mechanical guns, with tiny, little robot buddies in the cockpit, trying to mow you down. There are also little force fields blocking certain areas from the enemy team, that go down with the turrets. Many of the maps have strange little gimmicks to them. All of the stages also take place in different areas of space or on different planets. Each planet has a backdrop to it that fits into the foreground area that you are fighting in. One of my favorite stages is the planet of my best Awesomenaut, Leon. Leon’s people are a bunch of lizard looking people, who have some strange religion and breed many stealth fighters as they can cloak themselves. Their architecture has large statues and temple looking objects around the area and a dark purple and black color scheme to it.
Each Awesomenauts has a funny look or back story to them and everyone has their own theme song and persona attached to them. I love the design of almost each and every Awesomenaut, with the exception of two of them. The two I don’t like are Lonestar and Ted McPain. Lonestar is just a generic space cowboy who throws dynamite. Ted McPain is just a big guy who carries a big space shotgun. Every other Awesomenaut is much more interesting than those two. Leon is a French chameleon, who left his planet to be a space criminal and then lost his arm and replaced it with a laser blade arm. He is a short, gray lizard with a tiny black mustache wearing a space prison jump suit and a large yellow laser blade for his right arm. The Awesomenaut, Derpl is a big green slug thing sitting in a mechanized suit, that fires plasma cats. Coco is a strange purple woman, who talks like a surfer and rides a floating space hoverboard and wears a jumpsuit. Each Awesomenaut is unique and well designed with some kind of strange visual style to them. The newest Awesomenaut, Skree, is a Jamaican witch-doctor alien with tentacles for hair and a large laser spear. He is riding a hover disk with spinning blades on it. These characters in this game are wacky and ridiculous and awesome to look at and carry great themes for themselves. Each Awesomenauts is also bright and colorful and changes the color based on if you’re on the red or blue team.
The animations to the abilities are not giant and flashy as to not cause too much distraction on screen. They fit nicely with their characters and still look cool in the world they are in. The character Raelynn fires a giant laser from her pistol that reminds you of something like a photon beam in Star Trek. Derply fires giant glowing energy cats that bounce around and claw people. Lonestar fires off a blue energy bull that charges forward and explodes at the end. Every ability has thought put into it and goes nicely along with the theme of each naut. Many of the abilities are just silly, like much of the game. The items in this game are pretty odd, too. There are upgrades for your abilities instead of stats boosters. This means the pictures for each upgrade are based on the Awesomnaut you are playing. Leon has a ability that lets him regenerate while invisible called pinot noir. The upgrades for Cocos surfboard is pictures with different decals on the board. Genji’s ability, the Monarchs Blessing, gets a boost, called The Cat Pillar. The humor and style of the items just keep going. Every ability also has little text under it making jokes. Like for The Cat Pillar, it says, “New Edition: Carmen covered in moonnectar tell us her deepest secrets.”
“Awesomenauts” is a game I say any fans of MOBAs should pick up for when you want the MOBA experience to be a bit more casual. It’s a great game with awesome looking style and great humor to. It also has some great references in it, like Genji The Gray. “Awesomenauts” is a great addition to the growing MOBA world.