Made by Ronimo Games (some of the same people that created De Blob), Awesomenauts shares a similar colorful and cartoony art style. The game is two years in the making and has had a relatively small development team.
It’s a Defence of the Ancients-style game that pits players and their AI controlled ‘critters’ in a war of attrition to destroy each others’ home base. Along the way, players have to work together to take down enemy towers, protect their own towers, upgrade their units, and eventually punch a hole through to the enemy home base.
Each side will have four players, which can either be controlled by the game’s AI or by other players (either at home or online). It may seem fairly straight forward, but there is a lot of strategy and planning involved. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into consideration to win.
Second opinion: Kyle Baron, Editor
Ryan, Greg Hutto and I played a non-final build of the game where we faced off against the enemy AI. The AI, by the way, looked pretty tenacious and kept trying to push its way past our critter mobs to finish me whenever I tried to fall back to home base to heal.
I controlled a sort of cyborg space monkey that used a focused laser beam to slowly chip away at enemy forces while bigger and more powerful characters, like Greg and his robo-gorilla, could push forward and tank damage. After earning money from taking out an enemy tower and some enemies along with it, I had enough money to head back to home base and peruse some of the upgrades – upgrades like a longer laser beam and a time warp field. A member of the development team noted that characters will be able to specialize towards attack, support, or anti-tower roles in the final build.
The trek back to home base was pretty lengthy and was probably the only part of the war of attrition-style gameplay that didn’t do it for me. Typically, in similar games in the genre, there will be some sort of teleport power up available to ease the trip back home. Hopefully there’ll be something like this when the game is released.
The developer also said that, when the game is released, each level will have unique gameplay elements such as summonable enemies, like sandworms, or the ability to reinforce individual lanes with more friendly critters.
These tower based territory control kinds of games, like Demigod, DOTA, and Seige of the Ancients, have rarely hit the spot for me. However, similar to Monday Night Combat on XBLA and Steam, Awesomeness seems like a much more accessible and intuitive adaptation of that style of gameplay – benifiting from its own unique art style that seems to be a blend of Earthworm Jim, Alien Hominid, and Bucky O Hare. I’m eager to get my hands on it and see how it turns out when it’s released later this year.
Awesomenauts will be available soon on XBLA and PSN with a planned price of $10 or 800 Microsoft Points. Awesomenauts is published by DTP.