Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Awesomenauts

Go To
Use your powers, show your might!note 

"The year 3587. Conflict spans the stars. Huge armies are locked into an enduring stalemate. Only one force can help them now: the Awesomenauts!"
—Game intro's Opening Narration

Awesomenauts is a Free to Play 2D MOBA video game, released on Play Station Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam, from Ronimo Games (The guys who brought you Swords & Soldiers).

A continually ongoing war between the Ones and Zeroes (or the Reds and Blues, just to make things easier) rages on over the universe. In order to bring the fight to a conclusion, a group of mercenaries known as the Awesomenauts have been hired by both sides in order to fight over drills on various planets excavating 'Solar', a precious liquid metal. One side must triumph over the other by destroying their Solar drill, ultimately putting their war efforts on halt.

Right, with the plot out of the way, the game is what takes centre stage from here. Think of the structure of a typical MOBA game (lanes with creeps going down them, turrets at periodic moments, and a base you have to destroy at the end), but recontextualised as a 2D platformer. This naturally opens up some slightly different skill sets to what you'd expect from something like League of Legends, Defense of the Ancients and the like.

With its cast of bizarre characters, brightly-coloured art style and gameplay made more involving in comparison to other MOBA games thanks to the 2D platforming shooter aspect, this can easily be considered a Gateway MOBA.

In mid-August 2013, Ronimo started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for an expansion titled, Awesomenauts: Starstorm, with the hopes of adding a spectator mode and five new characters, amongst other things.

In December 2015, Ronimo announced an expansion titled, Awesomenauts: Overdrive, which will include three new characters and several free additions like revamped matchmaking and redesigns for old characters. Overdrive was released March 2, 2016.

In April 2017, Ronimo launched Awesomenauts 4.0, a sweeping rework of the game that introduced an in-game currency, multiple new cosmetic items, individual character progression and unlocks, and most importantly; made the game free to play.

A Character Sheet is HERE. All tropes exclusive to a certain character go there.

5...4...3...2...1...BLAST OFF!

  • Actor Allusion:
  • A.I. Breaker: On Sorona (a desert world map), A.I. bots can be made stuck near the tremor worm pit by standing near the button that activates it. The bots don't want to get eaten by the worm but cannot jump high enough to get over you, essentially getting stuck in place.
  • Airborne Mook: AI Stations 404 and 205 have one canister on each side that spawns up to three bird droids for the corresponding team. These drones can fly and are immune to the standard buzzsaw droids.
    • Said drones can also be created by Raelynn's Timerift ability and Genji's Cocoon ability with the help of upgrades.
  • An Alien Named "Bob": Runs the gamut, with some aliens named things like Derpl Zork or Qi'Tara, but others named Penny, Rocco, Leon, Vinnie, ect.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Most of the cast, excluding Yuri, who is an ordinary monkey, and Derpl, who appears to be too dim-witted to speak coherently. Both characters double-subvert this trope by having on-board computers translate for them.note 
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: All character sprites are flipped around when they turn. Leon's sword arm changes from left to right, even in some of the official art! Clunk's missile launcher also does this as well as Lonestar's and Froggy's gun-holding arm.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The game has 5 main roles among the 'Nauts.
    • Tank: Beefy warriors with high HP and/or a source of damage mitigation, but with larger hitboxes and very slow movement.
    • Fighter: Characters who specialize in opening fights and staying in them. Lower health than a tank but more combat utility or raw power.
    • Harasser: What might be called a Mage in other games. They're similar to fighters, but don't involve themselves directly in the fight, preferring to apply pressure from a safe distance.
    • Assassin: Squishy characters with incredible damage. They can finish foes off before they have time to fight back, but die very quickly if caught out of position.
    • Support: The oddball class. They provide crowd control effects, healing, shields, or other powerful bonuses, but rely on their teammates to back them up.
  • Announcer Chatter: In addition to the default announcer, you can purchase more colorful announcers such as:
  • Anti-Escape Mechanism:
    • Against most foes, you're safe if you manage to get behind one of your turrets. However, a few characters have attacks which can hit from behind that barrier. Coco's Ball Lightning has a rather long range and strong damage, making it a great move with which to finish off a fleeing target. And Rocco's Precision Shot is especially notable, as it has infinite range, allowing you to snipe fleeing foes from any distance.
    • Leon Chameleon can use his tongue to pull enemies back to him. Additionally, his attacks deal extra damage when hitting from behind, making them particularly effective against fleeing foes.
    • Admiral Swiggins can use his anchor to do this in two different ways: first, he can use it as a grappling hook to zoom into an enemy's location. Second, he can chain an enemy to it, preventing them from moving more than a short distance from the anchor unless they destroy it.
  • Antlion Monster: The Sorona map has a giant worm hiding in the bottom center. Hit the button just one jump above and the worm pops out to annihilate anything underneath.
  • April Fools: They've done two so far. The first was in 2015, which replaced all the neutral creeps in the game with sheep. This was also a cross-promotion with Swords & Soldiers II, which had recently launched.
    • In 2016, Awesomenauts got a retro update; complete with chiptunes and a pixel filter. The pixelation could be switched on and off by pressing ctrl+P. This turned out to be an elaborate teaser for the upcoming 8-bit Yoolip skin.
  • Area of Effect: Everyone character has at least some form of this. Prominent examples are things like Clunk's explode, Ayla's Rage, and Voltar's healbot. In fact, the only 'Naut who doesn't have some kind of AOE by default is Rocco.
  • Art Evolution:
    • All the later characters/DLC costumes are noticeably more detailed than the nauts that were in the initial release. As an indie title, this is perhaps not surprising.
    • With the "Overdrive" expansion, the earlier nauts will be redesigned with more detail and animation to match the newer nauts. Here's comparison between old Lonestar and new Lonestar.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Skølldir's theme, when translated from Norwegian (Skølldir kommer på besøk, stram lemonaden klar), means "Skølldir is coming, get the lemonade ready").
    • Also Yuri's theme, which is in Russian.
    • Not to mention Leon's theme, which is naturally in French.
    • A handful of the lyrics in Ksenia's theme are Russian words.
    • Chucho speaks in Spanish for a couple lines. Not just words, but full sentences.
    • All of Giga Sentorii's dialogue is in Japanese. That being said, it's not much of a bonus since it's just Sentry's regular dialogue translated.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Subverted. While the characters do not bleed when hit, blood splats do appear on the screen if you take a heavy blow.
  • Bonus Boss: The Solar Boss.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Nobody has to reload their default weapons, although reload sounds do exist for certain special weapons.
    • Subverted with Ted McPain, whose shotgun has a limited clip that must be reloaded over time.
  • Bottomless Pit: At the bottom of Starstorm Station.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Averted with the robot armies of the Ones and Zeros, as the robots are identical, barring their differing colour schemes. Played Straight with the 'Nauts.
  • Character Customization: Each character has their own set of skills, but their loadout of upgrades can be customised.
  • Colour Coded Armies: The warring Ones and Zeros are identical robot armies, save for their red and blue colouring.
  • Colour Coded Multiplayer: The player is coloured red or blue depending on which team they're on. Everyone can fight against an opposing identical 'Naut, but will still look totally unlike the other due to their colour scheme.
  • Combat and Support: As with all MOBA games, there is a division of certain roles, as suited to different characters. Sheriff Lonestar is extremely adept at pushing a lane, Clunk can dish out and take a lot of damage, and Voltar serves as the team's medic and possesses very few offensive skills. Of course, these roles are not rigidly defined, but generally the characters fall into the categories below:
    • Combat - Froggy G, Leon, Clunk, Coco Nebulon, Derpl Zork, Vinnie & Spike, Ayla, Ted McPain, Penny Fox, Nibbs, Rocco, Ksenia, Chucho Krokk, Jimmy and the LUX5000, Dizzy
    • Balance - Lonestar, Skølldir, Raelynn, Admiral Swiggins, Skree, Scoop, Ix, Max Focus, Smiles
    • Support - Voltar, Yuri, Gnaw, Genji, Sentry X-58, Professor Yoolip, Deadlift
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Voltar, a floating brain in a jar who focuses mainly upon healing, is this. Unable to purposefully do any damage at all to the enemy without upgrades (at least, until patch 2.10, which let his basic attack damage enemies by default), he instead relies upon AI drones that follow him around to inflict damage.
    • Gnaw's reliance on Damage over Time leaves him very ineffective against healers and passive regeneration upgrades like Med-i-Can. His Weedlings are also vulnerable to big AoE effects that can wipe them out in one hit.
    • Any character that uses large amounts of crowd control have their effectiveness reduced by Baby Kuri Mammoth, a utility item available to every character. If they built too heavy into CC, most of their power is gone.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You die instantly when your health bar reaches zero, but are never weakened until death. Ayla even benefits from being low.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: The robot creeps will remain stationary if attacking.
    • Mostly averted with the 'Nauts, but most of them experience a slight slowing effect while firing and moving simultaneously, and activating most skills causes a momentary cessation of movement. Played straight with Raelynn, who remains completely still during the charge-up of her 'Snipe' skill, as well as Yuri, who cannot move at all while firing his laser.
    • Played somewhat straight with Coco, Chucho (while on his bike), and Ted McPain, who can't walk backwards while firing. None of the 'Nauts can technically move backwards while shooting, but in their case, their basic attacks fire so rapidly that there's no time for them to move before another shot is fired.
    • Fully averted with Max's regular attack with an upgrade that removes the movement penalties while firing. Also averted by a handful of other characters who have no move speed reduction by default.
  • Double Jump: Lonestar, Skølldir, Nibbs, and Ksenia all have one. Lonestar's can be upgraded into a triple jump. Penny has a triple jump that can be upgraded into a quadruple jump. Also, Genji and Ix have regular jumps followed by a hover, which they can use to either get higher or to float.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Actually averted as of 3.3, which added a new matchmaking system, and prevented players from leaving and joining a new game or joining a game in progress.
  • Drop Pod: You enter battle in this fashion. While falling, you can collect extra solar along the way.
  • Essence Drop: Neutral creeps drop health kits that are automatically absorbed (except with Yuri, who has to tow them in with his laser).
    • One of Genji's cocoon upgrades causes cocooned enemies to drop several small health packs.
    • Yoolip has an upgrade that causes enemy droids to drop health packs as well.
  • Energy Weapon : Quite realistically, for a Saturday Morning-esque sci-fi game, lasers are depicted as a continuous straight line that instantly hits anybody in it, such as Yuri's beam and Raelynn's sniper.
  • Evil Overlooker: Blabl Zork is usually portrayed this way. Can be seen in this video.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most skills have pretty simple, self-explanatory names, even skills that would usually get some more flavour in other MOBAs.
  • Flavor Text: With very minimal in-game story, most of the game's lore comes from the flavor text present on every character, upgrade, and DLC.
  • Floating Platforms: Averted by most terrain elements, but the maps are littered with free-floating glass platforms that can be passed through by pressing down. Starstorm Station contains the only floating solid terrain.
  • Follow the Money: Silver and gold solar blocks hover above the ground, to be collected via contact. Most noticeable in the Drop Pod sequence.
  • Freemium: As of 4.0, you can play the game for free, but are restricted to the weekly rotation of 'Nauts or whatever you buy with in-game currency or real cash. You can buy the game as normal, unlocking every 'Naut (aside from expansion ones) free forever.
  • Game Lobby: Before starting a game, you can invite other people to your team in a lobby screen. You can also create private sessions for up to 6 players.
  • Giant Mook: The big droids with rocket launchers. They actually do pretty decent damage to structures, so it's a good idea to keep them alive if they're your color and destroy them ASAP if they aren't.
  • Good Behavior Points: According to Ayla's backstory, she's an Ax-Crazy Enfant Terrible who can be almost as dangerous to her allies as she is to her enemies. Despite this, the Awesomenauts still value her as a team member because she only needs a gold star sticker as payment for her services as a mercenary.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: All over the place.
    • The guys who play this straight are Leon, Skølldir, Swiggins, Scoop, Yoolip, Jimmy, and Deadlift (and arguably Froggy G, and Clunk, as their normal attacks are ranged but their specials are melee/close range, as well as Ix who has ranged specials and a ranged normal attack, but doesn't do much damage outside of melee). The rest subvert it.
    • For the girls, Raelynn plays this straight. Coco (her main attack is close range, but her most damaging special is a long-range lightning ball), Ksenia (melee attack with one stealth skill and one ammo restricted ranged attack), and Dizzy (dashes into melee range but doesn't stay there) are borderline. Slightly inverted with Ayla (a melee basic attack, an Area of Effect skill that damages enemies that get too close to her, even her projectile nuke skill is mid-range), Penny Fox (starts out subverting it but has a few upgrades that give her ranged capability) and Nibbs (built for blinking in and out of fights to deal damage at close range). Entirely subverted with Amy, Jimmy's Distaff Counterpart that replaces him on blue team.
  • Hit Points: All characters, creeps, and buildings have a visible health bar. Any damage you deal or take is shown as numbers that pop out.
  • Homage: The entire aesthetics of the game borrow from Saturday morning cartoons from the 80s.
  • Homing Boulders: Clunk's rockets (with an upgrade), Sentry's mines (also with an upgrade), Gnaw's Weedling shots, Derpl and Lonestar's missiles (very similar projectiles, both with upgrades), and Chucho's turret shots.
    • The team turrets' bullets home in sharply if anything gets too close to them.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Can be done with by pressing the Taunt Button. Each character has a handful of different taunts they can say.
  • Idiot Ball: During the Tutorial, the computer-controlled Froggy G will blunder right into the turret ahead and attack it at point-blank range, as part of the Tutorial's lesson on how to not play a ranged character.
    • Even outside of the tutorial, AI characters will sometimes charge the turrets (though they will at least back off once they start taking damage).
  • In a Single Bound: All of the characters in the game excluding Clunk, Voltar, Vinnie & Spike, Derpl, Jimmy, and Ted McPain, have super-human jumps which are essential for platforming. Froggy G even has an upgrade that improves his.
    • And even then, Clunk, Derpl, Jimmy, and Ted have jet-packs, Voltar can hover, and Yuri and Spike can fly (Vinnie rides on Spike's back).
  • Interface Screw: Some skills can be upgraded to blind players, which temporarily blacks out most of their screen.
    • Taking a lot of damage creates a blood splatter on the receiving player's screen.
  • Jet Pack: Lonestar uses this to Double Jump while Derpl, Clunk, Jimmy, and Ted McPain use them to hover upward. Yuri and Max can freely fly around with their's.
  • King Mook: The Solar Bosses are this to the neutral creeps on the Ribbit IV map. They're very tough, have a powerful attack, and quickly regenerate health when left alone. However, they drop a lot of Solar and XP when killed and instantly heal whoever lands the killing blow.
  • Leitmotif: Every character has a theme that plays upon selection, composed with their respective personalities and character traits in mind.
  • Level Scaling: As time passes, 'Nauts generally become stronger by upgrading their skills, but the robot creeps gradually get more numerous and sport larger health bars as a round progresses.
    • Played straight as of patch 2.13, which overhauled the game to include an XP System. Every Awesomenaut has scaling damage and health based on their team level.
  • Magnet Hands: All the characters that hold firearms never let them go.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Most of the normal creeps.
  • Mirror Match: The same character can exist on both teams. There's even an achievement for playing against a team with the exact same set up.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: A minor example, but the intro sequence shows Lonestar dual-wielding his weapons, something which he sadly does not do in-game.
  • New Season, New Name: The Starstorm expansion has shades of this, with a Retool as darker-looking 'Nauts are released, along with a new plot for the titular Starstorm station.
    • This really seems to be the case in Overdrive, as most of the free features being released around the time of the expansion (Lonestar's visual rework, new matchmaking, Ix the Interloper, the XP System) are part of "taking Awesomenauts into Overdrive".
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Quite a few. Some standout examples are a genetically engineered alien cowboy (Lonestar), a bionic cow bodybuilder (Deadlift), and a time traveling psychic scientist (Yoolip).
  • Palette Swap: The red and blue sides; their turrets, bots, and the 'Nauts themselves.
    • Averted with Jotunn Skølldir and Jimmy and the LUX5000. Jotunn has a fire/ice theme and Jimmy is swapped out for his sister Amy (although in both cases, the sprites still look pretty similar).
  • Player Versus Player
  • Point Build System: Consistent with the MOBA genre. Every 'Naut begins a round with only their primary attack, having to buy subsequent skills at the shop with solar, the in-game currency. During the course of a round, these various aspects are upgraded.
  • Pressure Plate: There is a button in the bottom lane on Sorona. Stepping on it triggers a Sand Worm.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The story is Team Fortress 2 IN SPACE. They don't even try to hide it.
  • Regenerating Health: Every character has this by default, and nearly everyone can buy Med-i-Can, a utility upgrade that improves it. Furthermore, certain other 'Nauts have specific, more powerful regeneration: Leon has an upgrade that restores his health when he's cloaked, Rocco has one while using Vengeance, Yuri has one that gives his Time Warp this effect, ect.
  • Respawn Point: A drop-pod in a large mother-ship, seconds before its ejection towards the planet on which the round is taking place, no less!
  • Retraux: Roflnauts, once you find it.
  • Sand Worm: Sorona has one as a stage hazard. Players can use a button to activate the worm which will consume any players or droids unfortunate to be standing in its way.
  • Scenic-Tour Level: A more interactive variant. The tutorial begins with a brief cutscene, but quickly allows the players to take control of Sheriff Lonestar, as he is instructed by his employer to complete various objectives around a slightly modified level of Ribbit IV, the first map the player will have access to.
  • Scenery Porn: The backgrounds have all kinds of small details, such as jumping sandworms, other planets, and moving transport lifts. On Ribbit IV and Aiguillon, the bottom of the map is filled with water that reflects everything near it.
    • Starstorm Station is just gorgeous. It's filled with lots of little details, including lights that turn on and off, moving parts, scenery that you can interact with, several Easter eggs, and subtle references to all five of the Starstorm 'Nauts. It's also the first map where the art isn't mirrored at the halfway point.
  • Servant Race: Zurians, who look like classical tiny grey-skinned aliens, though it's not clear whether they're this or a Slave Race.
  • Shout-Out: By the truckload. In fact, it has its own page.
  • Shows Damage: Turrets and the Drill begin to spark and smoke whenever they're damaged noticeably. They also get a new icon on the minimap to reflect how damaged they are.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Ribbit IV is entirely a swamp and Sorona is a desert. Okeanos seems to be entirely an ocean based on descriptions, while Luxor is made of crystals.
  • Something Nauts: The titular groups.
  • Space Jews: A few characters seem to be representations of certain real-world human ethnic groups.
    • Admiral Swiggins of English people
    • Skree of Jamaicans
    • Froggy G and Dizzy of Black-Americans
    • Leon Chameleon of French people
  • Speaks in Binary: The robot factions apparently speak like this. Although, considering whose word we have for that claim, this could just be an exaggeration on Coco's part.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: All the maps contain spring-pads in certain places, allowing for a one-way, brief burst of speed.
  • Story to Gameplay Ratio: As mentioned in the blurb, Awesomenauts possesses a plot purely to set up the gameplay.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Most of the robot creeps pose little to no threat to you, yet will still pursue and attack you if within range.
  • Taunt Button: All of the 'nauts have multiple taunt lines which players can trigger at will.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Starstorm Station has a few worm holes littered around it that allow the player quick access to top lane. Can be used for surprise attacks as well.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: An A.I.-controlled Raelynn's Snipe can lock on to you with perfect accuracy while you're just barely in range (which for a player would usually mean you're off-screen), even if you're invisible. This makes her significantly more dangerous than other bots. Less noticeable, but Leon's tongue and Swiggins' anchor do this too.
    • Bots won't initially see you while you're in stealth, but bumping into them or just hanging around too long causes them to attack, at which point they won't unsee you until you leave or die.
  • Theme Music Powerup: When you're doing really well (getting a killing spree at 3, 6, and 9 kills in a row), a remix of the leitmotif for the 'Naut you're playing overrides the normal background music.
    • And if your team is handing the enemy their keisters on a silver platter (15-0 team kills), the game's main theme starts playing.
  • Two Girls to a Team: As of now, there are only 8 female characters to 25 male characters. 9 if you count Derpl's AI secretary, and 10 if you count Amy.
  • Unintelligible Accent: According to her bio, Coco Nebulon speaks in an unknown, undecipherable alien language. The audience can hear that she just has a Valley Girl accent.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: A minor example. Getting a kill gives you bonus Solar (the in-game currency). You can use this bonus Solar to purchase more upgrades to your abilities, allowing you to get more kills, and so forth.
    • This was intended to be lessened by the XP System, which made Solar less valuable and added another system that's easier to equalize. However, even if it's better in a general sense, a complete stomp is even more hopeless now; the winning team will be snowballing in both Solar and XP.
  • Video Game Flight: Vinnie and Spike have a Kirby-esque floating ability; however, most maps are claustrophobic and he has a ranged attack. Yuri, Ayla, Max, and Chucho can fly freely, but Ayla can only fly when using Rage and Chucho can only fly while riding his hoverbike.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: To a degree. The Awesomenauts themselves are brightly coloured and rendered in the cartoon style of the 80s, and there is very little blood at all, save for the blood splatter that occurs when a character takes heaps of damage.
  • A Winner Is You: See the bottom of this page.