The Horrible Gamer #006: The I in Team

I have to hand it to Ronimo Games for its year-long and impressive support of Awesomenauts. I hadn’t played the game in over 9 months, and its appearance in the most recent Humble Bundle reminded me just how busy Ronimo has been at updating the game with new characters, customization options, and overall balancing. It has to be the most easily accessible MOBA game around, and its charming “Saturday Morning Cartoon” meets 2D platformer doesn’t hurt either. Unfortunately, adoration alone doesn’t necessarily make me a good player or a good co-op partner as I am still learning the basics:

The problem with any MOBA or class-based strategy game is it can be unclear as to where you are supposed to get step 2 of your how-to-play the game. Sure, tutorial levels can teach you the basics, but learning the strengths and weakness of specific characters at the same time as learning how a typical game flows can take a wide range of time depending on your skill level and familiarity with the game genre. Awesomenauts doesn’t exactly fix this problem in-game (even though it has a great gaming community that has created some really helpful guides), but it remains fun while you learn the ropes. I recommend playing with friends to either show you the ropes or learn alongside you as the 3v3 focus makes it easy for small groups to play together versus trying to get 5 or more people together, which in my experience aren’t quite as patient as smaller groups.

All that being said, Awesomenauts has plenty of depth for higher level play, and the back-and-forth momentum swings are as addicting as any competitive game I have played. It may be what your small team was looking for.

What is your favorite 3 player game?

The stars recently aligned enough to make me give into a tabletop game day. While I have nothing against tabletop gaming, I’m not all that experienced with most of the games and learning the rules can be incredibly frustrating to everyone involved.  Zombicide may have been a breakthrough game for me though or maybe my gaming brethren were just on it this time. First of all, I love the art design of the game and it had caught my eye a while ago so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. The instruction manual is easy to follow and has a nice cheat sheet, character cards are well designed, so it was pretty easy to jump in and I never felt lost when we had to look up the rules. Easy to play. Check.

Zombicide

Ned’s dead, baby.

The real kicker with Zombicide was that the game kicked our asses the first two rounds. It was brutal, our entire squad was devoured by zombies almost immediately. Instead of getting frustrated though, just watching the game evolve and stack the odds against us was surprisingly hilarious. Our misfortune was just about as unlikely as our epic victory during our third attempt. All I have to say is we created the best episode of The Walking Dead in the history of the graphic novels and the show. I’m just sorry other zombie fans didn’t get to witness it. My advice though, to all of you would-be survivors, is to pack up your guns and get in a car. Running over zombies while taking potshots is not only fun as hell, but it’ll provide a nice distraction from your friends who are scavenging for goods. Fittingly, all I want to do right now is talk someone into converting the game into a video game. Although, the camaraderie and social side of tabletop gaming is really what sets it apart. I can’t wait to play some more and try out a few other games.

What do you think? Would you rather socialize with your closest friends while playing a video game or a tabletop game?

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