There is a certain Saturday morning cartoon appeal to Team Awesome's non-stop running and flying action. The characters all have a comically-bold, exaggerated style, and the storyline is suitably tacky. But does this endless runner recapture the joys of youth, or does it feel as dated as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show game?
It is a bird? Is it a plane?
A meteor has crashed to Earth and showered its blue and red crystal debris over the land. Everybody that the blue shards hit have become Awesome superhumans, out to do good and bring peace to the land. Conversely, the red shards have turned people into diabolical villains, intent on stopping the heroic do-gooders.
As a member of Team Awesome, you must dash and fly through the world, completing heroic tasks. Running unceasingly through levels, you can jump or fly over obstacles, and even smash through some structures that block your path.
Every stage offers three goals to achieve, each translating to a star rating. One task is always to gather a set number of coins, but the other two can be anything from helpfully booting commuters into their waiting bus, to smashing skylights (I still haven't worked out why that one’s heroic, but it is fun).
The last stage of every ten also includes a boss fight that sees Team Awesome battling their evil nemeses. These are some of the most ridiculous parts of the game, as you battle characters such as The Decontaminator, who fights you in a levitating latrine.
Jetting over the world, the only thing that can really bring you to a stop is running out of Awesome charge. Collecting blue crystals keeps your power topped up, and enables you to continue your amusing trail of devastating aid - while red crystals slow you down and drain your power.
One finger fun
As with most endless games, Team Awesome is controlled exclusively with responsive single touch controls. Your selected hero dashes forward jumping with a tap. Holding the screen causes them to soar into the air to reach higher other levels in the comic, futuristic world.
Beginning the game you have only one hero, you can buy more with the coins collected in game, or through in-app purchases. Each new character adds additional powers. While many of these aid coin collection to make the game easier, it is the first unlocked character that makes the biggest change to the way you play. She is the Speedster, and her abilities dramatically increase the otherwise plodding pace of play. This not only makes the whole thing more entertaining (the slower speeds do feel quite mundane once you are familiar with the mechanics), but also proves a necessity in the later stages.
Saturday morning everyday
A futuristic world filled with jetpacks, hover cars, and robotic toilets is the backdrop to the playful cartoon action. Despite being played on a 2D plane, environments are rendered in 3D, allowing the camera to pan and swoop, which creates dramatic moments. While this looks great, the lack of camera control can be distracting - especially when it actively pivots away from important collectibles (such as the blue crystals that are essential to extend your time limit).
Long-time gamers may recognize the Awesome narrator John St John, better known for his role as Duke Nukem. His over-the-top delivery is perfect for the Saturday-morning cartoon world, with every one of his quip-filled lines hitting their unsubtle mark.
Not Awesome, but pretty darn good
Team Awesome is simple, uncomplicated fun that is perfect for kids. Even frustrations with the camera controls and rapidly increasing difficulty are all easily forgiven each time you hit start and jump back in to the unashamedly tacky endless-runner action.