Tuesday, January 27, 2015


League of Legends is the world's most played PC game.

League of Legends or LoL is a free-to-play MOBA or "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" game.
MOBAs are action real time strategy games where teams pick from a pool of characters and attempt to complete objectives in order to earn points or take an ultimate objective (ex. destroy the enemy base). LoL is a direct spiritual successor to the popular "Defense of the Ancients:Arena" World of Warcraft 3 mod that popularized the game genre for many in the PC community (with LoL's biggest competitor being the official sequel DoTA 2). Despite the genre exploding in recent years with other developers making their own copy cats of the format and others making their own mark (ex. Smite, the First Person MOBA), League of Legends has managed to remain popular and relevant.

I think a big part of  the game's popularity is its characters or "champions". In fact, I don't remember where, but I read someone giving the opinion that perhaps, while they  liked some other MOBA's mechanically more than League of Legends, that LoL has extremely well designed characters that players can get identify and invest into on several levels. Maybe a player can connect with the cartoony art style or the lore or the playstyle or even the music.

Amumu is such a character that has several hooks:

Amumu the Sad Mummy was released in the first year of League of Legends, back in 2009, and the core of the character's back-story revolves around a mystery: a mummy boy wakes up in a tomb in Shurima with no memories and incredible sadness. There are a lot of hooks to be had in such a simple story:

Why did Amumu awaken? Is he a boy or a yordle? Who was he? Why can't he remember who he was? Why is Amumu so sad?

And other tidbits of lore add more questions. An old story told by a one-armed man depicts him releasing Amumu and, when Amumu touched his arm, it shriveled up and became dead. Does this mean Amumu can't make friends or simply can't touch anyone without cursing them too? Is Amumu cursed? Can Amumu make friends? After all, it said that Annie was his friend in the old lore.

And then from there the other appealing features of Amumu are his rather simple but cute design and how those design choices affect his satisfying gameplay. Amumu is a bobble-headed mummy boy with a cute voice that sniffles, snobs, and explodes into a tantrum. These are all worked into his game mechanics in clever ways.

And he is cute.

And now he has a song with a Tim Burton-esque music video. Sweet.

Also, because Riot was feeling generous here is there new Music of League of Legends playlist, which you can download for free!

1 comment: