What is a Lane-Pushing Game?
A lane-pushing game is a session-based multiplayer game, which has tactical team-based combat happening inside a broader strategic framework.
You play as one of five heroes leading an army into battle. The computer controls all the rank-and-file troops, while you and your fellow heroes move around the battlefield: securing resources, taking advantage of opportunities, and claiming objectives.
All this happens while fighting and outmanoeuvring the five heroes on the enemy team - who are also played by humans!
The armies move along lanes: fixed paths where the "front lines" of the battle move back and forth. The lanes play an important role in structuring combat and defining the pace of the game.
What about "MOBA"s?
This is a less specific term, which also includes "arena" games. An arena is any real-time combat happening in a fixed space... think back to the 'arena' of the Roman Colosseum.
A simple rule of thumb is:
MOBAs = Lane-Pushing Games + Arenas
For brevity, I use "MOBA" and "Lane-Pushing Game" interchangeably most of the time. I am almost always talking about games with lanes.
You can read more about this topic in the article: The Lane-Pushing Name.
How did the Lane-Pushing Games project start?
Back in 2013, I was thinking about an old game. Before the term "MOBA" was popularised by Riot Games; the genre was known as "AoS maps", after one very influential game called Aeon of Strife.
Despite having enjoyed the genre for many years, I had never played Aeon of Strife myself. I decided to try it out!
First, I needed to download the map... and that proved unexpectedly difficult. After 30 pages of search results and trawling ancient wiki sites to find copy after machine-translated copy of the same wikipedia article... I felt something was out of place.
If the game that had named its genre could almost completely vanish in 10 years, I didn't see much hope for all the other AoS maps I grew up playing. I decided to start blogging to document their history, and the project grew from there.
Why haven't you reviewed <this game>?
Probably because it's not dead.
I don't like to write about games which are being actively updated, because the articles lose accuracy over time, and there is already a community discussing each patch at length.
If a game is dead and you don't see it here, consider emailing me in case I don't have it on my list yet. Bonus points if you have time to share your experiences with the game or had a role in its development! I love these conversations.
Why do you use "moba"? I think you should use <something else>!
People generally understand what it means, and it helps me communicate. Personally I prefer "lane-pushing game" if that makes you feel any better.
Can I get LPG in <another language>?
If you're interested in volunteering to translate articles, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to see this resource made more accessible (especially since machine translation can struggle with genre-specific terms).
Can I republish this material?
Only if you have contacted me and received written permission.
In general it is okay to cite/quote portions for the purposes of discussion, but please link back to the article in question so readers can get full context. Don't claim the material as your own.