I know it sounds familiar… oh yeah! Ouya was the little Android console that could. It was going to challenge Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony for control of the living room. It was supposed to be the hackable, indie-friendly console for all mankind. The Ouya was released to the general public six months ago and unfortunately hasn’t lived up to the hype. It’s tough to find the gems amidst the sea of games available and the advertising is sparse at best. But, maybe you’re like me and haven’t touched yours in six months. Or maybe you picked up an Ouya for yourself or a loved one for the holidays. General consensus seems to be to turn it into a streaming/emulator center, but there are a number of decent games out for the Ouya. I decided to try three of the “featured” games out for you, oh mighty fanbase.
The in-game description of Nimble Quest is perfect — it’s old school Snake with RPG heroes for the body segments. Created by the developers of Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes, you start by choosing a hero from the standard RPG lineup — warrior, archer, mage — and walk around the battle field attacking all enemies in range. Other heroes drop randomly and are added to your conga line. There are a few powerups to pick up on the field, like a shield or coin magnet. Coins can be used to upgrade different stats for each hero, like attack speed, cooldown rate, or range.
Graphically, Nimble Quest is very reminiscent of the SNES days. The game starts out slow at first, with only a few heroes and enemies, but the action picks up quickly. It also keeps track of your best round with each lead hero. Unlocking for $5 breaks the number-of-plays-per-day limit, allowing you unlimited plays. I’d recommend picking this one up for sure.
Twin-stick movement along with two guns and a melee weapon makes Meltdown a blast. Each kill will net you money and XP which can be used to upgrade your weapons and hero 10 ways to Sunday. There are multiple levels to play, along with a randomly-generated level that tailors to your current skill level for unlimited replay value. There is also co-op play for blasting with your buddies.
Meltdown has a definitive Borderlands feel to it as far as graphics are concerned. From the cel-shaded 3D characters all the way down to the fonts, it’s hard not to notice. The soundtrack is also a perfect match for the gameplay. While controller lag can be pretty annoying at times, $5 is a good price point and makes Meltdown worthy of an unlock.
Fist of Awesome
Fist of Awesome puts you in the shoes of Tim Burr who is caught up on a plot by homicidal animals to enslave humans and take over the world. Tim’s hand becomes self-aware, giving him the courage to go out and take back the world. Fist of Awesome is a side-scrolling beat-em-up, an ode to games gone by like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon. Unfortunately, the gameplay is slower than those games of 20 years ago. You’ll spend a good amount of time waiting for enemies to stand back up or punching enemies that were too far to the right off the screen.
Visually, Fist of Awesome is very close to Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery. Some of the sound effects, especially for the charged-up punch, sound completely out of place and simply dubbed onto the game. You can try a few levels before unlocking the rest for $4, which I’d highly recommend doing before dropping any money on this one.