OUYA Game Console First Impressions

Games and Software
One of the big schticks of the Ouya is “every game is free to try.” That’s quite seriously a requirement to be listed on Ouya Discover, the software marketplace for the console.

Ouya outputs by default at 1080p, so the menus and games looked great on my 47” TV.

OUYA Menu

I first played BombSquad, a ¾ view arcade game very reminiscent of an open map Bomberman, with my girlfriend for approximately an hour. The demo time lasted this long, and I felt it a fair length to get a feel for if I wanted to spend the several dollars to purchase it. I enjoyed it, and she enjoyed it, so I think we’ll probably end up buying it when next we have a game night.

OUYA Bombsquad

I moved onto Stalagflight, a crazy jumping game. The point is to get as high as possible by jumping from rock to rock as they fall down into a pit of lava. I couldn’t get past about 50 meters!

OUYA Stalagflight

The last game I played for a considerable amount of time was Zombies & Trains!, or really, “smash zombies with trains”. This frantic game pits you and an unlimited supply of bullet trains against waves or constantly spawning zombies trying to get to the center of the screen, where the golden brains statue lays. You press buttons to run trains across the screen and smash into the zombies in order to keep them at bay and earn points and powerups in the process.

OUYA Zombies & Trains

After that, I jumped around a bit to Deep Dungeons of Doom (a timing-important side view dungeon crawler straight out of the late 80s-early 90s), Flashout 3D (a surprisingly addictive futuristic racing game styled like Wipeout), and Puddle 3D (a neat fluid physics simulator in a fun puzzle game). I played also some games that weren’t so good yet, like Command Crisis: Callsign (very dry yet), Polarity and RoboXcape (fun at first, but got boring fast) and Natural Soccer (incredibly difficult to control).

I’m looking forward to trying out Final Fantasy III and a variety of emulators available for the platform, such as EmuNES and SuperGNES. I’m also looking forward to sideloading Google Play and some of the other software I’d like to run on my Ouya, such as Netflix, Pandora, and Dropbox. There is a big list of sideloadable apps on OuyaForum.

Notably, Shadowgun was just released for Ouya, as well. TotalOuya has direct video and screenshots of Shadowgun, showing that the Ouya’s graphics ability is top notch for an Android device.

I poked around the menus a bit and found that there are still a few areas where Ouya is using the stock Android appearance. Most notably, it’s using the stock Android settings panel. I’d like to see this skinned somehow, but keep many of the options. Having a VPN on a console bends the mind a bit, perhaps enabling folks who are separated to play on a private LAN over the Internet until Ouya’s games start to get Steam-like online matchmaking with friends and foes alike.

OUYA Menu

There are parental controls, such as requiring a PIN to install or purchase software.

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