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Five Best Games of 2013: Ouya Edition

Ouya at Retail

I don’t play nearly as many games as I would have liked this year. I rarely do. But one thing I did do was play a whole lot (maybe not that many) Ouya games. I was really excited about the Ouya when the Kickstarter launched. I backed it. I waited most patiently for the console to arrive, even if it was a little later than expected but nearly as late as some people like to claim.

Since late June, I tried to play as many games on the system as I possibly could. And I certainly have some favorites. So here they are in no particular order.

Towerfall – Matt Makes Games Inc

TowerfallNo top Ouya game list would be complete without this exclusive, killer game. So why not get it out of the way right off the bat. This game showed the world what the Ouya had to offer. Highly fun and engaging couch multiplayer. Launched at $15 with a single level available to free users, this game shot to the top selling Ouya game ever. I don’t think it has ever been topped.

My family loves this game and asks to play it constantly. Everyone from my 4 year old to my wife. The wide variety of arenas, arrow types and ways to alter the gameplay have extended the fun considerably. My personal favorite way to play is with what I call “Uber death mode.” Players get a single arrow, have cursed bows (if you try to fire with no arrows you die instantly), all treasure chests contain bombs, and player corpses explode.

This is the one game that everyone agrees is a must have for the Ouya.

Hidden in Plain Sight – Adam Spragg

Hidden in Plain SightThis game was not new to 2013, but this is the year I played it and I played it on the Ouya. A very clever multiplayer game in which the goals are simple. Figure out which on screen character you are. Figure out which on screen character your opponents are. Either kill the other players or complete the goal. The game is frustratingly fun on many levels.

I first played this game with my wife and neither one of us wanted to stop. We played for several hours while our kids watched begging to have a turn. What seems to be a simple concept in gameplay had us engaged and in love from the start. Every mode we played we loved but none as much as Ninja Party and Death Race. Both offered the kind of intensity that kept us coming back.

Freedom Fall – Stirfire Studios

Freedom FallWhile not a multiplayer game, where I consider the Ouya the strongest, Freedom Fall offers a fun game with a lot of clever humor and an engaging storyline. This game is not like your typical story driven game though. There are no cut scenes, no expository dialog, and no interruptions from the gameplay. The game’s entire story is conveyed through the use of graffiti on the walls of the tower you are destined to escape.

The game has you as a prisoner at the top of a tower and you must escape through a series of diabolical death traps designed by the princess of the kingdom. Throughout the tower, she has painted her story on the walls and each message is fun to read and find. The game has had me gripped from day one and I love coming back to it.

Super Mega Worm – Deceased Pixel

Super Mega WormThis game makes my list simply for being a whole heck of a lot of fun to play. The mindless carnage you spread during the game is both satisfying and horrifying. In this game, you play as a worm born to be the destruction of mankind. You kill all the humans, eat their animals for health and destroy their machines of war. As you complete each level, you get bigger and gain more powers with which to spread destruction all across the land.

It is hard to describe what is so satisfying about playing this game. It might be the simple change of venue from human on human or human on monster combat to monster on human. It could also be my love of Kaiju and other movie monsters such as Tremors that had me grabbed by Super Mega Worm from the beginning.

Rush Bros. – XYLA Entertainment

Rush Bros.I first played Rush Bros. with my own brother (how fitting). We both picked up a controller and were off on a musical race. The game offered a lot of great platforming fun and many fun frustrations for us both. What really got us coming back to it were the great ways the game offers to help us screw eachother up. The powerups that reverse the other player’s controls, the ones that flip their screen and many more. That is what a great multiplayer game does.

Rush Bros. is even fun as a single player game. Each race track offers a lot of content that is engaging even without direct competition. This also offers plenty of practice time for dedicated players so that when they get a challenge from someone else, they are ready.

Honorable Mentions

Astronaut Rescue – Octograb Studio (a game designed by an 8 year-old)
Knightmare Tower – Juicy Beast Studio
Deep Dungeons of Doom – Bossa Studios
Saturday Morning RPG – Mighty Rabbit Studios
Ice Rage – Mountain Sheep

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