Best Ouya games

These deserve your money

6. You Don't Know Jack

We can say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that YDKJ is the funniest trivia game currently in existence. This is faux TV game show blends pop culture knowledge with archaic minutiae from throughout history, with bitingly hilarious results. You'll learn to love your chatty host, Cookie Masterson, even as he's insulting you for every question you so miserably fail to answer correctly.

It's the perfect party game, letting up to four players join in on the ego-abusing fun. And, since it's highly unlikely that you'll have four Ouya controllers lying around, anyone can jump in using their QR-code-scanning smartphone as a buzzer. YDKJ is a fool-proof way to get you and your friends cursing each other out between fits of laughter. And those special question jingles (particularly Cookie's Fortune Cookies and Funky Trash) are simply amazing.

5. Saturday Morning RPG

If you have fond memories of the '80s and '90s, this RPG will light up all the nostalgia pleasure centers in your brain. As the referentially named Marty (complete with your own hoverboard for fast travel), you're sucked into a dream inspired by your favorite Saturday morning cartoons. Using an almighty trapper keeper bestowed upon you by the Wizard, only you can save your crush from the clutches of evil.

The graphics are a charming mix of traditional sprites in a 3D world, and the turn-based battles are chock full of interactive minigames that keep you on your toes. Attacks come in the form of awesome throwbacks, like a stampede of Fruit Stripe-colored zebras or a devastating floppy disk toss. SMRPG also has the best use of the Ouya controller's touchpad we've seen thus far: simulating the act of frantically clawing at scratch and sniff stickers to power up before a fight.

4. Streemerz (EMUya)

Given how emulation-friendly the Ouya is, there's a good chance that you bought it to play some retro games on your TV. But besides the classics, you'll also discover some truly great homebrew games, which beautifully capture the old-school feel and challenge of your favorite NES carts. Streemerz is one such game, included for free with the NES emulator EMUya. It plays off the tropes of the Action 52 original and Bionic Commando to brilliant effect: your hero still can't jump, but in place of a high-tech mechanical arm, he gets around by grappling on ceilings with a festive party streamer.

Everything you know and love from Radd Spencer's adventures is here, albeit in a slightly altered form. In place of Hitl--we mean, Master D, you'll face off against Master Y and his deadly balls. Instead of the Badds, your enemies consist of pie-throwing clowns. Streemerz even manages to recreate the Engrish-filled hilarity of the intercom cutscenes, as well as the game's tough-but-rewarding difficulty.

3. Deep Dungeons of Doom

RPGs are all about choice. Attack aggressively, or maintain your defense? Respawn where you are, or restart entirely? Keep your existing gear, or drop it for a chance at new loot? Skill up your survivability or specialize in all-out magical offense? Deep Dungeons of Doom encompasses all of these complex decisions into two buttons and a D-pad. Floor by floor, you must descend into the underground lairs of classic medieval fantasy, slaying monsters and discovering shrines along the way.

The combat is completely timing-based, forcing you to maintain a balance between attacking and blocking in response to your enemy's telegraphed actions. With three character classes to choose from and a host of different ghouls to cut down, there's variety aplenty in DDD. And the graphics--oh, the graphics. The pixelated art style is a retro gamer's dream, with gorgeous cutscenes preceding each quest. Everything about DDD just oozes old-school charm.

2. TowerFall

If any Ouya exclusive can sell the system like hot cakes, it's TowerFall. This four-player archery melee is almost too much fun, with the kind of carefully thought-out design that defines the best competitive games. It's not as simple as spamming shots in the enemies' direction; you have a limited supply of arrows in your quiver, but you can pick up stray arrows, and dashing into an oncoming arrow will catch it in midair.

Single-player is a tad limited: all you can do is hone your skills against test dummies. Luckily, four-player sessions should be well within your reach, given that TowerFall supports 360 and PS3 controllers. The art's incredible (by the same team behind Deep Dungeons of Doom), and there's plenty of level variety to go around. Add to this the plentiful power-ups and arrow types, and you've got one amazingly frantic, exceptionally fun multiplayer game.

1. Knightmare Tower

There are triple-A, $60 games that pale in comparison to the enjoyment we got from Knightmare Tower. If we're not mistaken, we played it for four hours straight one night--and we can't wait till we can play more. You're a knight with a rocket, propelling yourself up a giant tower to save princesses and gaining speed by slashing the parade of enemies below you. Missing a downwards slash will make you lose velocity--and that means you're in danger of being engulfed by a wave of molten magma.

This arcade-style launching game is so addictive, and so expertly crafted to achieve maximum fun, that it will make you forget about all the troubles in the world. With each attempt, you can feel your skill level increasing--and with a ton of achievements and upgrades to spend your in-game gold on, there's always another carrot on a stick to chase. Your valiant knight controls like a dream with the Ouya controller (no small feat), and taking turns with friends is just as delightful as playing solo. In short, it's just plain incredible.

And many more

Those aren't the only awesome Ouya games, mind you.Games like Pix'n Love Rush and Bombball are worthy of an honorable mention. If you have a penchant for the wild and weird, then oddities like Amazing Frog and The Little Crane That Could will be right up your alley. Any other Ouya games you think we missed? Call it out in the comments below.

If you're looking for our full verdict of the Ouya, check out our Ouya review (Retail system).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!
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