The OUYA has seen an interesting six months since its release.  The Kickstarted console has seen its fair share of criticism, including from myself, but the console is steadily improving.  The last update fixed a few of my complaints about the console, and as a result, it feels more like a cohesive console.  We’ve always felt that there were a number of games on OUYA that deserve some recognition, so our Features Writer, Blaze Chastain, and I wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the gems that the little console offers.


Deep Dungeons of Doom is very much a pure distillation of what makes dungeon crawling RPGs tick.  There are plenty of dungeons to explore, gear to obtain, and skills to learn, but what separates DDD from other dungeon crawlers is its emphasis on action.  Observing enemy routines, actively blocking their attacks with your shield and attacking them during their vulnerable state is paramount to surviving these deadly dungeons.  It’s fast paced delving that rewards pattern recognition and quick reflexes over grinding experience, and its formula lets it work in both short bursts and long sessions of play.  — Spencer Higgins


Ittle Dew is a Zelda-esque RPG, where all animated objects are colored and have constantly squiggling outlines (think Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist).  The game gives you the power to teleport objects, set objects on fire, and even freeze objects. The game is visually appealing and easy to control. The humorous commentary keeps you entertained while you set old wizards on fire and slide stones across the floor to flip switches to secret rooms. RPG games were my first love as a kid, so it does not surprise me that Ittle Dew stole my heart and made me re-affirm my nerdy infatuation with Zelda-esque games.  — Blaze Chastain


Knightmare Tower puts you into the role of a daring knight, who will utilize a fuel-powered rocket in order to launch himself through floors of the tower in order to save the princesses.  However, in order to maintain enough momentum to actually make it to the upper floors, you’ll actually have to use your trusty sword to actually bounce off of the encroaching, bubble-shaped baddies.  Floating pickups range from meager health pickups to screen-clearing bombs, and clearing the higher floors quickly becomes demanding as you’re forced to carefully choose which monsters to bounce off of;  spiked enemies will take a portion of your valuable health.  There’s a distinct “one more attempt” quality to Knightmare Tower‘s gameplay that makes it plenty of fun, while the upgrade system ensures progress is always taking place.  — Spencer Higgins


Clarc (formerly known as Clark) is a waddling, clumsy, yet lovable service robot that just loves to do his job of cleaning up the nuclear missile factory on Borderlands-esque Mars location. En route to cleaning the factory, Clarc falls in love with what I would imagine a pin-up doll version of a nuclear missile would resemble. The rest of the game you spend chatting it up with drunken, dancing robots and moving blocks of varying qualities to open doors and destroy other robots that wish to destroy. All elements of gameplay mechanics are represented here and they coexist harmoniously in a deceptively difficult, yet enjoyable puzzle game that I’m sure will eat up many of your hours that you will not regret giving up.  — Blaze Chastain


Super Crate Box is one of the most pure arcade-styled experiences available on the OUYA.  The goal is to collect crates, which count as your score.  In these crates lie various weapons, used to mow down the marching skull-shaped enemies.  But there are no points for killing these monsters;  the only benefit from killing them is that they won’t turn red after they fall into the fire pit, which drops them back at the top of the stage, twice as fast as they once were.  The precarious balance of crate gathering versus monster killing is what makes Super Crate Box such an entertaining and demanding experience.  — Spencer Higgins


Sine Mora is a horizontal fighter pilot shoot’em up that provides a unique take on challenge, where you’re racing against time to shoot planes out of the sky. Mixing classic shooter sensibilities with contemporary presentation, Sine Mora is a gorgeous shoot’em up that offers a Story Mode that weaves an over-the-top tale and an Arcade Mode that provides deep, satisfying gameplay to challenge fans of the genre. The game features over 50 weapon combinations to complete each beautiful stage that form fits to the player’s skills with scaling difficulty. The game’s Story Mode is tailored to not scare away absolute newcomers to the genre, but with varying levels of difficulty it allows those looking for a challenge to have that.  — Blaze Chastain


Maldita Castilla is a 16-bit love letter to games like Ghosts ‘N Goblins, where heroes couldn’t take more than a few hits and platforming segments required precise jumps while still fighting off floating foes.  It’s a fairly short game, but as a result, the entire game feels tightly designed.  Levels are varied and generally difficult without being unfair.  Enemies can be punishing until their patterns get memorized.  Bosses, again, are tough but their attacks often have subtle tells to their attacks.  The soundtrack fits the game like a glove and the 16-bit art style is adorned with some gorgeous palettes and great enemy designs.  Best of all, it’s tough but the game will let you continue from the current stage with full lives, at the cost of your score.  — Spencer Higgins


Final Fantasy III is the same great storyline of the 200 hour RPG games we all grew up with over 20 years ago (has it really been THAT long?) With a fresh coat of paint on top of the original DS graphics, it resembles FF VII’s blocky characters set amongst varying degrees of visual enhancements that draws parallels to the entire franchise up until the PS3 era. This recent facelift by Square Enix has resurrected a classic franchise that stole countless hours my attention when I was a child and now makes for fond nostalgic experiences and rekindled memories for all ages and types of RPG gamers.  — Blaze Chastain


Fotonica represents the apex of minimalism when it comes to platformers.  The entirety of Fotonica is controlled with one button:  hold to run, release to jump.  The longer the button is held, the quicker you run, meaning getting through the level as quickly as possible means as little air-time as possible, through careful jumps and quick descents to the track, done by pressing the button while mid-air.  Add in levels with multiple layers, which consist of single-color wireframe renderings of varied locales, and a minimalist soundtrack and Fotonica is great for both speed junkies and platforming fans.  The OUYA version is unique in that it has four player split-screen multiplayer.  — Spencer Higgins


Fist of Awesome is Street Fighter meets old school TMNT arcade games. It’s a ridiculous homage to the button-destroying violence of 16-bit side-scrolling beat-’em-ups with a heart of gold and an eye for the absurd. You’ll punch your way through cave-bears, knight-bears, futuristic Boba Fett-bears, and the odd deer as well in your quest to fix the time stream as Tim Burr, a manly bearded lumberjack with a muscular frame comparable to South Park’s Mr. Mackay. The soundtrack resembles Space Invaders and that only makes playing that much more entertaining and hilarious.  — Blaze Chastain

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