It's cool, really small.
Not as powerful as you might expect for an Android TV console. Seems to be comparable to the processing power of a decent Android tablet and I guess that makes sense - it's $99 (and comes with a controller), whereas a GOOD Android tablet (more powerful than an OUYA) costs upward of $400.
What does that mean?
Final Fantasy 3 is on the high end of what OUYA can handle, and for me, sound effects and fanfares were cutting out - I think bc of low memory. Maybe the port could have been better too.
The Ball is another graphically intensive game - so process intensive that I experienced serious controller input lag in highly detailed rooms. The controller is fine, but OUYA could use a performance upgrade - or The Ball could have been optimized better for OUYA.
If a game (like The Ball) is available on Steam at a comparable price, buy it on Steam. Your computer is going to run the game better than your OUYA.
I was surprised to see that no in-app purchases were listed on any store pages. Maybe OUYA would benefit from a unified system: list + icons to show what's consumable (single-use), what's a permanent unlock - and what's available for sale to begin with.
On the other hand, I actually think it's really cool that OUYA seems to approve all apps, polished and unpolished, and it puts "purchasing" on the developers' shoulders. Want to make a profitable game? Polish it enough, and present your in-app purchases well enough that people want to spend money within your game. All in-app purchases (even full-game unlocks) happen in-app.
Another thing: OUYA has quite a few emulators approved / available for download for free in their actual app store (which is called 'Discover'). One is EMUya which is a Nintendo emulator. They also have SNES and Nintendo 64 emulators. Download one of those directly from OUYA, connect a wire from your OUYA to your computer to copy ROM's to internal storage. I transferred Super Mario 64. It was a little choppy for my taste (low processing power) but playable.
The common theme here: everything is downloaded the same way. Game with in-app purchases, completely free game, thing that runs external files - that's all up to the developer. You just download the "app" from Discover.
I don't usually download demo's, but on OUYA everything is downloaded the same way. You might as well play before you buy bc you effectively download the demo first every time - and so I feel like OUYA will save me money. I'll actually play some demo's for a change (unlike Steam where you'd have to install the demo, then uninstall it, then buy / install the full game). It's fun to browse and play games, decide when and what to buy, rather than impulse buy everything like I might on Steam.
The indie games:
I played quite a few OUYA games and here are the ones that stood out:
- No Brakes Valet
- A Bit of Fist of Awesome
- The Vestibule
No Brakes Valet makes me laugh every time I play it. It's completely free. Cars fly in from either the top or bottom, and you can brake... with most of the cars lol. One car says "it's the Prime Minister!" and you get extra points if you park that one in the one space labeled VIP. Good luck with that!
A Bit of Fist of Awesome is another completely free game, a two level demo of the upcoming: Fist of Awesome. Great sound effects (entirely cheesy voice sound effects). It's like Double Dragon where deer are the normal thugs and bears are the burly thugs. I thought it was cool that the developer used OUYA (which approves basically everything) as a platform to preview a game they have in development.
And finally: The Vestibule is completely free, an interactive novel. It's simple, very short, and the store description explains that it was a stepping stone project, highlighting parts of a story engine they have in development for a different project. But I thought it was fun and thought provoking. Basically, you talk to two people on a train. It's revealed that you're taking a 24-hr ride to see your long distance girlfriend, and you feel stressed: I should get married, I'm supposed to, people need to act at some point / make decisions. And in order to finish the game, you absolutely have to (spoiler alert) pull the emergency brake and walk off into the snow lol (that's your decision bc the train is feeling like limbo). I might have just waited out the 24 hours and then had the chat: maybe we should live together first, marriage doesn't seem like a decision you "should" make bc you're supposed to. And you don't have to storm off into the snow to avoid it - or to get to your girlfriend faster when the train is taking too long for your taste lol (but I did like the game, made me think about decisions, and time, and all that).
OUYA seems like a great platform for indie developers, free games, and game previews.
Is any game going to get my money?
I loved the games I just mentioned, but only one game seemed like one I might pay for:
Deep Dungeons of Doom.
It's basically a timing / fighting game. You watch the characters and time when to attack or block. But it has nice animations, treasure, secret rooms with thought provoking choices (like a priest says do you want A or B, health or power, I choose "power" and he punishes me for asking for power). Looks like for a few bucks, you can get more dungeons / more content which sounds good to me!
Organ Trail. But I'll probably buy that one on Steam!