Towerfall Showcases Possibilities for the Ouya
If you're looking for just the right Ouya game to play with friends, then Towerfall is for you.
Towerfall is an Ouya exclusive, and an arena death match archery party game that evidently tries its hardest not to be related to any specific genre. It has two modes, training and versus. In training mode, you can only play against yourself, competing to finish the mode faster than your previous attempt. Versus is for 2-4 players, though as a party game this is better with the most amount of players. In versus you choose one of several different characters and shoot a limited amount of arrows at your fellow players (or in Mario style, bounce on their heads) to kill them. There are several different modes in versus, but they're really just variations on the same theme - death match, team death match, headhunters and team headhunters.
The gameplay could be compared to Super Smash Brothers or the Spelunky death match mode, and most matches are finished in a matter of seconds. The game has a lot of polish, with quick dodges, being able to pin your opponents corpses to the wall with arrows, plus the fact that the stages are wrapped -- meaning you can exit on the bottom to bounce on an opponents head on the top. The limited number of arrows, which you can pick up from corpses and the ground, stops you from spamming the shoot key and makes you rely on aiming and well-timed shots.
Towerfall was specifically created just for the Ouya. There are a couple of things that it does really well, and it's an instant favorite in the group of people I play with.
For one, once the last death takes place, there is a rewind screen that shows you the last few seconds of your character's life. Since most of the death scenes in Towerfall happen so rapidly you can barely tell what's going on; it's nice to be able to say, "Ha, shot you in the face." You know, in a friendly way.
Training mode is alright, and really just teaches you the basics of play. The controls are incredibly simple - one button to dodge, one button to shoot, and one button to jump - and that really adds to the hectic, but easy to pick up gameplay that defines a solid death match game. Personally, when we play death match games in my household, gamers and non-gamers alike face off, and it's nice knowing that intense button maneuvers won't hold some players back.
The graphics are retro, which is honestly becoming a bit trite, but they work for the game itself. They do some cool work with warping the sprites, and there is a "big head" mode that makes them look absolutely adorable.
Destructoid labeled Towerfall a system-seller, and honestly that's pretty close to the truth. In my case, I played Towerfall on a friend's system one day, and then bought the Ouya the next day. I was planning on buying the Ouya beforehand, but recognized it might just be a failed experiment. Playing Towerfall proved to me that you could play and enjoy Ouya exclusive games.
I've only played for probably four hours total, and I've definitely gotten the $15 worth. You can try out Towerfall for free on the Ouya marketplace (you can play the first level pretty much indefinitely with four players) and you can buy it there as well.
Hopefully other Ouya exclusives will prove to be just as worthy.