The term "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" (MOBA) is a relatively new way to refer to an old idea: a multiplayer, somewhat symmetrical game, in which teams of players face off against each other. It's the bread and butter of online shooters and racing games, but up to this point hasn't enjoyed much success on Android, just because mobile controls aren't well-suited to the ultra-twitchy competitions that comprise most of the genre.
Last week, we took a look at the nominees for Ouya's 10-day developer competition, Create. Today, we have the winners! These game devs will receive some undisclosed amount of money (out of a pot of $45,000) and almost certainly end up on the launch version of the Ouya console. So, what are they? Well, let's break them down by category.
"Pop Your Eyes Out" Award: Pipnis
We covered this one in our roundup last week, though we're at a loss to explain how it didn't win the "Best Couch with Friends" Award.
As promised, Pixowl has launched their iOS hit The Sandbox on the Play Store. It's a free download for anything running Android 2.3 or later. Not to be confused with the open world sandbox genre (Grand Theft Auto and the like), this game is an almost literal sandbox. You're an apprentice deity, with the goal of combining elements into different pixelated constructions. Then go Old Testament and blow it up.
Ultima has been around forever. So it's only appropriate that the series' new mobile push incorporate the fact in its title... even if it is a bit on the nose. Ultima Forever: Quest For The Avatar is an upcoming top-down dungeon crawler set in the familiar Ultima universe, complete with online play and a massive amount of game time. According to a Polygon interview with the game's producer, getting to level 15 will take 200 hours, while getting to the end with everything will take closer to 400.
Alien: Colonial Marines is getting positively face-hugged in the reviews, and Alien Vs Predator: Evolution appears to be weeks or months away. So why not dig into gaming's past for a bit of unofficial space marine action? 1991 Amiga shooter Alien Breed has been re-released on Android in all its top-down, pixelated glory, for the not low at all price of $4.99.
Alien Breed is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to James Cameron's Aliens.
Love is fun everywhere. This is the audacious claim that Bandai is peddling with its new app "Tamagotchi L.i.f.e." And yes, that is what the acronym actually stands for. If you're of the opinion that love might only be fun in certain places, then I challenge you to download this virtual pet to your phone. This thorough recreation of the pocketable pals of the late 90s will teach you how to love again as you lovingly scoop its loving poop and let it win games, lest it gets lovingly mad at you.
We'll do our best to stay away from spoilers for the newly-released Die Hard movie (Happy Valentine's Day!), but the companion endless-runner game Fox just released to the Play Store isn't doing us any favors on that front. The app—which is somewhat shadily referred to as simply "Die Hard", trading on the name of greater movies—takes inspiration from titles like Temple Run. Just, not enough inspiration. (Note: some screenshots are very slightly spoiler-y, so if you're still planning on seeing the movie and you're a purist, you might want to wait to hit up the source link.)
One of the first things you'll notice about this game versus other endless runner titles is that it's in landscape mode.
If you're a fan of classic puzzle adventure games like Myst, then a new entry to the Play Store called Forever Lost should pique your interests. Like many games in the genre, Forever Lost tosses you – a confused amnesiac – into a room riddled with clues, and coats everything in layers and layers of creepiness. Expect memory flashbacks, strange visions, and a whole lot more as you embark on the journey to get your mind back in its former order.
It's surprisingly hard to make a mobile game, or at least, a mobile game that's worth playing. Mobile developers are still in their infancy, at least compared with their console and PC counterparts. So when someone manages to release a fun, polished game that works well on smartphones and avoids some of the more glaring pitfalls of the platform, we sit up and take notice. Such is the case with Roller Rally: Snake Pass, an Android port of a popular iOS title from MilkyTea.
We're all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Ouya and the one question we need to have answered is whether or not the platform will be able to acquire enough interesting games to be worthwhile. One of the ways the company is generating interest and content is with a 10-day developer competition. Keeping in mind that the entire programming process occurred in a little more than a week (and in some cases, less than that) and all the titles are unfinished, here's a look at some of the games that may end up on the console.