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First crop of Ouya game demos is a grab bag of scrappy indie insanity

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ouya television (bfa games)
ouya television (bfa games)

The $109 Android-powered Ouya gaming console garnered a lot of attention when it raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter earlier this year, blowing past its initial funding goal of $950,000. With an expected release only two months away, everyone’s anxious to see what indie developers will be able to pull off with the new hardware, and we’re now getting our first look at the results of this month’s 10-day online Ouya "game jam." Judging from what we’re seeing of the 166 prototype games produced so far, the answer is, predictably, all over the map.

There are a couple of standouts, notably Television from Laboratory Games (video above), which the developer describes as "part WarioWare, part Myst," but for the most part, there isn’t much to separate what’s available from the average free mobile game. Breath, a multiplayer platformer from Setentia has an attractive, shadowy art style, and Color Thief from Trouble Impact takes advantage of a handful of novel color-based mechanics. If your taste runs toward the absurd, you may be better served by the likes of Car Jumper from BFA Games (video below), or Pikpiak’s GIGAR — a multiplayer spin on QWOP that requires each player to control a limb, adding auxiliary abilities like flight and rockets.

Ultimately, these won’t be the games that make or break Ouya, and big names like EA have already signed on to port existing titles. It's also facing more competition in the indie realm, now that Valve plans to jump in the pool with its own Steam Box console, and it's anyone's guess if Ouya will be able to attract anywhere near the same caliber of releases. If you're intrigued by Ouya's possibilities, the Create finalists will be announced on February 11th, with the winners splitting up $45,000 in prize money one week later.