With all the hype surrounding Soul Fjord lately, I thought it would be in my best interest to dust off the ol’ OUYA this weekend and see what else had hit the console in the last few. One thing led to another, and after a few rounds of TowerFall (no matter what you planned on doing with your OUYA, as soon as you turn it on, it’s always this) I somehow found myself trying to explain to my daughter how amazing the light cycle game from TRON was.
How I got from a 2013 microconsole to a 1982 arcade game is anybody’s guess. Let’s just chalk it up to the organic nature of conversations.
The OUYA has more than a few TRON light cycle knock offs in its store, so we downloaded a few in an attempt to blow her mind with early 80’s awesomeness. Grid Racer was a functional enough clone, but it just didn’t capture the spirit of the game that I was hoping to share with my daughter. Super Light Cycles was better, but it still left me wondering if my nostalgia was outpacing my enjoyment. Still, it was enough. The itch was scratched. It was time to move on.
We proceeded to download a bunch of new games that we hadn’t tried before (the OUYA is great for this, because even though the quality of games is all over the map, they’re all free to try), and quickly found ourselves playing a bizarre little title called The Lickening.
And wouldn’t you know it? It’s TRON‘s light cycles, but with tongues – and it’s GREAT.
It’s also the sort of game that I don’t think could exist without the OUYA. Sure, it could have found a home as a niche indie title on PC; but as a two-controller, living room based, “no, seriously – you’ve got to see this” when your friends come over kinda game, The Lickening seems to fulfill every bit of promise that the OUYA held when it was first announced.
Like TRON‘s light cycles, the objective of the game is to avoid touching tongues for as long as you possibly can. The controls differ in a unique (and delightful) way from TRON – instead of going in straight lines, you’ll control only the left/right movement, and the tongue will curve and snake its way around the screen at your command.
The whole thing is wrapped up in a wonderfully absurd presentation. The Lickening is themed around dating profiles, and you’ll select from five lonely hearts in their search for love. SPOILER: One of these lonely hearts is inside the chest of a bear. Named Clarence.
Bright colors, crude art, a rain of kitten faces – there’s nothing about this game that doesn’t make me smile. If you have an OUYA, be sure to check The Lickening. It’s exactly the kind of craziness that this console was designed for.