We've been hinting at it for awhile but now I'm happy to officially announce that we will be launching House of the Lost for OUYA this month! Let's be clear though, this isn't just some port to a new platform, this is absolutely the best edition of the game. Not only is this the most up-to-date version of the game from iOS and Android but this version includes a few new features that you can only get on OUYA, physical controllers and a new couch co-op mode!
House of the Lost is an action/adventure game that challenges the player to survive a constantly changing haunted house while trying to save his sister. It plays similar to the dungeons in the original Legend of Zelda, or the more recent PC game Binding of Issac. You move from room to room fighting monsters, solving puzzles, and uncovering secrets on your way to a showdown with that level's boss. Along the way you will grow stronger, craft new weapons, and learn the secrets of the House, but if you fail you'll have to start back at the beginning. Also, each time you start over the house randomizes itself, changing the layout of its levels, placement of its monsters, and location of items and power-ups. All of this combines to give House of the Lost a real old-school challenge, and we are really excited to bring it to OUYA.
You can check out more screenshots and video of the game in action on our game page right here
One of the biggest enhancements for the OUYA version of House of the Lost is support for the OUYA controller. You can now play House of the Lost with an actual controller in your hands, and it is a thing of beauty. Since the initial launch you have been asking us to refine the controls and we've made big improvements to how the game plays based on your feedback. However, none of those tweaks could make up for the fact that this game just needs to be played with an actual controller, and as soon as you get your hands on it I think you'll agree.
Our control setup for the game uses the left analog stick or d-pad to control your movement and the four face buttons ( O, U, Y, A ) give you directional fire independent of your movement. This allows you to move in one direction and then use the face buttons to fire in any other direction as you move. We've also mapped both analog triggers to item activation so you can use whichever one feels most natural to you.
House of the Lost has never controlled better than it does in this version, you've got to get your hands on it.
While the addition of physical controls has a huge impact on how you play the game our other massive addition could possibly be an even bigger deal, Couch Co-op! From the moment we got our hands on our Kickstarter OUYA console we've felt that it's best when you're playing together with a friend. OUYA is THE co-op console and we knew that we had to adapt House of the Lost to support co-op if we were going to do an OUYA release. We're very happy to say that adding a co-op mode was the best decision we could have possibly made.
In co-op mode you and a friend get to team up to defeat the House and rescue all the children trapped inside. Because the game is room based both players get to share the full game screen, there is no need to split the screen and limit your view on the action. Also, just because there are two of you now doesn't mean that things will be easy. Not only have we upped the difficulty on the enemies in co-op but we also have friendly fire turned on so you're going to need to be on your toes if you want to survive.
One area of the game that co-op really affected was our concept of permadeath. In House of the Lost you only get one chance to defeat the house and escape, if you die along the way you become a 'Lost Soul' and have to restart your journey from the beginning. When we started working to add a second player to the mix we realized that there was an interesting way to allow you to work around this issue and we decided to create a way for one player to bring the other back into the game. When one of the players dies in co-op mode they will transform into a 'Lost Soul' and disappear into the house while the other player continues on with the quest.
If you've played House of the Lost before you may know that you can find these 'Lost Souls' in different rooms of the house and if you save them they unlock secret shops where you can buy new weapons and items. In co-op mode, not only will you get access to the shop if you save a 'Lost Soul' but you'll also be able to bring your friend back into the game by saving them from the monsters. This makes seeking out the 'Lost Souls' even more important and really adds a new level of tension as you're trying to find a way to get your buddy back into the game.
A Huge Update
In addition to what we've talked about today there are also a huge number of smaller changes and tweaks that have found their way into the OUYA version of House of the Lost. This has really been a labor of love for me over the last several months as I've been making these updates in my spare time while the rest of our team has moved on to other projects. All the hard work has payed off though, as I really feel like this version of the game brings back that feeling of a lazy summer afternoon playing SNES with my brothers. There is a certain kind of fun that you can only get when you're sitting in the same room and playing together on the same screen.
I hope when House of the Lost launches later this month you'll give it a try and get a little of that old-school gaming nostalgia as well.