Coming off the successful launch of Touchgrind BMX [$4.99], which we reviewed last month, I met with the folks from Illusion Labs here at WWDC 2011 to discuss their plans for the series moving forward. Speaking of that successful launch, Illusion Labs has revealed that Touchgrind BMX sold over 100,000 copies in just its first 10 days in the App Store, making it their fastest selling title to date. Combined with the original Touchgrind [$4.99/HD], the total sales for the series exceeds 1.5 million units. That’s no small potatoes!
As for the future of Touchgrind BMX, there are a few nice things in the works. Just last week, an update was released which added some much-needed Retina Display support for the game, but unfortunately it was at the expense of a smooth frame rate. Illusion Labs is furiously working the kinks out of this, and the new build I was able to play showed a vastly improved frame rate with Retina Display visuals enabled. They’ll continue to refine this and then plan to drop the optimization update in the next couple of weeks. Following the improved Retina Display update, the hinted at new level Polar Ridge will be released along with full Game Center support.
But it doesn’t stop there. Once all of these new features are finally launched, the next step will be adding a TV-Out feature to Touchgrind BMX that will allow the game to be played on a big screen while being controlled on your iOS device. They demonstrated this functionality to me by using a portable projector and projecting the game right onto the wall in front of me. It looks absolutely awesome, and plays just as good. The iOS screen takes the form of a bike silhouette and controls exactly as the game normally would. Here’s a developer video showcasing the functionality projected onto a big screen:
Pretty cool stuff, but that’s still not the end of the Touchgrind-related news. Way back in January of 2010, Illusion Labs demonstrated a proof-of-concept video that showed the original Touchgrind being played on a MacBook using the multitouch-enabled trackpad. They never actually released the game for Mac due to not really having a solid distribution channel, but when the Mac App Store was announced last October the Touchgrind MacBook demo was one of the first things that came to our minds.
Now, at long last, Illusion Labs is releasing the original Touchgrind on the Mac App Store. The best part? It will be launching for free. You heard that right, for free. Illusion Labs isn’t known for dropping prices or giving away things for free, but this is something they wanted to do for their fans as a thank you for making Touchgrind such a success. You’ll be able to grab Touchgrind for your Mac sometime in July. The announced features for Touchgrind BMX will slowly release over the course of the next several weeks or so, and I can’t wait to see what else Illusion Labs has up their sleeve for the future.