In April of 2009, the world was treated to Ow My Balls! [Free], the “Citizen Kane of iPhone gaming” according to our own Eli Hodapp. Ow My Balls! is a simple but powerful arcade game where you kick a hapless gentleman off of a rooftop and try to rack his, ahem, family jewels let’s say, against as many painful objects as possible before hitting the ground. Aiding you in this noble quest is the use of flatulence to keep you afloat and carry you towards some hard to reach objects in the environment (like unicorns), which will ultimately lead to higher scores.
So yeah, Ow My Balls! probably won’t be the next favorite past time of high society, but it’s an immensely fun and funny game for those who can appreciate its lowbrow humor. At last year’s Macworld I talked with Ow My Balls! developer Josh Michaels about a huge version 2.0 update to the game which went live the following month and expanded the game with Retina Display visuals and a whole roster of new characters, as well as dropping its price to free.
This year at Macworld 2012, I again met with Josh to check out the upcoming Ow My Balls! XL for iPad. The iPad version will include everything from its iPhone counterpart, as well as a number of new enhancements. There’s a brand new politician character to play, as well as other subtle nods to current events like the hippie Bobby Surreal “occupying” the starting rooftop in his tent. New swiping controls have also been added which are both simple to use and more effective, ensuring that even your grandmother could play this game (something I could sense was a concern on everybody's mind).
Finally, there is some fresh new title screen music and some new character dialogue, both of which you can see in this hands-on video (FYI if you’re somewhere that’s not blaring fart sounds friendly, you might want to check your volume):
Unfortunately, despite reaching nearly 5 million users, Ow My Balls! wasn’t exactly a financial success. Josh’s other project, ironically, is the classy and beautiful Magic Window [99¢] app that brings amazing time-lapse scenery to your iOS device. It’s as gorgeous as Ow My Balls! is silly, and it’s currently the one putting the Cup O’ Noodles on the table. No, Ow My Balls! XL isn’t meant to make money, though it may offer some sort of in-app purchase as more of a donation type of thing. Instead, Josh draws satisfaction just from knowing he’s made people laugh with his work (and about an equal number of people angry, as the iTunes reviews have always been roughly equal parts 1 and 5 stars).
If everything goes according to plan, then Ow My Balls! XL should be launching on Valentines Day for free, and I can’t really think of a better gift for your loved one. Also, in the very near future the iPhone version will be getting updated with all the additional features found in the iPad version. Sadly, once that’s completed, that will likely be the last of game development for Josh as he focuses solely on Magic Window. Sometimes you gotta do what pays the bills, even if it means putting your farting, nuts-kicking game to rest.
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