I've got a lot of favorite things about the App Store, but one of my most favorite of favorite things is when some weird game or unknown indie developer just pops up out of the blue with something you've never heard of... Which just happened this morning with the Taiwanese phenomenon of Sausage Pinball [Free / Free] (Or maybe sausage pachinko, Google doesn't seem to prefer calling it one or the other). A thread for the game got posted to our forums earlier today, and at first glance you'd understandably just be like "What's this? Looks like some weird pinball game, what does it have to do with sausages?" The answer will make you want to move, or at minimum, travel to Taiwan.

When you think "pinball," you're likely imagining something along the lines of traditional pinball tables you pop a couple quarters into, like what you'd find in Pinball Arcade [$0.99 / Free] or other similar "normal" pinball games. Well, in Taiwan there are street vendors which sell sausages, and on their sausage cart they've got a game of pinball which you play to win those sausages. Here's what it looks like in real life:

The developer mentions in our forums that these are rare to see today, and they're typically only found in old parts of town or outside museums, which seems totally wrong because sausage pinball is exactly what the world needs more of, not less of. I feel like an idiot for playing so much American-style (I guess? I'm not sure what else you'd call it?) pinball where I just spend my money to play with absolutely no potential of getting a sausage in return.

The Sausage Pinball iOS game is fairly basic, but when you look at the source material, it makes sense why it's so simple. It's not like sausage carts are going to have huge blown-out pinball tables with lights and sound effects. Here's what it looks like in action:

Should you download Sausage Pinball? If the concept is as fascinating to you as it was to me, it's worth a few pulls in the lite version just to see if you'd actually win a sausage or not if you were playing a real pinball (or pachinko) machine in Taiwan. I just love discovering these crazy niche cultural things that I otherwise never would have known about, so while it's unlikely I'm going to spend all day marathoning Sausage Pinball, I'm glad it exists, and if I ever go to Taiwan, I'm definitely tracking a real one down.

  • onebigdoor

    this is a relic of the origins of pinball as we know it. the original pinball machines were wooden boxes with pins and holes. you put a ball in, and you could pick the box up and shake it around and try to get the ball in a hole. they were generally used as gambling devices (for money, not sausage as far as i know, but same idea). this is the reason pinball was outlawed in the early half of the 20th century. the law stayed on the books in new york city until 1976 when roger sharpe famously demonstrated it as a game of skill to city officials. all that said, pinball has a fascinating history, and also, i want sausage.

  • Jamie84303

    Why don't you have a pork bun in your hand?