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The World Needs More 'Sausage Pinball'

February 11th, 2016 11:00 AM EST by Eli Hodapp in Games, News, Pinball
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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 [$0.99 / 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...

I am a major fan of Orangepixel's games. The solo developer should be remembered by history as a unique, standout artist, despite his games not being the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff you'd typically expect to be called artsy. But it's because his games always have this unique touch to them in the art and gameplay that makes them feel unique compared to other games, even ones from consistent studios. The games having this consistent vision behind them is part of what makes them special. An Orangepixel game looks and feels like something only he could have made...




Out Now: 'Shadow Blade: Reload', 'Smooth Operator!', 'Target Acquired', 'Final Fantasy IX', 'Ys Chronicles 2', 'Tennis Club Story', 'Tomb of the Mask' and More

This week got off to an early bang with two huge classic RPGs launching in Final Fantasy IX an Ys Chronicles 2, a new Kairosoft game (already!) called Tennis Club Story, and the insanely cool arcade game Tomb of the Mask. They are joined by highly-anticipated titles like Shadow Blade: Reload, the enhanced re-release of the 2014 hit ninja platformer, and the absolutely wacky makeout simulator Smooth Operator! which was a total riot when I played it at GDC last year. I've been saying it for weeks but I'll say it again: 2016 is already shaping up to be a stellar year for iOS games. Let us know in the comments what games you're picking up tonight and RIP to free time!..

Loot-Filled Action RPG 'Fantasy Mage' Arrives Next Week, Here's a New Trailer

A couple of weeks back we posted about an upcoming top-down action RPG titled Fantasy Mage from Illogical Games, and today they've confirmed to us that the game is on its way to the App Store soon and scheduled to arrive next Tuesday, February 16th. In case you missed the video from our post before, below is the brand new launch trailer for Fantasy Mage which should give you a pretty good idea what the game is all about...

'Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light' English Version Soft Launched

Square Enix's Dragon Quest Monsters series hit iOS in Japan in 2014 as Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light, and now it looks like the game is set to go worldwide, as it's soft launched in several countries. The game has mostly released in Southeast Asia countries, such as Singapore, a common spot for soft-launched games, and where you should have an account if you are trying to nab soft-launched games. So, this could just be an expansion of the game's footprint, though now it's in English for the first time. Check out the soft launch thread for the game...

'Saber's Edge' Match-3 RPG Finally Leaves Amazon's Fire Phone, Soft Launches on iOS

Hibernum Creations has soft launched their match-3 RPG Saber's Edge in New Zealand, finally bringing this long-time Amazon exclusive to iOS. The game has you assembling a team of heroes, upgrading their stats and equipment, and battling it out using match-3 grids. However, each character has their own grid, and you can link attacks from grid to grid in combat. It's looked like a rather promising take on the genre, and hopefully it'll hit worldwide soon enough. Check out the soft launch thread on our forums...

As I've said before, there's nothing wrong with chilling out with a mindless arcade game. I grew up playing flashy shooters and beat 'em ups just as often as deep RPGs and point and click adventure games, and both philosophies scratch certain itches on any given day. The former mindset is most evident in Call of Commander [$0.99], which has some RPG elements, but mostly caters towards the part of your brain that likes to shut itself off...

Friends, when it RPG rains, it RPG pours, and we're all soaking wet after the last few weeks. With the release of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] last week and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] this week, you'd think we might be able to catch a breather somewhere in between, but no, Square Enix went and dropped an 800-lb gorilla, on a Tuesday of all days, right in the middle of things. While we knew Final Fantasy 9 [$16.99] was close to release, I'm not sure anyone expected it so soon after a major release like Adventures Of Mana, but there you have it. Now, since this was as much a surprise for us here at TouchArcade as it was for all of you, it's going to take a few days to put a proper review together, so we've got some early impressions to tide you over until then...

With the Sonic games not doing terribly well in the recent past, Sega Sammy Group has announced its plans to bring Sonic to the movie theaters. In an interview with The World Folio, company president and CEO, Hajime Satomi, talked about the company's decision to expand their business into other entertainment areas beyond what they are currently involved, and one of the ways that will happen is with a Sony Pictures "live-action and animation hybrid" Sonic the Hedgehog movie scheduled for release in 2018. Satomi didn't offer any further details on the upcoming movie, and I have a hunch that this could go either relatively okay or really, really badly. Sonic has appeared on TV in the past with, well, mixed results. Who knows, maybe they'll make something decent?..

Hearthstone's [Free] developers have decided to torture players again by giving us the Decks Assembled Tavern Brawl, easily the more confusing of the Brawls so far. When this Brawl first came out in December, many got confused because of the way this brawl lets you build your deck. Here's how it goes: first you pick the class you'd like to play, and at the start of the turn, you choose a card through a process that looks a lot like the Discover mechanic. When you play a card from your hand, you shuffle a copy of it into your deck, and when your turn ends, your hand is destroyed and 4 cards are drawn from your deck. Not the easiest Brawl to figure out the first time around as seen by the number of hints you'll get throughout the first few turns...

Even though we don't hear much about FNAF [$2.99] anymore, the franchise continues to be very popular, with the original still in the top 20 paid apps on the App Store. Nowadays, we also see plenty of Chica and Freddy on the shelves of tshirt stores since Scott Cawthon has cleverly given his stamp of approval to FNAF clothes and toys. MacFarlane Toys is the next company to bring FNAF toys to life, and the first set, based on Freddy Fazbear's Pizza restaurant, looks really good. The Show Stage construction set puts Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica center stage and comes with (of course) the three figures, party balloons, an arcade cabinet, star streamers, a happy birthday banner, and more. The set consists of approximately 300 pieces and looks really good...

New iPhone Games Out Now (and Coming Tonight): 'Final Fantasy IX', 'Ys Chronicles II', 'Tomb of the Mask' and Loads More

It's another weird Wednesday for iOS releases, but really, we're at the point where if something isn't weird about a particular week that in itself would be weird. Personally, I'm thankful this list is on the shorter side as I'm getting my furnace replaced today and am too cold to type out much more than this. As a day where it's 12° F with a huge snowstorm inbound is the best time for your furnace to die, but, I digress. Most of these games actually came out earlier in the week, which either means we're in for a whole bundle of games to randomly appear this evening, or every other developer was like, "Oh god, Final Fantasy IX, ABORT! ABORT!" (Or something else entirely as if the App Store is anything, it's totally unpredictable.) I know at minimum _PRISM is due to be released tonight, so there could be other surprises...

The First Episode of 'The Walking Dead: Michonne' Miniseries Releases February 25th

If you've been waiting to see what Telltale will do with the character of Michonne from The Walking Dead, you won't have to wait long because the first episode of the The Walking Dead: Michonne three-episode series, titled In Too Deep, releases on the App Store February 25th. The second episode, Give No Shelter, will come in March and the final one, What We Deserve, will land in April. The whole series will cost $14.99, the pretty standard 5 dollar an episode as the rest of the Telltale episodic stories. In the premiere episode (slight spoilers follow), Michonne joins Pete and his crew on the sailing ship The Companion as they cruise the coast for survivors and supplies. When they respond to a desperate signal for help, they find a horrible massacre. Michonne and the rest of the crew end up on the floating survivors' colony of Monroe, which might be harboring the person responsible for the massacre...

One of my major irritations with WOT Blitz [Free] gameplay so far has been the amazing strength of twigs and tiny pieces of debris. What do I mean? Imagine getting into the perfect shooting, tapping the button, and then seeing your shell explode because it hit a tiny twig on the way to devastating the opponent. Fortunately, Wargaming.net is finally changing the game's shooting mechanics to address those issues and, in general, improve how your shells behave. We can now fire through obstacles with the shell continuing its trajectory and hitting anyone hiding behind. However, depending on the obstacle's durability, the shell will lose an amount of its energy and might be unable to penetrate the target. Full-featured ricochets are now in the game too, with deflected shells damaging nearby enemies if they hit them...

It's a pretty nice week for early releases with both Final Fantasy IX [$16.99] and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] out in the wild and likely sucking up a large portion of everybody's time. However, if you're feeling overwhelmed with these big ol' RPGs and looking to cleanse your palate with something a bit more breezy, another really awesome new game just dropped ahead of the normal weekly releases. It's Happymagenta's Tomb of the Mask [Free], and the best way I could possibly describe it is it's as if Pac-Man [$4.99 / Free], Downwell [$2.99], and The Last Rocket [$1.99] all had a three-way lovechild (which is totally possible, haven't you seen The Brothers Solomon?)...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$16.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

It seems crazy that the release of Jack B. Nimble [$1.99] was well over a year ago, back in September of 2014. This plucky little runner combined the simplistic running and jumping of a typical runner but added in an extra dimension with the ability to crack a whip mid-jump, making it feel like the lovechild of Canabalt [$2.99] and Castlevania. We really enjoyed it in our review, and two post-release updates sweetened the pot by adding in two extra environments, two new color palettes, Game Center integration, and an extra playable character. Since its last update in December of 2014, Jack B. Nimble hasn't seen a whole lot of love, mostly due to it being the passion project of sole developer Sean Noonan. There have been big plans in the works for the game, they just haven't had a chance to come to fruition. ..

Upcoming 'Cube Escape: Birthday', from 'Rusty Lake Hotel' Developer, Looks Intriguing

Developer Rusty Lake has shown that it has its finger on the pulse of creeping people out with its use of imagery, sound, and theme. Or it could be the developers know what I find somewhat creepy and use it in all their trailers. After the very weird (in a good way) trailer for their game Rusty Lake Hotel [$1.99], the devs have another trailer out for their upcoming Cube Escape: Birthday, the continuation of their Cube Escape series, and it's once more a really well-made trailer that makes me want to check out the game simply because of the tone. Although I usually don't care much about room escape games, this one definitely has the kind of atmosphere I enjoy. And it has a black cat at the end, which I can't ignore otherwise my own black cat would hold it against me forever (and you know how cats are)...

Ex-BioWare Writer Joins Team Behind 'Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear'

As many already know, Beamdog, the company that has brought Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II to mobile, is developing a new game in that universe, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. Well, if you were worried that the game might have a hard time retaining the feel of the original ones, you should be able to sleep better tonight after the news that ex-BioWare writer, David Gaider, has joined the studio as creative director. Gaider has worked on the original Baldur's Gate games while in BioWare and was also a writer and designer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more. By bringing in someone who's had a hand in the original games, Beamdog hopes that its Baldur's Gate game will retain the franchise's feel and please its fans...

Blue Lola Headphones Review: Good Microphone Maker Also Good at Headphones

Blue Microphones has been most known for their, well, microphones. It's not uncommon to see someone at least somewhat dedicated to higher-quality microphones than built-in setups to be rocking the Blue Snowball or Yeti. Blue has started getting into headphones as well, and their second pair, Lola, is a fantastic entry into the market. The Lola is a bit bulky, but it offers fantastic, balanced sound for the price...

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