Every Friday, we like to finish off the week by looking ahead and talking about the iPhone and iPad games that are just over the horizon.
Sadly, not everything goes to plan. Two RPGs that we said were coming out last week - Adventure Bar Story and Kids vs Goblins - didn't materialise, thanks to bugs and last-minute decisions.
To help temper expectations in the future, and avoid letting anyone down, we're going to be a lot more transparent about where we get our information from. We'll let you know what developers and publishers are telling us, and provide official sources wherever possible.
Note: Dates, prices, and features are subject to change at the whim of the developer and Apple's approval team. Dates were correct at time of publication.
By Twiitch - coming to iPhone and iPad on March 8th (source)
Cartoony graphics? Check. Wacky cast of oddball characters? Check? Physics-based gameplay? Check, check, check. Yep, it's your weekly pocket-money app from Chillingo, alright.
This one is developed by Melbourne-based startup Twiitch, and follows a troop of "fearless marshmallow heroes" that have set out to rescue their pals "from the candy clutches of the nasty chocolate guardians". Sounds delicious.
In each level, you've got to wreck a sturdy chocolate fort by slugging a marshmallow warrior with a baseball bat. Each hero has a unique power, so the gelatinous Jelly Gumble turns into a quivering mass of red goop, for example, while Neopolitan Dynamite explodes, sending bits of level flying.
Then, there's Corporal Clinker, a top-brass military man in a chocolate milk tank. His coco cannon drenches each level in sloshing great pools of Nesquik. It looks like an absolute barmy mess of colour and action, and we can't tell what on earth is going on in the trailer.
Mass Effect Infiltrator
By Iron Monkey Studios - coming to iPhone and iPad in March
Okay, we're going out on a bit of a limb with this one. We asked EA when Mass Effect Infiltrator would hit the App Store, but all we got back was the delightfully vague: "We have not communicated an exact launch date."
"But the game will be released in March," our handy spokeswomen assured us. "Around the launch of Mass Effect 3."
Well, whaddya know? Bioware's epic space opera hits Xbox 360 and PS3 next week, and seeing as the iOS game hooks up with its console cousin, we think March 7th seems like a solid bet.
The game will be an action-heavy third-person shooter, which ditches RPG elements and lengthy conversations in favour of blasting robots. It's in safe hands, though: it's made by Iron Monkey Studios - the team behind the impressive iPhone version of Dead Space.
While you won't get to play as Shepard in Mass Effect Infiltrator, new character Randall (voiced by Deus Ex's JC Denton, by the way) will get to wield the weapons and powers from the Mass Effect trilogy. He also has a bunch of genetic enhancements to upgrade.
Mass Effect Infiltrator has you, erm, infiltrating a hostile Cerberus base. Once inside, you're looking for prisoners to rescue, and any evidence of Cerberus's crimes. Anything you find will boost your Galactic Readiness rating, which ties into the console game's tactical side mission: Galaxy at War.
Assassin's Creed Recollection
By Ubisoft - coming to iPhone on March 8th (source)
As we reported earlier this year, Ubisoft's real-time card-based strategy opus Assassin's Creed Recollection is migrating from iPad to iPhone. It will be out for Apple's smaller-screened gadget next week.
Here's what we said about the game when we dubbed it one of the ten best tablet games of 2011: "A sort of paradoxical turn-based real-time card game, Assassin's Creed Recollection is both about slapping down cards in step with your opponent, and waiting for the daily cycle to occur so you can pick another card."
Because most of the game moves to the slow rhythm of a day / night cycle, you can use quickfire cards to quickly shatter your foe's defences. "This offers up a dastardly clever set of rules, allowing you to pull off some seriously sly, underhanded moves."
In our Silver Award review, we said, "Recollection's rules are smart, sharp, and pleasingly unique. The Creed-themed campaign is very enjoyable, but prepare to pay out for booster packs if you want to compete online."
Adventure Bar Story
By Rideon Japan - coming to iPhone on March 8th (source)
A last-minute bug caused PSP-port Adventure Bar Story to miss its March 1st launch date. The developer assures us, though, that it's now primed and ready to hit the App Store next week.
Adventure Bar Story is an RPG in which instead of saving the world, you're actually running a restaurant. So, you traipse around dungeons, getting into fights with sentient blobs of slime to find recipes and ingredients for tomorrow's meals.
It's a massive game, with a seriously smart idea that has been executed well. If you're hooked by RPGs and find simulations addictive, this game might just eliminate your free time altogether.
Kids vs Goblins
By Stolen Couch Games - coming to iPhone and iPad on March 8th (source)
Okay, so we were a little off in our estimation last Friday that Kids vs Goblins would hit the App Store on Thursday (March 1st). But, there's no need for more guesswork - developer Stolen Couch Games told its Twitter followers: "Kids vs Goblins will launch on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S on March 8th!"
The game is a standard RPG, about a trio of kids who are shipwrecked on a monster-infested island. You'll wail on goblins and crabs, choose from three classes, and unlock special moves or spells.
From our first impressions, Kids vs Goblins might be a good game to ease dungeon-crawling newcomers into the genre. But, by shying away from depth and more complex strategy, this light slice of RPG probably won't do all that much for goblin-bashing veterans.