While you might ordinarily be suspicious about clicking links called Silly Sausage, failure to do so in this case would mean missing out on Nitrome's latest arcade game. Following the world's most adorable stretchy puppy (I guess it was about time Choo Choo Bear got a canine foil), your goal is to help him contort himself through mazes and around hazardous obstacles, guiding him through pipes and pathways in search of treasure. Use the [arrow] keys to make your new elastibuddy str-e-e-etch out in any direction, but the catch is as soon as you release the button, he'll snap back into normal shape. Fortunately, he can stick to certain bits of the landscape (you'll know it happens when he grabs onto the object with a "thwack" sound rather than just bumping into it), and this will give you a new spot for our puppy to return to as his landing base. You'll need to grab all the gems on each level to open the portal to the next, but keep an eye out for hazards, since three hits means you'll need to restart the level.
Silly Sausage is another retro game for the Nitrome Entertainment System (the first being Super Treadmill), but this is the first to feature the much-coveted "Game Muscle" bonus cheat cartridge, which will let you input those cheats as passwords via the main menu... provided you guess what they are, of course. There are thirty levels to conquer with your amazing powers of being really pink and really elastic, and it doesn't take long for the difficulty to ramp up. Nitrome's attention to detail in recreating that old-school arcade-sy feel really shines in everything from the level design to the sound effects, and it goes without saying that the graphics are both beautiful and adorable. The downside is that making sharp turns can be frustrating to get the hang of when you're trying to maneuver the puppy's pudgy body in a narrow space, and it becomes even more so when failure means smooshing your face up against spiky death. If you're like me (and Happy Gilmore) and only get more frustrated each time things like this happen, Silly Sausage feels like less a cheerful, relaxing nostalgic romp and more like a twitchy, nerve-shredding gauntlet.
Still, if you've got nerves of steel to go with your fabulously fleshy and stretchy torso, Silly Sausage is a gorgeously retro and challenging experience. The more you play, the more elaborate levels become, with pipes, switches, sawblades, and much more standing between you and sweet gem-studded glory. So loosen up those muscles and warm up with some yoga, because you've got some contortions to get to!