Wow! You’d better have that $10 iTunes card handy, because tonight there are at least 8 big releases, seven for 99¢ and one for $1.99 (so I fibbed a little), launching on the App Store this evening promptly at 11PM EST.

Big developers, small developers…you name it, there are some really fun looking titles launching tonight. In fact, the first three I’ll mention below, I’ve actually had the pleasure of playing a bit of in advance of tonight’s release.

All the links in this post should be good starting at 11pm EST.
UPDATE: Whale Trail is actually live right now!
UPDATE 2: The HD release of Rescue Rope is NOT iPad-only, it’s UNIVERSAL and it’s on a launch sale price of 99¢, so this is obviously the version to buy.

Are any of these titles on your instant-buy list?
Leave a comment below and let us know.

Whale Trail – 99¢

London-based design studio usTwo is well-known in iOS circles, having created the brilliantly creative MouthOff™ app as well as a number of other innovative titles. Whale Trail is their first foray into the gaming space and their eagerly awaited trippy and charming endless runner certainly delivers. The best way I can describe the experience of playing Whale Trail is that it feels like you are in an interactive animated segment of the Yo Gabba Gabba! TV series.

The game’s colorful visuals, cute hero, offbeat theme song by Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, overall happy vibe and simple one-touch controls are sure to be a hit amongst iOS gamers. This 99¢ universal app has serious chart-topping potential!

Bike Baron – 99¢

A combined effort from Mountain Sheep (Minigore, Death Rally), Qwiboo (AquaGlobs) and composer Ari Pulkkinen (Angry Birds), Bike Baron comes from a strong pedigree. A cartoony Trials HD-like motorcycle stunt game with a star reward system that encourages multiple play-throughs of each of the games 40 included tracks. Players also have the ability to create their own share-able tracks with the same full-featured level editor that the development team used to create all the levels in the game.

Excellent graphics and fun gameplay mean this universal app is a steal at just 99¢ It is important to note that Bike Baron is ONLY compatible with iPod touch 3rd generation (32GB and 64GB models only!), iPod touch 4th generation, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad and iPad 2.

Putter King Adventure Golf – 99¢

I am a huge fan of real world miniature golf as well as iOS golf games, so naturally I was excited to get to play Tasty Poison Games’ Putter King Adventure Golf. It is universal miniature golf game with simple controls and very nice 3D graphics. The game features 3 different 9-hole courses “Adventures in Japan”, “Trip around the World”, and “Putty’s Playground”. The studio is running a competition where players can design their own holes (offline) and three will be picked to get featured in the game, upping the whole count to 27. The game offers 4 game modes (Championship, Timed Trial, Multiplayer, and Practice) as well as single and multiplayer (on the same device) and OpenFeint integration for achievements.

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots – 99¢

Halfbrick is back with a new version of Fruit Ninja tied to DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming animated feature film Puss in Boots (which is a spinoff from Shrek). The game features “the all-new Bandito mode! Slice through a series of increasingly exciting challenges to become the greatest Fruit Ninja warrior ever! Each stage thrusts you into never-seen-before fruit frenzy adventure: Massive fruit from the Giant’s castle, precision and timing challenges, all-out fruit onslaughts with new obstacles And for the first time EVER: Throw down against the most-requested addition in Fruit Ninja history – the tomato!” Unfortunately this is NOT a universal app, but at just 99¢ this is likely to do quite well given the popularity of both Fruit Ninja and DreamWorks animated film properties. There is a separate iPad release available for $1.99.

Crazy Escape – 99¢

This cute looking puzzle game from publisher Bulkypix appears to combine elements of DrawRace and Flight Control and has players helping penguins rescue sheep from the clutches of the hungry wolves (yeah you read that correctly) by drawing the road they’ll take in their ‘trusty 4×4’. “The precision and the speed you use to trace the route will determine if Cutlet and Mishmash are successful or if the sheep will meet their untimely demise.” It looks like fun and with Bulkypix’s strong track record with puzzle games, this universal app looks like an easy pickup at just 99¢

Bring Me Sandwiches!! – 99¢

Those twisted folks at Adult Swim Games is back with another original game for iOS called Bring Me Sandwiches!! Here’s the back-story: “Invader Gourmo promises to destroy the Earth unless you meet his simple demand: BRING ME SANDWICHES!! As lowly fast food employee Jimmy Nugget, you’ve been charged by the President of the United States to save the planet. When making a sandwich for Gourmo, anything goes: meat, trash, cats…whatever you can stick between two slices of bread!”

A 99¢ iPhone platformer, Bring Me Sandwiches!! utilizes customizable touch-based controls for running and jumping and as you would expect from Adult Swim, nice looking cartoony graphics. There is also GameCenter support for Achievements point and time-based Leaderboards. There is even a Food Journal to “track all the crazy stuff you’ve crammed into your sandwiches” and hidden alien parts in every level which can be used to gradually build your own Spaceship.

Rope Rescue – 99¢

Surprise…Chillingo has published another physics-based puzzle game. In their newest title, Untame Games’ Rope Rescue. Players must drag a length of rope through a series of gears and then to a cage to rescue their feathered friends.

The game features a scoring mechanic similar to that of Save Yammi, in that the less rope you use the higher your score. Will it be Chillingo’s next Angry Birds or Cut the Rope? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Chillingo has released the game in separate iPhone and universal releases both of which are 99¢ each. The 99¢ pricing on the universal release appears to be a special launch price, so this is obviously the version to buy.

Mage Gauntlet – $1.99

I originally meant for this post to just be 99¢ games but when I saw a new release from Rocketcat Games (Super QuickHook, Hook Worlds)…I simply had to include it!

Mage Gauntlet is a classic-style action-RPG, designed from the ground up for iOS. It’s inspired primarily by 90’s action RPGs for the Super Nintendo, such as Legend of Zelda: LTTP and Secret of Mana. We wanted to make a fast-paced RPG that doesn’t waste your time with fetch quests.

Fight and explore your way through a humorous storyline about eccentric wizards, powerful artifacts, and dangerous monsters. Find items to customize your character’s strengths and weaknesses. Enjoy smooth, responsive controls and fast, satisfying combat. When you beat the game, unlock a remixed Master Mode with overwhelming enemy numbers and new secrets to uncover.” That’s all well and good, but I know what you are thinking…how many hats? Well according to the specs, the game features 110 hats!!!

It’s also worth noting that if you buy the game before Sunday, then as an Early Buyer Bonus, you’ll get the Rocketcat Fan Pack for free, “with an in-game pet and a selection of eight hats from our previous games”. The $1.99 (33% off) is only good on release day) and then it will likely go up as Rocketcat Games tends to not put their titles on sale after the initial launch sale price.