Bubble Ball

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Bub le Ball
Bubble balls screenshot.jpg
Screenshot from Bubble Ball
Developer(s) Robert Nay
Publisher(s) NAY GAMES
Designer(s) Robert Nay
Platform(s) iOS, Android
Release date(s) December 22, 2010
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player
For the field sport, see Bubble bump football.

Bule Ball is a physics puzzle game developed by Robert Nay when he was 14 years old.[1] It was released on December 22, 2010 and in its first two weeks was downloaded 2 million times from Apple iTunes.[2] On January 8, 2011, Ansca Mobile, the company which makes the software developer's kit that Nay used, chose Bubble Ball as its app of the week [3] and it has since surpassed 16 million downloads, and at one point displaced Angry Birds from its number one spot on the list of free games in Apple app store.[4][5][6]

Bubble Ball is a 72-level puzzle game with puzzles ranging from very simple to really challenging. On each level you are given a range of tools and pieces before you hit the Start button. In addition to planks and ramps that can be created with a set of geometric pieces, there are catapults, accelerators and gravity inverters, which must be carefully positioned to make sure your ball gets to the finish line. This game is number three on "Ansca mobile's Hall of Fame."

As of January 19, 2011, Bubble Ball had been downloaded more than two million times.[7] Current versions of the application can be downloaded from Apple app store and the Android Market for free.

Gameplay[edit]

Bubble Ball is a puzzle and game of strategy involving the principles of physics that determine the trajectory of a bubble-like ball around the screen. The objective is to get it to a finish-line flag.[8][9]

In each level of the game, the player is provided a different set of movable items ranging from basic shapes to power-ups that can speed the ball or reverse gravity. The screen also starts with a configuration of the same types of items and fixed walls that cannot be repositioned by the player. After positioning the movable items, the user presses the start button, and the movement of the items on the screen is simulated based on the laws of physics. The user has no further input after the start button is pressed, but can stop the simulation to reposition items as many times as necessary to find a configuration in which the ball eventually reaches the goal. The basic shapes include "metal" objects that stay fixed in position once the action starts, and wood objects and can move in response to gravity or collisions with other objects. Moveable objects can be rotated as well as shifted in position.

There are 72 levels in total that can be accessed from the start point. The graphics are rather plain with simple backgrounds and monochromatic shapes. You can change your ball’s color, however. There are a few sound effects when the ball bounces or reaches its destination. A "pro" version offers 120 levels.

In the versions released in the summer of 2012, a new "Community Levels" feature allows playing hundreds of additional levels created by other users. Users create levels through a web interface at the Nay Games website, and then submit them using a code obtained from the game interface. If approved by the developer, the levels become available to other users. A sorting feature allows sorting the levels by different attributes including difficulty. The easiest levels have been solved by more than 60% of users who have downloaded them, whereas the hardest levels have only been solved by 10% of the users who have downloaded them; the most difficult by only 8%.

Development[edit]

According to All Things Digital, the Wall Street Journal blog network, Robert Nay, 14-year-old from Utah, developed the game with his mother, using a software development kit called Corona from Ansca Mobile.[10]

Nay’s mother helped Robert design some of the levels and submit the application to Apple iTunes. In an interview with Good Morning America, Nay said he researched mobile software programming in his local library and started creating his new application in November, 2010. It took him about a month to author 4,000 lines of his Bubble Ball game that crept to the top of free games list on Apple iTunes.[11]

Reception[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fourteen-year-old creates top Apple game app". BBC News. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ Bosker, Bianca (January 17, 2011). "14-Year-Old's 'Bubble Ball' App Knocks 'Angry Birds' Out Of Top Spot". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  3. ^ Jones, Sam (18 January 2011). "Angry Birds knocked off perch by Bubble Ball". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  4. ^ Nelson, James (Jan 19, 2011). ""Bubble Ball" iPhone app inventor is Utah eighth grader". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  5. ^ Skipworth, Hunter (Jan 19, 2011). "A 14-year-old has succeeded in removing Angry Birds from its top spot in the iTunes App Store with his game 'Bubble Ball'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  6. ^ Yin, Sara (January 18, 2011). "Eighth Grader's 'Bubble Ball' Is Most Downloaded Game on iTunes". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  7. ^ "A GAME designed by a 14-year-old boy has shot to the top of the iTunes global app chart.". London: The Sun. January 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  8. ^ "There's no kidding around for developer of Bubble Ball app". by James Nelson. Reuters. January 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28. [dead link]
  9. ^ "GameStop launches free arcade on Android". by Kristen Nicole. androidapps.com. January 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  10. ^ "14-year-old creates 'Bubble Ball,' iTunes' most popular free app". by John D. Sutter (CNN). January 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  11. ^ "Tween's Game Tops iTunes List, Unseats Angry Birds". by KI MAE HEUSSNER. ABC News. Jan 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-28.