Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bubble Ball offers a quick, fun physics puzzle experience for all

Platform: Android

4 out of 5


Created by a 14-year-old developer, Bubble Ball is a fun physics puzzle game that will keep you glued to your phone. For a while, anyway.

Some users have worked through the game in under 20 minutes. Take your time and savor the experience. Picking up objects can be tricky. Graphics are very basic.

Did I mention that a 14-year-old programmed it?

Super Tumble
Newton Lite
Red X – Physics

Read all of my Apple iPad and Google Android application reviews at Appolicious and Yahoo! Tech.

Robert Nay, a 14-year-old living in Utah, is the creator of Bubble Ball, a simple physics puzzle game that’s a treat from the get-go.

Do yourself a favor: Slow down. Ponder each puzzle for awhile. You’ve got a bouncy blue ball that needs to be guided to the goal flag. Drag the various objects into place over the play field, then click GO. Did your layout work? Great, on to the next one. No luck? Try again.

With a relatively small set of levels (21 in all as of today), you can easily devour the game in under 30 minutes. Resist the urge. The graphics are simple, but the puzzles can look deceptively easily. Exact placement of each element will be critical to finishing the game, with every pixel in play. Leave a thin line above your board? The ball may stop. Put a piece too high? It may fall through the cracks after pressing PLAY.

Power ups also come into play to change the effects of gravity or the speed of your ball, and sometimes using a wooden or metal board will make all the difference. Wooden planks will fall when you press PLAY, while metal bars will stay right where they are throughout.

Robert, an 8th grader living in Spanish Fork, Utah, used a program called Corona from Ansca Mobile to author the title. Although the tool allows for stacking of code pieces (think Legos), Nay had to author about 3,000 lines of code to make the app work. He’s working on another app, but for now is mum on its premise. (Smart.)

Here’s a kid with a future in the mobile application business!

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