The top free app in the iTunes App Store does not belong to “Fruit Ninja Lite,” “Cut the Rope,” or even an offering from “Angry Birds.” No, the top spot is held by a game released December 29, 2010, Bubble Ball.
What’s the big deal with Bubble Ball’s ascendancy to number one? It’s not so much that the game is extremely enjoyable, it is. No, the important thing to note about Bubble Ball is that it was created by an eighth grade student,14-year-old Robert Nay, from Spanish Fork, Utah, and his mother Kari.
How popular is the app? Bubble Ball has been downloaded 1.5 million times on iOS devices, and also has an Android version.
Nay created the app using the Corona SDK from Ansca Mobile, which allows for creation of visually-appealing apps for Android and iOS devices. The free version of Corona offers users the ability to create apps with advanced features such as effects involving physics, with the $349 version of the SDK letting one publish the app to the Apple App Store.
The 14-year-old Nay learned Lua, Corona’s programming language, allowing him to create a game in a more simple manner than what he could have accomplished using Objective-C, the language used by many iPhone games.
Bubble Ball’s programming and graphic design was completed by Nay, which Nay’s mother assisting him with designing game levels.
Game play involves trying to get a ball to roll from one part of the screen to another by manipulating objects such as a stick or a triangle. Quite simplistic and very fun.
Have you played, or know others who play, Bubble Ball? What, if anything, surprises you about Bubble Ball claiming the top spot in the iTunes App Store?