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

by Tim McLain

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 a while. You've got a bouncy blue ball that needs to be guided to the goal flag. Drag the various objects into place over the playfield, 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 less than 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 might stop. Put a piece too high? It might fall through the cracks after pressing "Play."

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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 eighth-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 (smartly) mum on its premise.