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Teen's 'Bubble Ball' game is top free iPhone app

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SPANISH FORK -- A 14-year-old eighth grader from Spanish Fork is all over the Internet now because his game has beaten out "Angry Birds" as the top free iPhone app.

Robert Nay describes "Bubble Ball" as a physics-based puzzle game. It has multiple levels and challenges players to guide a bubble to its destination.

I had no idea that it would do so well and become the No. 1 game.

–Robert Nay


The iTunes description urges users to "try this fun, new physics game, where you will test your ingenuity and thinking skills to get the bubble to the goal. ... A great game to test your logical thinking skills, and to play whenever you're bored."

Nay told KSL NewsRadio's "The Browser" Monday that he spent about a month developing the game, using coding he taught himself. He said he took the advice of a friend who suggested that since he likes his iPod so much, he should take a try at writing the code for a mobile phone application.

And just like that, with a little bit of research, lots of determination and the right programming option, he started on his endeavor in November.

His mother, Kari, drew some of the puzzles in the game, but said her youngest child came up with the concept and did the rest on his own.

Nay, who says his favorite subject is math, said one of the toughest parts was the simple task of waiting.

"About a week," -- a long week to be sure -- is how long Nay had to wait to find out if the folks at Apple liked his application enough to accept it.

In the roughly two weeks since it debuted on the Apple iTunes store, it's had more than 2 million downloads.

"I had no idea that it would do so well and become the number one game," Nay said.

The offers for a career in applications -- downloadable extras aimed at the smartphone market -- are pouring in.

"I have gotten a bunch of things saying, 'Hey, we could work together on that,'" Nay said, adding that he expects the game to start making money soon. "We're probably going to add in-app purchases, where the game will still be free but you can buy additional levels in the game."

Nay is something of a whiz-kid who created his first website in the third grade. He wants to pursue computing as a career, but also plays several musical instruments.

With this endeavor under his belt, Nay has already jumped in to create another application.

He's pretty coy about what this one may entail, but he figures on his next venture he'll attach a price tag -- probably 99 cents a download.

Nay designed "Bubble Ball" using software called Corona SDK, made by Ansca Mobile. The game he knocked out of the top spot, "Angry Birds," was developed by a team of professionals in Helsinki.

CLICK HERE to see "Bubble Ball."


Story written by Becky Bruce, with contributions from Amy Joi O'Donoghue.

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