100 Balls – iPhone – Free
Games-wise, I’m a bit of a minimalist. The ones that suck me inside in an addictive manner are the smartphone games that you can get in and out of, post haste. For you dearly beloved Candy Crush-types it’s the thrill of getting sugar to crumble at your touch. In Threes, which you may know from my review on Badoink.io, numbers cohabit together to make bigger numbers. And in 100 Balls, a brand-new game for the iPhone, the soft gentle tap of a fingernail loads transparent cups with ping-pong balls.
Invented by a Lithuanian app developer with a unique sense of style, Gieddrius Talzunas, we may be seeing the real reason the little Russian dictator Vladimir Putin wants the Soviet Union to return and steal all its old satellites back.
Joking aside, the creator of other iTunes game favorites like Black Eye, Black Eye World, Boy or Girl?, Multi Color and Kill the Boss, has created a true doozy here. 100 Balls starts up through a funnel filled with 100 yellow spheres and a conveyor belt of transparent cups. The sort of drunken games they encourage when you take Club Med vacations, actually. Anyway, as the cups on the conveyor belt dip down below the funnel spout, you must release them by tapping against the screen. Each basic ball counts as a point. The ultimate goal then becomes to load up each cup with as many balls as possible without losing any.
Once the cups have done their full rotation on the conveyor belt, they spill the balls they have collected back once again into the communal funnel. Then, after every cup has made it around the belt, move on to the next level as, slowly but surely, you pugnaciously continue your advance. Now the conveyor belt speeds up and different colored cups come into the picture. From then on, every time you drop a yellow ball into these cups, their colors and values change. Atypically, after a yellow ball worth 1 point lands in a green cup, it becomes a green ball worth 2 points. Thus the value of the balls increases as they change from color to color to color.
Should you blow it and miss a cup, the balls that scatter and fly away out of sight will be lost from your collection forever. Yes, 100 Balls is cruel and mean! Should you fail to fill a cup with at least one ball each time it passes the spout, that cup will immediately fall off the conveyor belt and out of your rotation for good. Yes, in this ruthless wee world, mistakes are not forgiven and last forever!
What’s cool here is working out and perfecting your fingertip tap so that your ball release is perfectly timed: neither too long, short, over-hit, etc. If you’re not naturally gifted with sassy coordination skills the kind of frustration and dissatisfaction you had with good ol’ Flappy Birds making you repeat and repeat ad infinitum in that frustrated-yet-happy blue-ballsy sort of way. And as the actor Stephen Fry told the talk show host, Tavis Smiley, it’s not a game for nail biters.
Over the last eight weeks, the 100 Balls app has been downloaded more than 11 million times, from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, France, Argentina, India, Germany, and Ireland. Talzunas, formerly a real estate broker who went bankrupt in the crash of 2008, according to the Daily Mail, refuses to discuss how much profit he’s made from the game, before learning to code, says he’s not yet willing to disclose how much profit he’s made from it.