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CGDC4: Explode Ball for High Score

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Explode Ball for High ScoreFlash Game Design CompetitionThe next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Ian Barber and Ben Gray of the UK, and it is their first competition with us.

Explode Ball for High Score is an aptly named action game based on a very simple idea and in which the "ball physics" theme is represented well within the gameplay. Please leave your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Ian and Ben in the comments.

Play Explode Ball for High Score

Game link: https://jayisgames.com/cgdc4/?gameID=38


Well, that music loop was quite annoying/distracting, and turning it off wasted a ball, but the colours are pretty and the game seems enjoyable.

I'm not entirely sure of the aim. Is it to join balls of the same colour together as much as possible then to pop them, resulting in points?


I think that's pretty much the goal. Also chaos.


It may be nice to have a preview of the next ball color - if hitting a ball of the same color is one of the objects - not sure! Seems like points accumulate every now and then - but don't know why.


There is an indicator for the next color of the ball, underneath the turret.


There is a preview of the next ball color. It shows up at the base of your gun.


Hmm - not on mine. Guess it's not loading correctly. The only color preview on the gun is grey - until you're out of balls - then it's yellow!


The aim of the game seems fairly obvious, even if the precise mechanics aren't.

As best as I can figure, balls of the same color will join to form larger balls. When these balls burst you get points. The red ball in the upper left shows you how many balls you have left to shoot. The only thing I can't figure out is why the balls burst. At first I thought it was speed, but that doesn't seem to be it. They seem to explode at random, but I'm sure there's some rhyme and reason to it.

MikeH: there is a preview of the next ball color. It's the color of the ball displayed on the canon itself.


MikeH: Really? There's no colored ball at the base of the gun? Weird.

wired1139 October 9, 2007 9:45 PM

I agree with mike H there is no other color anywhere except for the number of balls and score(it stays at 0)


Well, I'm just not seeing the color. I'm using Firefox but I'll switch to IE just to check. Weird stuff - maybe goblins have invaded already!


Sounds like a Flash Player versioning issue.

wired1139 October 9, 2007 10:12 PM

I have the latest flash and IE but I still cant play.

[Edit: I've run the game on both Mac OS and Windows XP SP2 (IE7) and all with Flash Player 9.0 r47 without a problem. -Jay]


Just updated Flash - the cannon is grey with no preview of next color! I tried in both Firefox and IE - both with current version of Flash. (Although I cannot see "under" the cannon as it is at the base of the window and I cannot expand the window. My view of the cannon "stops" at the lower swivel point of the turret)



The cannon is grey until you click "start".


Tried everything - I give up! Looks like the game has some potential - if I could run it! :)

wired1139 October 9, 2007 10:29 PM

I just re downloaded my flash. Hope it works!


The first few times I tried it in Firefox (under Mac OSX 10.3.9), I got no balls on the screen, and clicking did nothing but decrement the number in the red ball. It worked in Safari, and now that I've tried it again in Firefox it works here as well.

wired1139 October 9, 2007 10:32 PM

Got it! Thanks jay(my hero!)


Oooooo K.

Neat distraction for a few minutes but I don't really understand what I'm supposed to be doing. Kind of tough to judge or rate a game when you don't know what's really going on or why.

wired1139 October 9, 2007 10:38 PM

last comment for this game: Good game that uses ball physics in a fun way but anly holds my attention for 2or 3 minutes.(consider making a goal in the game-and levels!)

eyepersonic October 10, 2007 12:40 AM

what a pleasant confusion!
theres carnival on my desktop and nothing else matters..
and its the first title where you read the help at the same moment you get to know the games name! fun!


is something supposed to be happening???

when i click anywhere on screen, the counter in the top left goes down.... and thats it. Nothings happening...


As far as I can tell, you get a high score by exploding bigger bubbles; bubbles grow when same colors collide, and explosions happen when certain different-colored bubbles collide. Which collisions trigger explosions, I haven't been able to figure out.

Regardless, the game is too random to be much fun for long; no matter what I did, I always ended up with around 1000 points, give or take less than 100. It didn't feel like there was much skill involved, and hence no sense of achievement - not much incentive to try to beat your score.

Perhaps if the rules were clarified a little bit - make it simple to understand *when* balls explode (certain specific color combos?) - the game could become a bit more involved, with players trying to keep those balls away from each other as well as growing them...


I concur with Valaruka. It hardly seems to be a game, as there doesn't seem to be any skill involved.


I have the same problem as Valarauka with the game. It has potential, but I still haven't figured out how you are really scored.

By playing randomly (firing everything at once) I've gotten from just below 1000 to just above 2000. When I really tried to aim and produced a lot of big balls, I got below 800. I guess inertia plays a big role, but I wonder if you're able to do better than 2000 by not playing randomly.


I for one liked the music loop. And the colors are pwetty!


Well, this it pretty enough, and the physics work, but I just don't understand the premise of the game.

I've had identically sized bubbles pop scoring 11, 25 and 50-something points. But without any idea as to why. Larger bubbles don't necessarily seem to give more points.

The game finishes a small amount of time after the last ball is launched, but if you don't launch it, the bubbles in the field lose momentum and fail to pop anyway.

I've tried three tactics:
Random firing as fast as possible (scored highest - nearly 2000)
Targeted firing trying to make biggest bubbles (lower score than random - approx 1400)
Trying to pop every bubble as soon as possible (scored a measly 700)

So zero tactics scores best? That seems to run counter to the idea that it's a game, and makes me categorise it as a 'distraction'.

Maybe some instructions would help?


Definitely more instructions needed. How does the scoring work? Why do I get a higher score by just rapid-firing balls willy-nilly onto the playing field than by taking time and aiming?

There needs to be some way of continuing the game too, rather than just a finite number of balls available to shoot. Get the right combo or a high enough score and you get to keep going... something like that.

I'd like to be able to shut that annoying music off without firing a ball too.

Interesting enough concept. With some tweaks and additions it could be a fun waste of time.


I really don't think I've grasped this. My highest score came from firing all the balls in a constant stream into one corner, my lowest from trying to knock balls of the same colour into each other. What am I missing here?


Ok, I really enjoy the shooting aspect of this game so I've probably given this more time that it deserves.

I've kept track and every color ball can explode against any other color ball.

The key is an explosion will only happen if: 1- there is two or more balls 'joined' and 2- if the velocity is high enough.

So, that presents a two part strategy. The inclination is to shoot 'same color' balls as they are coming at the gun: the problem with that is that their velocity then cancels. You want to shoot same color balls together as the 'free ball' is traveling away from the gun, thus not canceling but adding the velocities together. This will vastly increase the overall velocity of balls on the board.

The other strategy is that if a joined bigger ball is coming at the gun with enough velocity, you can then shoot it to explode it.

fairyhedgehog October 11, 2007 3:55 PM

I love the colours and the effects. I ended up playing it for ages just for the fun of shooting. But I would really love it even better if there was a more coherent scoring system that gave you the chance to improve. My best scores came from random firing.

I did have fun with it though.

Bob Montgomery October 11, 2007 5:48 PM

is something supposed to be happening???

when i click anywhere on screen, the counter in the top left goes down.... and thats it. Nothings happening...

Same here.

[Edit: I've run the game on both Mac OS and Windows XP SP2 (IE7) and all with Flash Player 9.0 r47 without a problem. -Jay]

I have the same Flash version, using Firefox.


If I'm not mistaken I think that the yellow circle in the top-right is your score, the red circle is how many shots you have left, and your score gets higher the more little circles you make explode. I think when a ball explodes depends on how many times it's hit. I hope this helps someone...
This seems like a good way to take your mind off of things, and the music is different and festive.

Random post April 1, 2008 9:44 PM

I don't know how, but I managed a score of over 5000 points... But I spent most of my time clicking the mute/unmute button


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