Indie Strategy Game with iCloud, Mystery Ball, Launches in App Store

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Mystery Ball, Red Nova Labs Games first iOS release, hit the App Store Nov. 3. The game is on sale for 99 cents through launch weekend.

Mystery Ball logo

Mystery Ball's hero, FRED, is a scared ball that needs your help. Download the game at the App Store.

David (Howe) is extremely passionate about game development, and based on his past contributions here, we had a lot of faith in his ability to deliver. -CEO Dan Miller

Mystery Ball will become one of the first iOS games with iCloud support to hit the App Store on Nov. 3.

The first release from Red Nova Labs Games is for sale for 99 cents through the end of launch weekend, Sunday, Nov. 6. Mystery Ball has generated a lot of buzz around Kansas City and in the gaming community. The one-man development team of David Howe was featured in the Lawrence Journal-World and the Kansas City Business Journal, and the game has been highlighted on several gaming websites.

“Working 15-hour days for the last six months straight has been grueling, but I am really pleased with how the game turned out,” Howe said. “I've played through it from start to finish several dozen times now, and I still get a lot of enjoyment out of discovering new solutions to puzzles or finding new ways to evade Mr Pail and his crew of motley frenemies!”

Mystery Ball is an adventure/strategy game that is available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The player controls FRED, a neurotic ball who has been placed in a Professor’s strange experiment. FRED must get past enemies and collect tools and bravery badges to overcome his fears. The game features 30 unique 3D worlds, retina support and Game Center integration.

It’s 30 hand-designed, meaningful worlds that will take you anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes or longer to figure out and solve,” Howe said. "I'll also be releasing several expansions to the game in the coming weeks and months that feature holiday content, as well as additional worlds, fears for FRED to conquer – with new abilities – and new Doodads to discover."

Howe built the game in six months, creating the art, designing and programming the game.

“It’s a unique opportunity for me to stretch all those muscles,” Howe said. “It’s very common on the iOS platform to have a two-man team or a five-man team. But very rarely do you see a one-man team that would do a 3D game of this scale and scope from the ground up. To be honest, having to wear all the different hats from game design, to 2D UI art, to 3D art, to engine programming, to logic coding -- it kept me sane through the really intense schedule I built. Changing roles made every day interesting and unique."

Howe pitched Mystery Ball to the executives at Red Nova Labs in May and convinced them to invest in the game.

“We encourage our employees to pursue the entrepreneurial projects they are passionate about,” CEO Dan Miller said. “David is extremely passionate about game development, and based on his past contributions here, we had a lot of faith in his ability to deliver. Besides, the time was right for Red Nova Labs to get back into iOS development — it’s a space we dip our toes in from time to time.”

Mystery Ball’s iCloud synchronization is one feature that Howe believes will get the attention of avid iOS gamers. The game can be played on one device and picked up where a user left off on another device.

“The iCloud was largely designed to make tracking your music library on iTunes easier from your iPad to your iPhone to your Mac or PC, but it has also opened up a world of convenience for iOS gamers. No longer do you have to worry about finding a way to copy your game saves to your other device. With Mystery Ball's iCloud support, you can grab your iPhone on the run and pick up exactly where you left off on your iPad. Steve Jobs said it best, 'It just works.'”

After launch weekend, Mystery Ball will return to its regular price of $2.99. To buy the game, visit Mystery Ball’s App Store page.

About David Howe
David Howe has been building games since age 10, attended DigiPen and worked at Handheld Games as a designer and coder. He is the Product Architect for the Game divsion at Red Nova Labs. Howe is the creator of Curator Defense and Mystery Ball, the first release from Red Nova Labs’ Games Division. Red Nova Labs is a web technology and marketing think-tank located in Westwood, Kan.

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C.J. Moore
Red Nova Labs
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