An addictive new mobile game developed by a trio of student programmers who teamed up at a one-day coding jam has been released across Apple and Android platforms.
Boxik is a retro style puzzler inspired by classic handheld games such as Tetris. Its simple but engrossing gameplay challenges players to spin a multi coloured cube to catch incoming objects of the corresponding hue – a task that requires surprisingly demanding mental and manual dexterity. With a synth-soaked 80s style soundtrack, the game is unforgiving for first-timers but quickly engrosses players determined to test their screen tapping talents to rack up higher and higher scores.
Boxik was designed and developed by Ryan Burton, Adam Walker and Neville King, all second year undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK. The three teamed up at the University’s on-campus AppFest coding jam in October 2015, where they won a competition to propose a viable mobile application set by the University. The enterprising undergraduates have been working on the game alongside their studies ever since – launching their own company, called Firefrost Games, and website to bring their app to market.
One of the students Adam Walker, originally from Bridlington, said: “It has been great to work on this project together and to see it through the whole production process, from conception and design, to programming and launching to market. Previously when we have built games, it has been as part of jam and has only resulted in short, rough versions of our ideas. It is so exciting to see the final, polished version of our game and we are so pleased to be launching it to market.
“We’re really happy with the final result – Boxik is a very simple yet effective game and it is quite addictive! We designed it for people to play on the bus for example, when they have time to pass, and have found that it encourages players to compete with themselves to beat their top score. We feel Boxik fits extremely well with the current app market trend of effortless and uncomplicated games, which are proving very popular with people of all ages.”
Technology guru Jason Bradbury, who has taught the students in his lecturing role in Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “It’s impressive to see a team of students develop a game so thoroughly from concept to release, handling all the work involved in getting an app out there and onto people’s devices. Just as importantly for the gamers among us, in Boxik they’ve created a good casual game with extremely simple gameplay. I’m very proud but not surprised at what they’ve achieved. Firefrost Games could be ones to watch.”
The game has also already secured a prestigious industry honour: winning a special achievement award from Rockstar Games – the company behind major game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto. Representatives of the global games company, which has a substantial base in the city, tested a pre-release version of the game as special guests at the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science End of Year Showcase in May.
Dr David Cobham, Head of the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are immensely proud of what Ryan, Adam and Neville have achieved in such a short space of time. Not only have they demonstrated exceptional coding skill and dedication to produce such a professional app, but they have also shown they have the ability to translate an idea into something people all over the world can download and enjoy.
“Throughout the process, they have worked together as a team and tackled the legal and licensing aspects of launching a business and bringing an app to market. Now they have a fully functioning and very exciting company to their name, and we look forward to seeing their future endeavours.”