Sticky Balls launched on December 20th, just before Apple’s infamous week off where they review no apps. I was rushing like crazy to get everything as polished as possible and submitted around the 18th, but things weren’t looking so hot since Apple’s review time is apparently 5 days on average and 8 days around the holidays. Somehow it was reviewed and ready for release within two days. Maybe because it’s so simple, maybe because I have a few apps out already, who knows.
I was happy with the amount of reviews I got pretty quickly. I heard several people say they introduced the game to their friends who loved it and witnessed it with some younger relatives of mine too. It has a wonderfully venomous mix of “I hate this game” and “but I can’t stop playing it”. The opening day downloads and reviews helped propel it to pretty high rankings for several keywords.
But alas, bugs were found. The worst was that once you got to level 60 (no easy feat) the game would crash. Eeek! It had to do with restarting the different colors. Stupid colors. I can imagine how frustrating it would be to get that high and then it not even count for your high score or Game Center leaderboards. I noticed a few people were purposefully dying at level 59 and 60 on the leaderboard, so clearly people were bumping up against this annoying bug.
So I put in patch that fixed this bug, made the ads appear less often, and added an App Preview video in the app store:
This patch went in the morning that Apple opened back up after the break, at 2:15 am (I was very motivated to fix that bug!). I got an email around 9pm the same day that it was reviewed and ready for the App Store. WHAT. Pretty surprised at how fast this app is getting reviewed. Maybe it’s because I always promise the reviewer in the notes that I’ll take him to Olive Garden?
The downside to a new version is that you lose all your reviews. This is a serious flaw in Apple’s process. You work hard for reviews, but then you are loathe to update your app because they’re basically wasted. Yet reviews in part are how your app gets attention and ranking, so this is a weird little game you have to play with them.
I’m working on the 1.1 release now. It’ll include a bit of a facelift with a new simple tutorial and icons rather than words for the buttons. The goal is to make the game easier to pick up for non-English speakers. I’m going to have to start making tougher Achievements because some people are already crazy good at the game. If you are reading this and have any suggestions or bugs to report, let us know. Unless you’re complaining the game is too hard. We like it that way ;D