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Teenage developer dethrones Angry Birds

14-year-old conquers App Store.

A prodigious 14-year-old game developer has flown past perennial iOS best-seller Angry Birds in the App Store top 10 with his first game, a physics-based puzzler called Bubble Ball.

According to ABC News, Utah teen Robert Nay's game has been downloaded two million times since release, elbowing past Angry Birds in the free apps chart.

Keen gamer Nay apparently got started on the project at the suggestion of some friends. He headed down to the local library and came back armed with knowledge of Ansca Mobile's Corona dev kit. Over the following month he logged a few hours each day writing the 4,000 plus lines of code, with the finished product hitting the App Store on 29th December.

His mother, Kari, apparently helped out with designing a few of the puzzles, but "he came up with the concept and did everything else on his own."

The game took off after it "brought the entire staff to a halt" at Anca and it named the game its app of the week starting 9th January.

Its success has taken the budding designer by surprise. "I was pretty astonished," Nay said. "When I released it, I didn't think it would do so well."

Robert is now prioritising game development over his other hobbies – playing the piano, mandolin and trumpet – to concentrate on his next game, the content of which is a "secret for now".

Considering the lad didn't make a penny from his first effort, he's looking to flesh out his pocket money allowance by charging for the follow-up.

The game is currently sitting at number nine in the iPhone free app chart, one above Angry Birds, with a user rating of 2.5 out of five.

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Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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