100 Balls. Eight cups. And three versions of the same smart phone game

The new smartphone game seems to gaining popularity as fast as Candy Crush. But its also gaining copycat apps

Credit: 100 Balls by Giedrius Tazunas Screenshots

Credit: 100 Balls by Giedrius Tazunas Screenshots

100 balls. Eight cups. Sounds like a the equipment for a beer pong game, but its actually the basis of a new smartphone game that seems to heating up as fast as Candy Crush or Angry Birds.

In the game, eight cups circulate around the screen, while balls pile up in a ball bank by the top that has a shoot that drops the balls down the center of the screen. The object is to get the balls into the cups when a specific cup sits directly under the shoot and users get points for how many balls they make in. If a user gets no balls in a cup, that cup gets eliminated. Balls that make it into cups are recycled and sent back to the bank, while balls that miss the cups disappear. If you lose all your balls, you lose the game.

The game is acquiring downloads fast, but oddly enough, another thing it seems to be acquiring is copycat apps.

Who came first?

From our research, the first version of the game appears to come from independent Lithuanian developer Giedrius Tazunas, who first released the game, called 100 Balls, on the iTunes store on April 15. The game faced immediate success in the U.S., the U.K., and around the world. According to Dalius Lapėnas, a spokesperson for Tazunas, the game is acquiring about 30,000 downloads an hour and currently has about six million downloads.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, two other versions of 100 Balls were released on the Google Play app store, both by different developers. The first is also titled 100 Balls and launched May 5. It was developed by Slovenian developer team FreaXator Games, which makes PC and Android games. According to Žan Korošec of FreaXator, the app has 200,000 downloads and that number is growing fast.

Next came 100 Balls Pro on the Google Play app store, uploaded by Peach Fuzz Software. This app appears to be created by Atlanta, Ga., developer Jeffrey Hobbs, who could not immediately be reached for comment for this story. This app was last updated May 13 and has been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times, according to Google Play.

The three apps are virtually identical. So it seems logical that the Tazunas app is the first since it appears to be the first one released.

“None of the apps on the Google play market were related by us and those are clones of the original one,” Lapėnas, of the Tazunas iTunes version, told Geektime when asked about the similarity of the apps. “Most of the clones on the Android market were created just after our success in the US/UK App Stores. We’re in the progress to take legal actions against them. We don’t expect much success on that, but that’s the way forward..we think.”

On the other hand, Korošec of the FreaXator version said: “We are not in any way connected nor associated with any other development team. Our game is entirely our own product and any resemblance it may have to other apps is purely coincidental. I believe that anyone who helps in the creation of new applications, deserves some gratitude and wish them best of luck.”

Coincidental? The apps look virtually the same, it seems highly unlikely that any differences between the games would be coincidental.

Tazunas, however, is not going to back down and has other plans to battle future copycats.

“We’re in progress of releasing a successor for 100 Balls so we’ll see how quickly and how many clones we’ll get,” Lapėnas said. “As for Android market, we’re thinking about releasing Android games at the same time as iOS in the future to avoid copyright violations happening. Nope, our apps are not related with each other so far but the upcoming one will be.”

We’re looking forward to the next app. With its momentum, 100 Balls may just be the next game you and all your friends are playing when you get bored with Candy Crush.

Aviva Gat

Olah Chadasha and former finance reporter from New York City. Gat is a writer, runner and traveler who came to Israel for the good food and weather. She writes for Geektime’s English and global desk.



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