Short Version: Manic Marble 4 is back in the Apple App Store. Totally free.
In the late 2000’s – I released Manic Marble into the Apple (iPhone) App Store.
It was a bit of a “retro-game” even at the time – taking inspiration from the 80’s classic Marble Madness with visual cues from Tron.
With over a million free downloads – it was a hit. While only a small fraction of users paid for extra-levels – I did make a little cash.
In coming years I released 4 versions of Manic Marble – but had trouble building on the financial success of the original. The major players had taken notice of mobile gaming – making indie-breakouts more difficult.
My career focus eventually moved to electronics / firmware development. I switched from Mac to PC. Manic Marble and my other apps eventually “fell out” of the app store due to not being updated.
Manic Marble made a lasting impression on some players. I would regularly get emails asking if Manic Marble will ever be re-released. Sometimes the messages were from 20-somethings with fond memories of playing Manic Marble as a kid.
Without a functioning iOS development system – a Manic Marble revival was unlikely.
But – in recent months I picked up a new Macbook Air – along with a new iPhone. After another round of emails from Manic Marble fans – I wondered – does it still compile?
A few days later – Manic Marble 4 was running again. I went ahead and re-submitted to the Apple App Store – and they accepted!
As an unexpected bonus Manic Marble now runs on newer (Apple Silicon) Macintoshes. The game plays surprisingly well using the keyboard – and is a lot of fun on a bigger screen.
One more new feature. There is now a “Hard” difficulty mode semi-hidden on the “Info” menu. Be warned – it’s really hard!
Enjoy Manic Marble while you can! Apple recently deprecated the graphics framework Manic Marble is based on. If they fully drop OpenGLES – Manic Marble will almost certainly fully retire.