Melon Mash is a fun Android+iOS puzzle game inspired by the wooden block games, a bright satisfying experience for players who want to enjoy some zen.

Made with GameMaker Studio

Realeased October 10, 2023

The Idea

While staying with my brother for a weekend away from the buzz of the daily routine, I felt the urge to create a game. I enjoyed playing block-game puzzles and wondered how I would create the ‘clearing lines’ effect. Booting up my computer in the lounge I spent several hours over the weekend building a prototype.

The aim of the game is to drag one of three sets of fruit blocks onto the board and create a line.

Once a line is made all the tiles of fruit pop. It’s game over when there’s no room left to place sets.

You also have a bomb that can be used once a game, it randomly chooses a spot to blow up, freeing up room.

As you progress, the block shapes get more challenging, and you slowly fill up a meter to unlock new fruit types.

I liked the bright colours of the fruit-type games so decided to use that style, starting out with a watermelon which is how the name came to be “Melon Mash”.

Development

When coding I needed a way to represent the Tetris-like block shapes and choose which level to use them in. I used a 2D array shape_options[2][4] where the first array is used for the level, and the second for the shape.

I defined the shape as a string where the number 1 represents a block, e.g, for the upside-down L shape:

111
001
001

A script converts this string to a ds_map. This allowed me to quickly generate a lot of different shapes in a visual way.

I used the popular Tweening library for Game Maker to help things animate smoothly, such as when you pick up a set or release it. I think this adds a nice polish to the movement. I also used it when a line is cleared – one at a time each block slowly scales up and pops into fruit pieces.

For the graphics I used a mixture of free online images, my own Photoshop skills and paid ~$50 for someone to create the logo and a couple fruit graphics.

Release

After testing and bugfixing, I released it on both Android and iOS on October 10, 2023. I later wanted to add a video preview to the iOS app store listing which required submitting a new build of the app.

Reception

Everyone I’ve shown the game to like it and a few are hooked (including myself).

As with all products, getting people to know about it can be the hard part. It gets a few views on the app stores (see below) but not many downloads – similar to a lot of games in the flooded market of mobile apps. At some point I might try some social advertising.

A weekly summary from the iOS appstore of Melon Mash

A weekly summary from the iOS appstore of Melon Mash

Next Steps

I want to update the app to support a dark mode and when it’s game over, let the user choose to use the bomb if they haven’t, and have an option to watch a video ad to receive another bomb.

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