Online app success for ambitious Colgate teenager

JPCT 280214 S14100284x Zach Broome, desinger of apps -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140228-110645001
JPCT 280214 S14100284x Zach Broome, desinger of apps -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140228-110645001

A ‘simple’ and ‘addictive’ smartphone game created by an ambitious Colgate teenager has been downloaded from all corners of the globe.

The success of the free ‘Bullet Bill’ game has been a cause for celebration for Zach Broome, 16, and he insists there is more to come from his company, Red Monster.

Zach has created eight apps in total that are available on Apple’s App Store.

He said: “Bullet Bill really hit off in the USA, so maybe it is a bit of a craze in the US and Canada.

“I tried to create a game which is simple, addictive and a challenge.

“This Nintendo character is a popular one but not the main one like Mario or Luigi - so I wanted to make him a more well-known character.”

In the game, the player controls how high Bullet Bill flies, helping him avoid obstacles.

It was downloaded more than 500 times on its first day of release from as far afield as Hong Kong and Kuwait.

Zach left his job to dedicate more time to Red Monster and taught himself to create apps by watching YouTube videos.

He said his mother and girlfriend have been supportive as Red Monster has grown.

He said: “You have to keep motivated because you can look at an app and think ‘why isn’t it selling?’

“It is very competitive, there are 50,000 apps every day going on the Apple App Store. You have to stick out from the crowd.

“Being 16, I am just dipping my toe into the water and getting a feel for it.”

He also took motivation from footballer-turned-boxer Leon McKenzie who told him ‘sometimes you have to make a decision that is crazy’.

Zach hopes to have released more than 100 apps in three years’ time.

He has also seen success with ‘Stadium Guide’ - providing information and maps about the 20 Premier League football clubs’ grounds.

He said: “I was proud of the Stadium Guide one because it got above the official Swansea City and Aston Villa apps in the chart - my mates were joking it had more fans than the clubs!”

Although Zach’s apps are currently based on sport or games, he hopes to create a wider variety in future and is looking into the ‘lifestyle’ genre.

He said: “I want to be one of the youngest UK developers because there are not many - it is a rare breed.

“Maybe when my app is number one or in the top 25 maybe people will see it is the right thing to do.

“Everyone thought it was a crazy idea but they are coming around now.”