Hydrogen’s Mysterious Attraction

Posted in: Bond Breaker, Lesson Time! | May 16, 2016 | No Comments

One of the most common questions I’ve gotten about Bond Breaker is this: why in the world should Hydrogen attract protons? Something seems fishy, and I try to answer it once and for all in this video:



This is the second installment in my TestTubeGames Explains series (you learn about how magnetism is really just electricity here)

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Bond Breaker on Greenlight

Posted in: Bond Breaker | May 13, 2016 | No Comments

Bond Breaker has been played over 250k times!  (Which, I’ll note, is 250 trillion nano-plays)  The web-version of the game has been quite well received, so I thought I’d try to bring it to PC/Mac!

All the joys of playing the game on your computer, with none of the issues with getting WebGL to work!

(It’d still be free, naturally)

I posted it up on Steam Greenlight to see how people would respond to the idea.  So far, I’ve gotten very positive feedback about it.  It’s a vote-based system… so if you want to see a downloadable version of Bond Breaker 2.0, you can give it a thumbs-up here.


Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.35.14 AM

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Speed – FBF

Posted in: Bond Breaker | March 11, 2016 | No Comments

This week, in honor of the release of Bond Breaker 2.0, I figured I’d give it a spin for Feel Bad Friday.

I took on Speed, a level by A Random Player, from way back in the day when we were running the Bond Breaker level making contest.  Ah, memories!  Well, I popped back into the level, and saw if I could beat it… and you can see the results below…



A big thanks to A Random Player for sharing this level with us!  If you’d like to grab the level code yourself, you can find it here.  Or if you just want to play around with Bond Breaker 2.0 (which, I’ll add, it totally and unequivocally free), you can do so here.


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Bond Breaker 2.0 Released!

Posted in: Bond Breaker | March 3, 2016 | No Comments

I’m excited to say that Bond Breaker 2.0 is out! It’s a major update to the game that we’ve been working on for a while, which adds more levels, more science, and a lot of improvements.



The game is a joint project between the Center for Chemistry at the Space Time Limit (CaSTL) at UC Irvine, and me.  In it, you go on a puzzle-filled journey through the world of atoms and molecules.  As you might expect – coming from me – the game is built on a physical simulation of the nano-scale world.



The new update adds in:

  • Now over 100 levels!
  • A basic level track, to explore the different mechanics
  • A challenge level track, to drill deep for more difficult puzzles
  • Oxygen atoms / molecules / water!
  • Polar molecules and microwaves
  • A new, quantized heat mechanic
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopes that now move, and map out surfaces

As well as a myriad of small changes and fixes.  I hope you enjoy.  I know I’ve had a great time watching people play this updated version, especially all the kids at the iGamer festival last month.




You can play the game (as always, completely and utterly for free) on the Web, on your iPhone, or on your Android device.

If you *do* give it a play, drop me a line – by email or in the forums – and throw some feedback my way.  I’m always interested to hear what is working well in the game, and (more importantly) what isn’t.

And if you *still* aren’t convinced to go play the game, here’s a new trailer I built to show it off:



Happy breaking!


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Andy vs. 4348

Posted in: Bond Breaker, Electric Shocktopus | April 3, 2015 | No Comments

Me versus a number!  Woo!  I just finished up playing another player-made level of The Electric Shocktopus — for my weekly Feel Bad Friday video.  (Where I keep losing… and losing… and losing at my own game.  But, hey, I eventually win, so… yay?)

This week I played another level by NealCruco (who brought us 4A4c)… this time called 4348.  You’ll have to look deep into a title like to truly understand it.  Or just skip right to the level!



Thanks to NealCruco for providing the challenge this week!

Other News

A brief summary of the haps at TestTubeGames…

The Electric Shocktopus Version 0.5

The game is still solidly in Beta, but thanks to the help of the intrepid playtesters in the forums, we’re getting close to a more finalized version of the game!  Yay!  Now you can grab version 0.5, with tons of improvements and fixes.  Great for trying your hand at NealCruco’s level above…

Day of the Devs

Last weekend I spent some time at a games festival at Boston University — “Day of the Devs.”  I had a booth where I was showing off some games (Shocktopus, and Bond Breaker), and I had the help of a little someone to hand out business cards…

Handing out cards is all in the wrists. Oops, sorry Shocktopus.

I got some time to chat with a lot of nice game developers there, some of whom were indies, and some of whom were still students (wait, not mutually exclusive… but I digress).  I had a great time as always showing off Shocktopus, and watching people play.  It’s like Feel Bad Friday, but not me playing!

Bond Breaker, part II

There are some big changes on the horizon for Bond Breaker.  This is a project that I’ve been working on with the Center for Chemistry at the Space Time Limit (err, CaSTL) at U.C. Irvine.  The game has been out for a while now, but we’re working on add a lot new levels and mechanics right now.  There was always a plan that we’d get into advanced topics like (more accurate) Scanning Tunneling Microscopes, and Oxygen, and current research.  And right now we’re working on levels that do just that.  Fun!  So stay tuned on that…



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Bond Breaker in your Browser

Posted in: Bond Breaker | February 19, 2015 | No Comments

Okay, you’ve been able to play Bond Breaker in your browser for a while now.  But here’s the treat: you can now play it using WebGL! (w/o Unity’s WebPlayer)





I made Bond Breaker with a tool called Unity3D (nevermind the fact that my game is decidedly 2D).  This let me port it to iPhones, Android devices, and browsers.  You could play it on my website just like a Flash game.  Well, not just like a Flash game.  You see, you needed a Unity WebPlayer Plugin, something that most people do not have.  (For the record, Flash requires a plugin, too… but everyone already installed that a long time ago.  Not so much with Unity.)  And while it’s free and easy to download, there are a bunch of people who don’t want to – or can’t – download the plugin.  All people who wanted to play Bond Breaker, but couldn’t!

That’s Terrible

I know.  But a recent Unity3D update lets me port my game to JavaScript — where you can simply play the game in a browser.  No plugin required!  This will work on any browser that supports WebGL… so sorry, Internet Explorer 10.0 users, you’re out of luck.  Also you can’t play my game.  But if you have Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or any number of other browsers (IE 11 should work?), then you can easily go play the game.


Indeed.  I for one love this new, lowered barrier to gameplay.  I put these games up on my site so anyone can play them — and it’s a shame if they’re hung up on a technicality.  Keep your eyes peeled for future WebGL ports of my games… I’ve got my sights on the Gravity Simulator next!



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The Results are In!

Posted in: Bond Breaker | November 20, 2014 | No Comments

The Bond Builder Contest was a great success – we got a bunch of cool levels that players submitted.  From nice-and-easy levels (I’m sure there had to be at least one easy one in the bunch) to ultra-hard levels (oh yes, there were those), and everything in between.  I learned that I am *not* the world champion of my game, though how people solved Prison Break so easily boggles my mind.

This contest wasn’t just for fun, though… there’s a lot on the line, here!  The winners get their levels added to the official game, right in the main campaign.  Think of the fame and fortune that would go along with having a level in Bond Breaker!

The researchers at CaSTL and I played through the three dozen levels that we finally got for the contest.  And through a very official, legit, *triple*-blind judging process, we picked six levels as the winners.

Without further ado, check out the newest Bond Breaker levels!


Puzzle 3

by _V_

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.16 PM

A classic video-gamey level.


by Matthias

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.36 PMEach time I think I’ve beaten this level, I find out there’s another trap I’ve fallen into!


Football Goalpost

by Tecnoturc

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.20.45 PMFlashing decoration? Who put that in my game?


Poolest Level

by Andre

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.01 PMTook me longer than I’d like to admit to solve this puzzle!


Love Story

A Random Player

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.15 PMThis one made me cry at the end.  Well, not quite.  But almost.



A Random Player

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.25 PMWill you take your chances?


Congrats to all five creators of the levels!  These will soon be added into the main game, but feel free to click on any of the images to play them right now.

Frankly, though, all levels we got were awesome and cool, and I wished we could put them all in the game.  So I decided that I *will* do just that.  Thus, you can find all the levels that people made for this contest (and afterwards) in a new user-made-levels menu of the game.  It’ll be updated with new levels as they come in.  So if you’ve made something neat, share it in the forums, and you, too, might become part of Bond Breaker history!


Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 5.21.37 PM


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The Entries are In

Posted in: Bond Breaker | November 10, 2014 | No Comments

We got a bunch of tremendous entries to the Bond Builder Contest — over 30 levels were submitted!  Over here, the contest judges are starting their work to pick the 6 levels that will be added to the game.  This means we’re busy tabulating the results, playing through the levels, and swapping strategies about particularly hard levels.

In the meantime, I’ve posted all the levels that we got online, so everyone can play them (without having to copy and paste each individual code).  Head over to the game, and click on the “User-Made Levels” button.

Some are hard.  Many are super-hard.  And others may well be impossible.  Enjoy!

Some highlights to get you excited:


Electron Maku by A Random Player

You need to dodge the electrons.  ALL the electrons.

You need to dodge the electrons. ALL the electrons.


Survival by Architeuth

The creator of it assures you it's possible.  They wouldn't lie, right?

The creator of it assures you it’s possible. They wouldn’t lie, right?


and if you thought those were too easy…

Prison Break by TrinitySilver

Apparently some people can beat this? I guess super-humans live among us?

Apparently some people can beat this? I guess super-humans live among us?



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Bond Builder Contest

Posted in: Bond Breaker | October 20, 2014 | No Comments

It’s National Chemistry Week!  A celebration where people around the country do cool Chemistry-related activities.  And we figured, what with our chemistry-themed Bond Breaker game, we’d join in the fun!





So we’re throwing the Bond Builder Contest.  Use the new Level Editor in Bond Breaker make the sweetest levels.  Maybe you’ll make one that’s really hard, or fun, or educational, or just plain creative.  Make one, two, or a whole bunch that you like, then send them along to us!  (You can email me, or tweet at me, or post in the forums, whatever!)

At the end of chemistry week, the scientists at CaSTL and I will go through the entries, and select a handful of our favorites that will get added to the game.  They’ll become official Bond Breaker levels, and your name/nickname/monicker will be there for the world to see.  Just think of the FAME, FORTUNE, and, uh, BRAGGING RIGHTS.

So go ahead, make a level.  Or get inspired by a couple…

The Poolest Level, by Andre:


Poolest Level

Flashy Labyrinth, by A Random Player:


Flashy Labyrinth



We’ll be accepting entries until Wednesday, October 29th (we figure we’ll give people a few extra days after Chemistry Week ends).

A player may submit multiple entries.  The judging process will be completely opaque and subjective… seeing as Andre (at CaSTL) and I will be trying to pick which levels are the raddest.

~5 winning levels will be chosen.

By submitting your level, you consent to having it added to the game (with due credit attached)

And finally and most importantly:

This is just for fun, so rules are subject to change.  We’re mainly excited to see some cool levels.  So don’t be shy make some levels today!



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Make Bond Breaker Levels!

Posted in: Bond Breaker | October 16, 2014 | No Comments

One of the biggest bits of feedback we’ve gotten on Bond Breaker (that isn’t just ‘yay cool’) is that people want more levels.  And we are on our way to do just that — we’ve got Oxygen and H2O in our sights, along with some cool research that CaSTL is doing.  But adding new mechanics takes time, and is a slow way to get more levels.

What’s a fast way to make levels?

Give players the power to do it themselves!


Make some Levels!

Make some Levels!


Thus, I present the Bond Breaker Level Editor, where you can make (and share) your own levels.  If you’ve played with my other games’ level editors in the past, you’ll be pretty familiar with the idea.  Drag items on to the level, play it, and if you like it, share the level’s code with friends or me or the internet.To get you started, here are a couple levels that are hot-off-the-press:



This is a toughie — I haven’t even beat it yet.  A high five to whoever can beat it…And another one, not quite so tough, but perhaps a bit recognizable?



So there you go!  Try your hand at making some levels!  Share them in the forums and we can all enjoy a little physical-chemistry-fun.



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