Minn Teen Develops Apple-Approved Game App

By Amelia Santaniello, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local teen has developed a game app for Apple.

Michael King developed a game called Square Dodge and it’s recently been approved by Apple. That’s a pretty big deal considering over 1,000 app submissions are rejected by Apple daily.

King is a gamer, a game developer and a self-taught programmer. He’s only 16-years-old, but he’s been programming computers for a while.

“I just love programming,” King said. “I’ve been programming since I was twelve.”

King’s game is one of dexterity and timing. It involves moving your finger to dodge flying blocks. It starts off easy but gets harder as more boxes are added.

“For five months I programmed [Square Dodge] from scratch and I think I did a pretty great job,” King said.

King has not only received approval from Apple, he’s also received money.

“I probably made $50 dollars total and last month I got sent $21 dollars from Apple,” King said.

However, King isn’t in it for the money.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “It is like something that’s good for the public, it’s what I created and that’s such a great feeling.”

  • LJ

    Cool story. Nice to see some of the good things our youth are doing these days. Sure over a thousand apps are approved daily, but over a thousand are rejected as well- there’s no lie there. Give the kid a break- he obviously worked hard to do this. How old are you Jonathan? What have you created and sold? What were you doing when you were 16?

  • lib

    The article says over 1,000 apps are rejected daily not accepted. Good for you kid, you will go far.

  • mike

    the point is that i’m 16 and most developers aren’t that is why they interviewed me and not a 40 year old guy who made thousands off of the app store.

    • Charlie

      Ok. Im sorry to ruin this kids 15 minutes of glory, but he stole this game. There is already a game called RollerBaller 2 on the app store That is this exact same concept, and It was created 2 years ago. There is even a tutorial on the youtube channel (of the 14 year old that made Rollerballer 2) that shows you how to make RollerBaller 2. (http://www.youtube.com/user/NWorksDev#p/u/2/YrXkiM__AFw)
      All this kid had to do was steal the code from the youtube channel, make his own graphics, lie about how long it took him, and run with it. Nice Try.

      • nordicTrackz

        Just watch that video i found and i will prove why your wrong. There are many more features to this app. It looks like he didn’t steal it to me. And guess what!!! Doodle Jump was a copy off of papi jump, so i wouldn’t be talking because I don’t see you complaining

    • Vanessa Scalia

      Good for you! Great job sweetie.

    • Andrew Pearson

      You’re 16? Wow, so are a ton of other developers. This really isnt impressive at all. I guess nothing else worth noting happens in Minnesota.

      • Jack Hamly

        Someone is jealous :)

  • justaguest

    I have been writing programs to PROGRAM COMPUTERS for over 20 years and it is always humorous to see comments from people who supposedly know what they are talking about. Once the programs are written and compiled, they are ran to make the computer do certain things (in the case of games – create and display lots of video among other things). If it’s not programming computers then what is it???

    • Michael

      Thank you haha. I don’t like to see people dissing on me because they think they know what they are talking about

      • Andrew Pearson

        No one is dissing you. They are dissing WCCO for calling this ‘news’. Good for you, but this isnt anything unique.

  • Vanessa Scalia

    Well when you pick yourself up off the floor, why don’t you go do something productive, besides being an ass.

  • Andrew Pearson

    No Vanessa, your’s is.

    • Ndlsfun12

      No Andrew… yours (without the apostrophe) is…

  • Andrew Pearson

    It’s your friend and he worked really hard? How does that make it news?


    I Think this is AWESOME NEWS it shows kids out there that they can do anything. Way to go Michael…… I think WCCO knew how mature people would take it. If you dont like it why did you read it the title of the article says what it is about.

    Michael you are a very smart 16 year old and it is nice to see that you have a GREAT future ahead of you..


  • NordicTrackz

    Great job developing this! You will go far in life with your knowledge, i wish i was as productive as you when i was your age! Keep up the good work and don’t listen to people who say bad things about you, because they are just jealous!

  • Steve

    Way to Go! Spread the news, we need a lot more American born kids to get deep into technology fields like the programming of computers :) This is how America will be saved from economic ruin

    There’s a lot of money to be made, fresh off a 4 year degree computer programmers can expect to make $60K per year or more to start.

    And to all the naysayers who think this isn’t news, you’re wrong. It’s about time the media starts touting these kinds of activities on balance with sports and entertainment news. Engineering “anything” is a guaranteed decent standard of living. Go attempt to be a succesfull actor or athlete and you have less than a 1% chance of making a decent living in those fields.

    Point your kids to electrical or computer engineering if you want them to be financially independent by age 24

  • Renee

    Pretty Cool

  • mikesmith

    Wow this kid created a game that also appears on Addicting Games, and Armor Games. In fact, I played a version of that game on my old Atari 2600 when I was a kid. He didn’t do anything but copy a premise that has been around since home based video games were created

  • Angel

    Wow…really! I think this is a great story. It’s nice to finally read something about a teenager doing something productive with his life. I get tired of reading stories about teenagers in trouble with the laws. Kudos to you Mike!!!

  • Shelby FIsher

    I thought this was a cool article. Plus it give the 16 year old some promo to help his app out. Even cooler–props to the kid for breaking into the industry at such a young age.

    Loved the whole article until I started reading the negative comments and started seeing that decorators decided to join in on the 16 year olds fun. Awesome job…not.
    Good job Michael King can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

  • Jonathon

    HAHA I knew This kid stole it. Check charlies comment somewhere above. It totally
    makes sense. And by the way, 50 downloads is not what is called “news”. I know 12 year olds that have made better apps then yours (excuse me, your stolen one) and have 60x more downloads and do not get the special treatement of being on the news, like you.

  • Rita

    Awesome job Michael we are so proud of you!!! Keep up the good work and heck with all the negative jealous people out there.

  • u know??? haha

    OMG!!!!!!!! that is sooooooo amazing. I wish i could be like that. I really do;)

  • kyra kay

    why dont you guys go wack off to a snowboarding vid instead of be rude.

  • George

    Good for him!
    I know some young iPhone developers as well! They are 16-17 years old as well.

    As for the statistic that a 1000 apps a rejected a day, over 97% of apps are accepted overall in the long run.

  • The Notorius D-U-G

    Comments are coming from two groups of people-the uninformed like myself-who enjoy seeing a positive story about something that we nothing about and the computer programmers who reinforce every mean spirited stereotype that we saw in “The Social Network.” Way to go guys. If, in fact, you do rule the world some day, develop some compassion.

  • Greg Hoy

    Michael – one thing I’ve learned is that when people talk about you, positive or negative, they’re talking about you. Good for you.

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