Want to test an iPhone/iPad game?

by Joey deVilla on April 25, 2016

Wine Crush is a simple “Candy Crush”-like game that I’m developing for my friends at Aspirations Winery in the nearby city of Clearwater. It’s the first of a few apps that I hope to publish to the App Store this year. If you’ve got an hour or so to spare and are the sort of person who always has ideas on how apps could be improved, this opportunity’s the one you’ve been waiting for!

Wine Crush is a pretty straightforward game. You play by creating matching groups of wine-related images — glasses of wine, bottles, corks, grapes and cheese — in groups of three or more. You can create horizontal matching groups…

Animation showing how players form a horizontal match in Wine Crush.

…or vertical matching groups:

Animation showing how players form a vertical match in Wine Crush.

You score points for creating matching groups, and the goal for each level of the game is to score a target number of points within a given number of moves. If you meet the goal, you get to proceed to the next level. If you don’t, it’s GAME OVER.

Anitra Pavka (3rd from left) and Joey deVilla (4th from right) at 'Wine-O Bingo' at Aspirations Winery, Clearwater, Florida.

“Wine-O Bingo” at Aspirations Winery, summer 2014. My wife Anitra’s third from the left, and I’m the smiling guy across the table from her, fourth from the right.

Wine Crush is designed as a promotional tool for Aspirations Winery, which is run by Bill and Robin Linville. My wife Anitra has been buying their wines for years. She took me to one of their regular “Wine-O Bingo” events in 2014 (pictured above), and made friends with them after entertaining their guests with a couple of their accordion numbers. Soon after, I approached them with a proposition: Would you like to have an iPhone game for your winery?

They said yes, and I got to work. Starting with the “How to make a game link Candy Crush” tutorials from RayWenderlich.com as a basis, I put together a game with wine-related imagery and Aspirations’ branding, using artwork that Robin provided. The backgrounds for the games’ levels are various labels for Aspirations’ wines, and there are a couple of buttons on the main screen that you can click to find out more about the winery.

For Aspirations, it’s a cute little way to get their name out their in a way that sets them apart from most other small family-owned wineries. As for me, this app is a way for me to help out some friends, sharpen my programming skills, build a portfolio, and gain some valuable experience with the App Store. Aside from a fair bit of free wine (for which I’m very grateful), I’m not getting paid for this project.

The title screen and two game screens from Wine Crush.

Wine Crush needs to be tested before I put it on the App Store. As the developer, I’m a little too close to the project to spot all the bugs and places where it could be improved. That’s where you come in. I’m looking for a small group of people who like trying out new apps to take a pre-release version of Wine Crush for a spin, point out problems and crashes, and give me some feedback. I will also ask you to test some other interesting iPhone/iPad/Apple TV projects I’m working on. It won’t be an all-consuming process; all I’m asking for is a little bit of your downtime and your opinions.

Does the opportunity to test and give feedback on soon-to-be-released iPhone/iPad/Apple TV apps sound interesting to you? If it does and you’d like to join the test group, drop me a line at joey@joeydevilla.com.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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