One of the free games in Apple’s app store was created by an Edwardsville High School student.
The name of the game is “Pixel Skies.” It’s the result of Edwardsville junior Adam Walters’ coding.
In it, a player’s mission is to destroy enemy aircraft, similar to the arcade games “Space Invaders” and “Galaga” from the 1970s and ’80s.
Tilt your iPhone or iPad to fly. Touch one side of the screen to shoot bullets from your plane, and the other side to fire missiles. Some enemies will shoot back. Adam says it can get pretty difficult, but he tested every level to make sure it’s not impossible to beat.
The 16-year-old created the game and put it in the app store to make some money for college or maybe a car. It features advertisements and gives players the option to pay to remove ads.
“My friends downloaded it, but you need quite a lot of people to actually make money,” he said.
Then, he heard about a nationwide contest.
Adam entered his game into the 2017 Congressional App Challenge — along with more than 4,100 students in 42 states — and was one of Illinois’ winners, according to a news release.
“It’s a contest that’s right up my alley interest-wise,” Adam said.
He’s been interested in video games from a young age and said his dad introduced him to coding when he was in middle school.
“The more I learned, the cooler it seemed,” he said. Now, Adam thinks he’d like a career in software or video game development.
“Pixel Skies,” the first game he’s made so far, won the congressional challenge in the 13th District of Illinois, represented by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. As of Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, hadn’t announced a winner in the 13th District.
The competition’s judges included people who work in academic, software and entrepreneurial fields.
Adam said he’s already working on his next app, a puzzle game, and a computer game in his free time.