Area’s potholes inspire popular new game app

A view of the Lincolnshire Roads game. EMN-180204-140853001
A view of the Lincolnshire Roads game. EMN-180204-140853001

A pothole dodging app devised by family-run web design business is taking the gaming charts by storm.

Karl Humphries, 37, of Billinghay and his family were negotiating the pitted local roads one day when they jokingly suggested they could turn it into a game, but then realised it might catch on.

Seventeen-year-old son Ethan is an apprentice with the family firm, Blue Glow Web Ltd, and was tasked with devising the game and after some input from Karl and mum Emma, 34, it was made available for iPhone users.

Karl said: “It charted at 84 within 24 hours of launching in the Apple charts and we were a bit gobsmacked.

“We called it Lincolnshire Roads and because of the poor state of roads around here people started chatting about it and it snowballed.

“We started it as a bit of a laugh and an interesting project for Ethan but it has gone a bit crazy.”

Now they hope to market it to reach the top ten in the Apple charts. The 79p gamemobile app has been released in 146 countries. Now they are considering adapting it for Android phones as well due to requests.

The game involves the player driving a little Mini along a vertically running road, dodging potholes to preserve tyre pressure, with it getting harder as it progresses.

Karl said: “Ethan has been an apprentice since he left school in 2016. He wanted to work writing computer code and we have tried to get him involved in all areas of the business. We thought he could pick up on doing apps, which I have not had a lot of time to do.

“My wife came up with the game when we were swerving around the potholes on the school run. I developed the graphics, Emma devised the game play and Ethan put it together. It was all done in a week and it has caught us off guard with the reponse.”

A pay rise for Ethan has already been hinted at, he laughed.

Karl said it took a few days to convince Apple the game was original enough to be launched.

He said: “I have always been involved in computers and am completely self-taught.

“We are big gamers in our house but never thought we would become game developers. People are saying it is very addictive and competing on social media for the highest score. We may add bits to unlock extra vehicles and added obstacles.”

He believed the current state of Lincolnshire’s roads has been the biggest reasons for the game’s success. He said: “There is a pothole on our school run to Ruskington that is about 10ins deep and 3ft long. The size of the holes is terrible. There are certain roads I avoid now. It is the worst I have seen it in a long time.”