Launchball (2016)

(Science Museum)

Our multi-award winning physical science puzzle game reimagined in HTML5

The brief

In 2007 Science Museum commissioned Preloaded to create a game to support their most popular gallery Launchpad. Built in flash, and existing both online and in the gallery, the game went on to scoop a plethora of museum, game and design awards including best in show at SXSW.

Today it remains one of the most visited parts of the Science Museum’s website, and to guarantee its ongoing success the Museum asked Preloaded to reimagine it in HTML5.

The response

Fans will be pleased to know the new version of Launchball has retained the original’s DNA.

The design, test and iterate loop that became so synonymous with the game is still there. The on-ramp is still delivered through the warm-up level with the core game challenge remaining in three tranches of puzzles of increasing complexity. We’ve also faithfully recreated all the physical science phenomena in the new technology.

The major changes focus on improvements to user-experience, simplifying flows and removing server dependencies to future proof its portability. The biggest of these changes relates to the wildly successful ‘create and share’ functionality which now allows user-designed levels to be shared via a simple link.

Of course we’ve also added mobile browser support, necessitating changes to the UI to maximise the grid size on mobile devices as well as the inclusion of new interaction patterns for touch devices.

Finally, the game has had a minor art direction revamp which ties all the improvements together whilst retaining the originals retro aesthetic.

"It's not often you get the chance to revisit a project, but given the success and sustained popularity of Launchball we would have been foolish not to refresh the game for a new generation. As always Preloaded have executed brilliantly, updating the original game to guarantee its future as one of the crown jewels in the Museum's digital arsenal."


Tom O'Leary, Director of Learning, Science Museum Group

The Results

  • 10 million +

    Total games played

  • Awards

    Museums and the Web - Innovation + Best of Web
    FWA - Site of the Day
    SXSW - Best Of Show
    SXSW - Best Game
    Flash In The Can - Technical Excellence
    Eurobest Gold - Games