A downloadable game

Buy Now$2.99 USD or more

Gimme Friction Baby is a deceptively simple and surprisingly challenging game.  This is an unofficial port from Flash to the Playdate console. Since the original game was already entirely black and white it looks surprisingly faithful to the original.

The controls and gameplay are quite straightforward, without any instructions even young children will rapidly understand the rules, but it takes quite a while to master. As in the original, the shooter angle rotates automatically back and forth but if you choose to pop on the Playdate crank you can also dial in a precision shot.   If you're  Playdate console hasn't yet arrived you can totally play this on the Playdate SDK Simulator too.

The game itself is quite small (1.7MB including original sound and music). Additionally the complete source code is also available on Github so feel free to play around and see how it works.  Please note, this release is not affiliated with Wouter Visser (the original author) and is just a tribute to one of the greatest game ever made. Please don't sue me. :D

You can sideload the provided PDX file via https://play.date/account/sideload or directly via USB.

Follow me on Twitter (@notpeter), Twitch (@notnotpeter), Reddit (@notpeter) or GitHub (@notpeter) for more Playdate dev content.  I've been livestreaming and live tweeting my Playdate game dev so please reach out!

Release date May 11, 2022
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(9 total ratings)
Made withPlaydate
Tags1bit, Casual, one-button, Playdate
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsGamepad (any)


Buy Now$2.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

gimme-friction-baby-playdate.zip 1.4 MB
Version 11

Development log


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I'm a relatively new Playdate owner and am making my way through the official podcast and the Hello Playdate podcast and one of the episodes I just listened to mentioned this game, so I popped over to check it out.  I wasn't familiar with the original game, so I something-searched it and tried it at https://www.engineering.com/GamesPuzzles/GimmeFrictionBaby!.aspx and I think I just spent 15 minutes to get a score of 1.  (Which was way better than all of the scores of 0 I had before I got my 1!)  I can totally see how this falls into a just-one-more-try game!  Thanks for making it!


What a gem! I never played the original but this is a fantastic game and concept - thank you for bringing it to the PD.

Couple of things... first, why does the tripod say 3210? Second, could you allow the B button to also fire (it is more comfortable in my hands this way)? And finally, I noticed some strangeness when you fire parallel to the bottom of the screen... the ball will come to a stop below the line and allow you to continue playing. You can also shoot balls into other balls this way. Not a big deal but just seemed unintended. 

Thanks again & especially for the source as well, very helpful learning tool.

I saw your question and realized I had the same question!  And then, after playing way too long, I thought, "Oh, I know!"  3...2...1...0  :)


Hey! Not familiar with the original game you're paying tribute to but I can absolutely see the hook -- even if I am not good at it yet. Really solid and will keep a look out for new updates if you decide to.

Is there an actual way to play or just trial and error try to keep the bubbles up high and pop em?

Hey Jordan, you’ve got the feel for it. The original style of gameplay does not allow you to precisely aim — put away the crank and you’ll see the aimer auto rotates and so you are timing your button presses rather than precision aiming.  Watching your video I can understand that perhaps I should revert to the rectangular aimer in the original to give a better sense of which direction the shot is heading. As for strategy, I never play with the crank aimer and my on-device high score is 35. Maybe I’ll make a youtube video with my strategy if I managed to capture a high scoring game on video. 

I’ve been working on creating a mode which more faithfully mirrors the original, but likely it’ll be at the expense of being visually smaller or requiring holding the device rotated. If you’d like to try the original, just google for gimme friction baby and archive.org has a copy running with an in browser flash emulator. Thanks for making the video. 


I've been absolutely hooked on this and it's probably going to be a forever install on my Playdate 🎉

One request: a feature that would vastly improve the game for me would be a "straight" cannon or some sort of limited aiming line, particularly when aiming with the crank.

I feel like there's been many times that I messed up a shot and ended a run because I didnt judge a trajectory correctly.


Since the game is open source, @chughes87 actually implemented this on a branch. It's not my cup of tea, but if you want to try it out  I uploaded a build on GitHub.


I'd never played the flash version so I looked it up, and this is an incredibly well done port of a clever and addicting simple game. Just the kind of thing I'm glad to have on Playdate!


Very addicting gameplay.  There's always a "one more time..." feeling when I'm playing this.  Is there a way to have a global hi score leaderboard to see what other users have gotten?  I'm assuming mathematically the score can't be astronomically high... but I'm wondering what the high score is haha.


My high score on the playdate is like 42, but  IIRC something like 131 for the flash version, but they have different aspect ratios / firing angles & firing distances so are very much distinct games.  The canon in the original only supports firing in multiples of 2 degrees, but I made the playdate version rotation slip a bit doing 1.99-2.01 degrees each frame to mix it up.  I may add a way to play the original Flash aspect ratio of 0.833 (400x480) as I opted for an aspect ratio of 1.04 (250x240)  to use a few more pixels on the Playdate. Could likely do 0.833 at  200x240 or 240x288 portrait without too much work.


Thanks for the clarification on the aspect ratio differences.  I was not aware of the flash version one before so all enlightening!  I think an option to play the original Flash aspect ratio might be interesting.

Also a high score of 42?!  Damn, I have much work to do lol.   At least it gives me insight that the replayability of the game is quite high for me!


1.1.3 sideloaded easily. Great game (tribute). Thank you!


Unfortunately. I'm also getting an Unable to download error when sideloading via the site. This was with version 1.1.2 of the game on the physical Playdate with the latest software update on it. I wish I knew how to get a log out to you so that maybe it would help diagnose the issue.


I also had the same problem with the latest build.


Please try 1.1.3. I finally nailed down the issue (Itch was creating zips incompatible with the playdate). I believe 1.1.3 is working for everyone who has tried it. 


When sideloading the ZIP file using the web sideloader I got an “Unable to download” error on the console. I was able to sideload successfully by unzipping and sideloading the PDX file instead.

Bug report: you can fire the first ball left/right under the line and it will remain there, with no collision, throughout subsequent games, until the app is quit and restarted.

This should be fixed in 1.1.2. See the 1.1.2 dev note or commit for more info. Thanks!

(1 edit)

I'm not seeing this fixed in 1.1.2

Edit: Nor 1.1.3

It is the intended behavior to have shots remain below the line there with no collisions. The behavior I fixed was that it no longer sticks around through subsequent games.  

Ahhhh, thanks for clarifying!

I'm not good with computers, but I tried renaming it and rezipping and all of that and still couldn't get it to work.  Still fails at 100%

I've released 1.1.2 under a new bundleID. Please re-download and let me know if you're still having trouble.  More info here.

Physical playdate seems to be having an issue installing the game via sideloading on play.date's official website. Manually loading the .pdx in USB mode works fine though.

On the technical and fun side of things? Great! Runs nice and is a blast ^-^

(1 edit)

*Update* You are totally right. I've replaced the zip file with a new one which should work.  Alternative you can decompress and select the PDX  file on https://play.date/account/sideload it'll work that way too.  It appears to be something with the archive created by the built-in MacOS zip compressor. 

Well, I loaded the .zip into the Offical sideloader on their website. It uploaded to the database fine & shows up as a game to install, but when I do install it it gives an error upon completion. I've tried multiple times, same error. I've had this happen with other .pdx's as well, not sure what the issue is as there is no error code or message, just "Unable to install"

I was able to reproduce. I've uploaded a new zip. Let me know if works -- you really deserve the complete experience including custom wrapping paper :D

(3 edits)

Alright! So! I got the same error... BUT! I was able to fix the problem. The .pdx has too long of a name I think for the playdate itself. I unpacked the archive, shortened the .pdx name to "gimmiefriction.pdx", repacked it, and it works like a charm.

Absolutely love the custom wrapping paper :)

Update: New .pdx works great, but it made the cover on the playdate app selection screen a little less wide. 

That was my error. I was building in a dirty git tree. I've released 1.0.2 (version 6 on itch?) with a fixed card.