In August 2016, a user on itch.io hosted a "One Button Game Jam" with the following rules: "1. Submit a game that uses only ONE button! 2. THERE'S ONLY ONE RULE!". And so "Thrusterball" was born. Initially, the game was to be an endless runner with limited fuel, in line with the developer's taste for slower-paced physics games that require careful planning. During early alpha testing it quickly became apparent that infinite fuel (limited only be regeneration) allowed for an intense experience. The game quickly changed to become the level-based platformer that is it today, and with it the name changed to the more casual "Thrusty Ball".
Thrusty Ball is a simple one-button platformer. The game consists of multiple levels, each of which must be completed by reaching the exit. Player movement is physics-based to allow for deeper, emergent gameplay. The core mechanic is the one-button input: whenever you tap anywhere (while having enough fuel), you thrust in the direction indicated by the set of arrows attached to the player. This means that the same one-button control does everything: move forward, jump over obstacles, dodge past hazards. Levels contain multiple hazards that kill the player instantly, respawning the player at the last activated save point (or at the level start if no save points have been reached). Levels are short - typically 1-3 minutes for completion, depending on player skill.