Flappy Bird (free, formally of Google Play) flapped its way to the top of the Android charts with its nostalgic 80′s graphics, dead-simple game play, and horrific difficulty. And then, just as quickly, it vanished. Flappy Bird’s future is in doubt, but it made such an impact that we simply must review it for future generations. They need to understand that you will die a lot when you play this game. You will not get a high score playing this game, but you can try. Yet, everyone was playing this game, if only for a brief shining moment.
You Will Die
When you play Flappy Bird, you will die. You will die when you nose-dive into the ground. You will die when you plow beak-first into the green Mario-esque pipes that dot the landscape. You will die either from touching the top or bottom of the green Mario-esque pipes that you must fly through in order to score one point.
Someday, you will die for real, and you’ll only do that once. But in this game, you will die many, many times.
To avoid dying, you tap the screen to “flap” (hence the name) and propel yourself upward. But sometimes you will have to grit your teeth, lift your finger from the screen, and endure the nauseatingly fast plunge downward. Why? Because the small breaks in the pipes through which you must pass are placed randomly along the screen’s Y-axis.
Each time you pass through a pipe you’ll thrill with excitement before dying again, but you’ll have earned one point. Sometimes, you might even pass through several pipes and earn several points. My personal best is five, though I have seen some people do much, much better.
The screen I see each time I die (and I have seen it many, many times) indicates that I might win medals if my score is high enough. I can also share my score with friends, and view worldwide rankings but in all honesty I’d rather not. I did notice that the game felt slightly easier to play on a 10-inch tablet, but it looked and played fine on my Nexus 5 and my Nexus 7.
There Will Be Ads
There is no ad-free version of the game, and if it’s true that the game’s creator was making $50,000 a day on ad revenues then there will probably never be an ad-free version of the game. But in all honesty, the ads aren’t really that intrusive. And after seeing so many apps that leak your personal information or sell it to advertisers, regular ads seem almost like a relief. I was pleased (relieved?) to see that Clueful Privacy Advisor rates Flappy Bird as a low privacy risk and notes that it only requests to access the Internet.
To me, Flappy Bird game never felt like it was difficult by design. That’s what makes it so markedly different from really hard games like Super Hexagon. There’s a method to Super Hexagon’s madness, and you can learn its secrets and actually get better at playing the game. Flappy Bird just feels slapped-together.
In truth Flappy Bird isn’t “impossibly” hard. YouTube is full of videos with people playing the game ludicrously well. But to me it feels like being really good at doing your taxes with an abacus. Sure, you could learn to do it, but why bother?
|Platform||Phone, iOS, Android|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc