Game Over for Flappy Bird
Unless you like to see the words Game Over – over and over and over again – DO NOT even bother with the sadistically addictive games called Flappy Bird.
Its a simple game. Tap the screen and the little pixelated birdie flies up. Stop tapping and it comes down. Now just fly that birdie in between Mario-like Pipes. Each pipe you pass through, you get a 1 point. That is it. No really – that is it.
This game has becomes the most downloaded game in across the various app stores and all game players share the same sentiment: Its insanely difficult, very frustrating and we can’t stop playing it.
The game’s success seems to boil down to various combinations of factors: First is its simplicity. It looks like something that was created over a couple of night and could be something a High school student would hand in for their final year grade. But that is where the appeal is. There are no complicated controls to learn, no game plot, no fancy intros – just tap and die. Tap and die. Allot.
Then, there is a old-skool feel to the game where games were played on Arcade machines where you point in your 20cents piece and got three lives.
The large GAME OVER when you die trying to make it though the first pipe, triggers the player’s the “I can do better” instinct and the gamers will not be beaten by a friggin bird. Starts again.
Tips for a decent Flappy Bird score
There are many tips flying around the web such as these:
- Do not ever tap Flappy Birds just before you go into the pipes. Tap just before and just after.
- If you are right handed find a spot on the bottom corner of the screen where you can tap without covering up the pipes.
- Playing the game on a tablet seems easier then on a phone.
- Tapping harder or softer does not make a difference to the way or the height of the bird’s flight.
- Its all about dolphin-style rhythm. Rise and dive. Just need to know when you rise and when to let the bird dive.
There are even web sites such as this one that will show you how to change a specific XML file to change your high score so you can be the envy of your friends
So why has this game taken off?
With over 50 million downloads and the developer making in excess of $50 000 per day from Ad revenue that is generated when people click on the ads in the game, one could assume that this is a breakthrough of some kind on simple gaming and the first of its kind.
It is not.
Helicopter on the web and on mobile, uses the same simple up and down mechanism to control the helicopter without hitting any barriers.
Perhaps the media exposure has helped the game gain its popularity. This is not without its own controversy as Flappy Bird game was live in the store since May 2013 but only around December 2013 it has really received massive downloads with speculations that the author uses automated BOTS around the world to simulate the download of the game and therefore pushing it further up the Games App Charts. That move ensures that more people see the game and therefore download it. And so the cycle continued until the game becomes number 1 on the charts.
The Game Over Twist
In a surprising twist, the developer Dong Nguyen, sent this Tweet out:
And whilst initially it was thought to have been a publicity stunt to get more people to download the game, it seems like he kept to his word and removed it from the Play Store and iTunes. Those who downloaded the game, could keep playing it. Others who have not, can only play Flappy Bird online.
If the developer has indeed made $50 000 per day from advertising, then presumingly he can afford not to work for a long time. This will give him time to release his next game and when he does, he will receive just as much media attention (if not more), ensuring that his new game will climb to the top of the charts. Now all he needs to do it just make that game good enough to keep it in the top spot.
If you are a Game Development House, HIRE HIM ! you simply can not buy that kind of PR when you launch your next game…