Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month… You know what If you have been living under a rock for the past month, congratulations. You were probably doing more important things with your life, instead of playing Flappy Bird. Or talking about Flappy Bird. Or hating Flappy Bird. Or ironically liking Flappy Bird. Or genuinely liking Flappy Bird because you’ve convinced yourself that anything popular must be worthy of your attention.
I’m under a lot of pressure. I’m at a really sad point in my life where I thought it’d be a good idea to write a guide to the Flappy Phenomenon and it’s turned out to be a lot of flappin’ work. I really don’t have time to explain Flappy Bird to you if you truly have been living under a rock, so here’s the Cliff Notes.
Flappy Bird was a crappy game for smartphones made by some kid in Vietnam that smokes a lot of cigarettes. You play as a bird, and you “flap” with a single screen touch through a series of green pipes lifted from Mario Bros. It was insanely difficult and addictive, and FREE, supported by banner-ads that generated upwards to $50k at the peak of its insane popularity. Oh yeah, it was really popular. Forgot to mention that. I’ve already spent more time on this synapsis than it took for Dong (that’s the creator’s awesome name BTW) to actually make Flappy Bird. So anyway, like I was saying, the game was really popular. The popularity stressed Dong out so much that he pulled the game from the market, thus spawning a wave of Flappy-clones and tributes, some better, some worse. There is more that can be said about the Flappy Phenomenon, but I’ve been to college so, here.
At the time of this writing, there are a bunch of Flappy Bird clones in the Apple App/Google Play markets, and some noteworthy Flappy tributes of the browser-based ilk. I’m going to download a bunch of them, play them and review them right now, because at this point of my life, I have nothing better to do than flap myself silly.
FORMAT: iOS/Android (discontinued)
The one that started it all. Dong (remember Dong?) was nice enough to announce 48 hours before the Flappy Rapture that he was pulling his masterpiece. I gave it a download out of morbid curiosity, and to increase the value of my phone, which it totally for sale. Make me an offer! For brevity, let’s establish a review format. A Flabby Survey if you will…
Free? Yes. It was free.
Ads? DUH! And sometimes the ad-banner blocks Flappy Bird, and causes lag, resulting in death. It’s almost like Dong (his name is Dong hahaha) is having a laugh at us. That or he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, besides making thousands of dollars a day.
Graphics Pretty standard, “this is my first game, so lemme re-work some NES sprites”. Am I the only jerk who noticed that the iOS version has some resolution issues? The retro graphics are blurry, like the anti-aliasing button was left ‘ON’. Hey Dong, here’s an idea, set aliasing to ‘OFF’ and release Flappy Bird HD! Just remember to send us a review copy.
Sound and Music No music. The game has five sound effects you could find in ten minutes poking around online soundbanks.
Flaps The weight of the bird creates just enough awkwardness in inertia to make what could have been an easy game difficult. This is where the game excels. It feels cheap and unfair at first, but you can get good at it, until the ad-lag ruins you high-score.
Innovation If Angry Birds
SCORE: 2 ½
This one is not without its charm. If Flabby Bird was designed in an afternoon, Flappy Wings went up to 2AM.
Free? Uh huh.
Ads? Pop-up ads AND In-App-Purchases!
Graphics Lively and crisp. Kinda makes me smile. Nice details, like poopies and well animated coins.
Sound and Music The theme song is catchy. Play this at my funeral.
Flaps Flappy Wings need to diet. The bird feels too heavy and cumbersome. It’s almost like they want you to fail.
Innovation The bird randomly defecates and squawks, throwing off your flap-game, so you have to keep playing and looking at ads, and spending coins on hats.
SCORE: 3 Flaps for presentation and music
(It was at this point when I started to weep uncontrollably.)
Ads? Banner-ad at the bottom.
Graphics Rips the palette, fonts and style of Flappy Bird wholesale, save for the Flappy Blur.
Sound and Music No music, because music is for squares who buy console and PC games.
Flaps Wait a sec, you don’t even flap in this game! False advertising.
Innovation “Just when you thought you’d flapped’em all, Flappy Fall changes EVERYTHING.” In this one you slide your greasy meat-stylus around on the screen to catch waves of falling birds in a nest.
SCORE: 2 Flaps for shaking things up.
Sound and Music TO
SCORE: 1 bullet
Blue Bird 2: A Flappy Resurrection
“Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged.” -Chris Hedges
Ads? Do you even have to ask?
Graphics Just know the artists hates you.
Sound and Music Made the dog lose control of bowels.
Innovation The sheer hubris it took to call this “A Flappy Resurrection” is commendable, but I’m really stretching here.
SCORE: 1 Flap
Free? Let me check. Yeah it’s free.
Ads? Pop-up ads that are lag-less and easily dismissed.
Graphics Flat and friendly. Looks amazing viewed through expensive black-framed glasses.
Sound and Music Really chill and bouncy-ambient-y music. The “flap” sounds like the clink of a teeny-tiny lil’ wood block.
Flaps Fine-tuned Flappy perfection.
Innovation The best and classiest flapper you can play on your phone. It takes the basic Flappy concept and Mario-Galaxies it up with a 360º twist. I’d happily pay a dollar for an ad-free version. It’s good.
SCORE: 4 ½ Flaps
This unassuming little gem has neither Flaps nor Birds, but it meets the three-syllable criteria.
Ads? A discreet banner at the bottom that plugs Dragon Story or Clash of Clans. I never understood why you would want to advertise your game, on another game. I can only play one at a time.
Graphics Competent, confident 16-bit era pixel art.
Sound and Music Soundtrack is by 8 Bit Weapon. Not really sure who that is, but he or she sounds cool and made banging arcade music to accompany this banging pocket-arcade-game.
Flaps Hops in this case. Very hoppy.
Innovation It’s a platformer. You hop from cloud to cloud and eat flies. Some clouds are moving, other clouds will fall under your weight. Double-tap the screen deploys a froggy-parachute that allows you to glide to the next cloud if you come up short. There is also a giant shark stalking you. Wait around plotting your next hop and you’re lunch. Hoppy Frog’s similarity to Flappy Bird is purely aesthetic. You’ll never want to crush your phone out of frustration with this one. It’s “Fair & Balanced©”. An actual well thought out game of timing and rhythm. Highly recommended.
SCORE: 4 Flaps
FORMAT: iOS/Android IRONPANTS is the first Flappy clone I heard of post-Flappy Rapture, so kudos to the creators for showing up early to the party.
Free? I’m really
YES IT’S FREE. ALL THESE CRAPPY GAMES ARE FREE. I’m not filling this part out from here on out…
Ads? It’s called capitalism. See above.
Graphics More pixels. Ironpant’s cape is well animated, and the dithering on the city-skyline background is tops.
Sound and Music Nothing going on in this department. They were too busy animating the cape.
Flaps Ditches single-button-tap-flaps for a throttle-based, ‘hold-down-to-keep-ascending’ control-schema. If Flappy Bird is a push mower, IRONPANTS is a riding-mower, but you’re drunk, and you drive off
the yard into the street and get hit by a car, and now you’re dead.
Innovation Has a humorous premise without being annoyingly cheeky. It’s also the hardest of the bunch (imo). Requires a lover’s touch if you want a decent score.
SCORE: 3 Flaps
FORMAT: Browser Lady & gentlemen, I present to you the OMEGA flap… Graphics Trippy, jagged and pulsating. Simultaneously retro and futuristic.
Sound and Music Molly-induced electro-bangerz. Worth playing for the music alone.
Flaps This is Flappy Bird: Tournament Edition. The dive-feature adds much-needed precision to a typically unruly control scheme.
Innovation Maverick Bird is a tribute to Flappy Bird by indie-mystro Terry Cavanaugh, creator of VVVVVV and one of my personal favorites, Super Hexagon. This ‘tribute’, or as he describes it “a fan game”, is so good that people, including myself, begged Terry online to release an iOS version, and he said ‘NO’. Too bad, because he probably could have made $100. Maverick Bird proves that even the simplest of concepts can be made complex and still remain palatable. Go play it now.
SCORE: 5 Flaps
You have now reached the end of Flappin’ Off: A Guide to All Games Flappy. There are a few glaring omissions in this guide I would like to apologize for, particularly the lack of reviews for both Flap MMO and Fall Out Bird. My therapist and I agreed it’s best I take it easy with the flaps for now, and focus on the healing process. I would also like to note that all the games in this guide are available to play for FREE (in exchange for your soul) so please flap along and let us know what your favorite flappy-game is. Thanks for flappin’. Now flap off!