‘Flappy Bird’ spreads wings of doom | Inquirer Technology

‘Flappy Bird’ spreads wings of doom

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:41 PM February 04, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Super Mario, Pacman, Cloud Strife, Kratos and Master Chief have powered their way into video game immortality, vanquishing foes and villains, but a new antihero has emerged, flailing its wings of death and anger, the new rapscallion is the fearsome “Flappy Bird.”

An 8-bit avian wonder, Flappy Bird, which can be downloaded for free, is the creation of indie apps developer Nguyen Ha Dong from Hanoi, Vietnam and is the current king in the App store of Apple. It had just also landed on the Google Play store for Android.

According to Google Play, the flying menace has landed on more than 10 million Android units worldwide as of January 30. Apple’s App store did not post any statistics regarding the number of downloads of the mobile app.

Technology website TechCrunch said that Flappy Bird was “a game you can barely play for more than a few seconds without throwing your phone across the room in frustration.”


The goal of the game is to lead the miniature bird with even tinier wings through a horizontal landscape, avoiding green pipes that resemble plumbing materials in Super Mario.

The green pipes are the only obstacle in the game. Once the bird clears the space between the two, then the player gets a point.

Once the rascal touches any part of the pipes, it plummets straight to bird oblivion while leading the player into his own state of misery.

One look at the simple nature and graphics of the game could give off the impression of a game that can be as simple as Tamagotchi, the 1990s hit featuring a virtual pet, which only needs a press of a button.


As this writer can tell, Flappy Bird is as frustrating as getting abandoned by the final bus en route to home.

The game is easy to start, but maintaining the bird aloft is as difficult as holding off a barrage of punches.


In an interview with another tech website, Chocolate Lab Apps, Nguyen said that he developed the game, which was updated into the Apple App store on Sep. 11, 2013, in two to three days, though he already drew the bird’s design in 2012 for another project.

Nguyen said that he did not use any promotion for the game and all of the little bird’s accounts in social media are not of his creation and the game’s popularity was just pure luck.

“I didn’t use any promotion methods,” Nguyen said in the interview with Chocolate Lab Apps. “All accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram about Flappy Bird are not mine. The popularity could be my luck.”

As of February 4, Flappy Bird has 25,491 Likes on Facebook and 430,000 followers on Twitter.

Anger management

Paul Tassi, a video games and technology contributor for Forbes, did not describe the new mobile addiction as a game, but a rather darker entity.

“Flappy Bird is not a game,” Tassi wrote. “It’s an addictive collection of pixels you don’t win, you simply play until you’re frustrated enough to delete it.”

“And yet, it’s tapped into some primal sense of accomplishment for this, the attention-deficit world we live in.”

Another Forbes contributor, Anthony King Kosner, said in his review that once a player masters the basic controls of tapping the screen, “the frustration has just begun.”

According to his review, best players boast a score of 9,999 which show that the game is not an infinite cycle of dodging, flapping and cursing, but with the difficulty of the game “it might as well be.”


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TOPICS: Android, app, Apple, Flappy Bird, infotech, Mobile games, technology
TAGS: Android, app, Apple, Flappy Bird, infotech, Mobile games, technology

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