Flap your wings and fly away, you little bird!
Flappy Bird, the most recent success in the mobile gaming industry, is a less than 1MB game created by a 29 years old indie game developer from Vietnam, who runs a small company called dotGears. This game promises to frustrate you and to make you feel like you’re the greatest noob on Earth.
Flappy Bird has taken over the 1st place for free games on the iTunes AppStore and Google Play Store over the past week. This is particularly amazing, taking into consideration that this game has been available since May 2013 and it’s popular growth is completely organic (said the creator on Twitter).
The game is absolutely free and the developer relies on publicity to get some money out of it, since, due to its simplicity, it doesn’t have any built-in shop feature (tip: there will be no ads if you’re not connected to the internet). The game couldn’t actually be any simpler and easier to play: all you have to do is tap on the screen to make your bird’s wings flap. That seems pretty easy, but since there is no built-in tutorial, the first time you play it you’ll probably die within a second. And the second, third, and other times you play it, you’ll die as quickly, because you’ll keep hitting with your nose on Mario-like pipes.
Btw, as I write this post, I’ve already managed to achieve 27 points, so I kind of mastered this game. 😛
In my opinion, what makes this game so addicting is the feeling you get when you beat your own high-score. And the fact that it’s takes only a few seconds to play (if you’re good enough, you may last a minute or so) allows you to play it anytime, anywhere. And that’s pretty darn cool.
Now, how did it become so popular?
The game is quite simple (when compared to other titles), its graphics remind me the 16-bits games and Nguyen (the developer, in case you didn’t know that yet) didn’t even promote the game. It’s been public for the past six-seven months and only now the world has become aware of it. What happened? Well, some may argue it was thanks to the famous Swedish Youtuber PewDiePie who posted his 10 mins video playing Flappy Bird which got 5 million views in less than a week. It surely helped, but the main reason behind this game’s success is the word of mouth.
Anyone who plays this game will start by feeling frustrated at first, due to the epic fails one will face, and really happy after a few hours of playing, for achieving 5 points and being the supreme master of the game (lol). That will lead the players to share the game with their friends, to humiliate them and show them who’s the boss (I am the boss, period).
That’s what made this game so successful in the past few days and will keep it on top until people get bored because, sooner or later, everyone will be able to achieve a decent score. And if you’re still getting a low score, it’s definitely because this game is impossible and your friends surely hacked it to get a double digit score. It’s not your fault (sarcasm alert!).
Have fun playing – I surely won’t, since my device ran our of battery! 😦
Edit (3d February): After recharging my device’s battery, I managed to get a high-score of 39.