At this point in the history of mankind, we are certain that even Pope Francis is aware of Flappy Bird and the global craze it sparked. Its success story is quite unusual – a true sleeper hit. Flappy Bird was a months-old iPhone game that nobody cared for, until things started happening.
In late January, the Reddit hive-mind and PewDiePie (the most subscribed YouTube channel ever) collectively made the game go viral, for reasons unfathomable. The Internet's torrent of support helped Flappy Bird conquer the number one spot in the App Store. A little later, Flappy was ported to Android on January 31
, and has amassed over 10 million downloads so far. The game's developer, Dong Nguyen, is already frustrated
with the buzz and wants his peaceful pre-fame life back.
What is it about this ridiculous game that made people go nuts over it? It's quick and addictive. It's insanely hard and completely harmless at the same time. It's so goofy and minimal that it could be considered an “anti-game” - so stupid, it's awesome! Its rise to popularity is, essentially, a big joke with the games industry.
But this article is not an essay on Flappy Bird. It's about how little time it took for other developers to try and cash-in on its formula. Not weeks – literally days after it went viral! It's only February 5, and the amount of Flappy Clones on Android and iOS is staggering. We've rounded up some of the best and worst examples of flattery by imitation.
Clumsy Bird is basically Flappy Bird without the 8-bit (read: stolen from Mario) cuteness that contributes so much to the original's goofy charm. The jolly pixelated sprites are replaced by a painted forest landscape, which adds realism and immerses the player in the flapping.
The bird-protagonist's reminiscence to the red Angry Bird is hardly a coincidence, but at least Clumsy has a proper beak, instead of Flappy's weird, mammal-like lips.
When Flappy Bird starts to bore you so much that the mere thought of playing it makes you shiver, Clumzy Bird will provide a welcome change of scenery while preserving the familiar formula.Download
As outrageous as it sounds, Happy Poo is not a mere Flappy Bird clone, but an entire franchise centered around a character, Happy Poo, that can be conveniently molded into whatever copy-of-a-smash-hit game it has to star in. And its latest target, of course, is ol' Flappy.
In Happy Poo Flap, the brown, grinning piece of *censored* is back, and this time it's flying like a bird. Such a peculiar circumstance! Thus, Mr. Poo will happily flap along the cheery levels, collecting coins and cashing them in for new characters and accessories.
This game simply excretes joy.Download
Desert Bird is a knock-off that breaks bad! Its character is what Flappy Bird would become if it spent its days out in the New Mexico desert, cooking meth in an RV.
Sean Whiteman's game "emulates" the 8-bit look with purposefully smeary desert textures, while the Super Mario pipes are replaced with more appropriate spiky cacti. Everything else is much the same, save for the omission of the medal system.
Adorable, or cringe-worthy? You'll decide, fellow screen tappers.Download
We have to hand it to Charyb Games - they really gave it all they had here. Flappy Bird HD is a re-imagining of the game we all know, love, and cannot master.
The original setting is kept intact, but the graphics are completely redrawn in high fidelity, and in a different art style. This provides a glossier, but no less goofier experience than the original.
When those 8-bit graphics start grating on your eyes, fire up Flappy HD and flap on, you crazy diamond.Download
5. Flying Flea (Android & iOS) - jet-flap!
If you thought a game about a bird with human lips that struggles to levitate in a barren world, intersected by sewer pipes, is not crazy or random enough, meet Flying Flea.
"Tired of their luxurious, but boring lives, super flies Lenny, Fauna Flea, Dez, and Ella decided to explore the unknown at their own risk and have some fun doing it." Oh, Lord, they even have names!
Here's more from the description - "The four “jetsetters” need to fly their way through a grassy underground cave avoiding its walls while smashing others as gravity tries to pull you down."
For all its insanity and hilarity, Flying Flea is a pretty accomplished game with achievements, leaderboards, power-ups, social integration physics simulation. Best of all, it's free!
City Birds looks like a Flappy Bird clone that was made over a weekend. It showed up in Google Play yesterday, seeming desperate to capitalize on some other bird's success.
We don't mean to hate, but this game's a dud. The graphics resemble a dated Flash-cartoon. The pipes are replaced with buildings seemingly drawn in Paint. The red bird looks like Clumsy Bird, which looks like an Angry Bird. And the yellow bird looks like a Pokemon.
Instead of points, you collect "precious seeds" stolen by the "bad birds". We won't dare ponder how much effort it took to come up with such a rich, complex premise.
City Bird is a shameless clone, but it sort-of plays the same, and it's free.Download
7. Ironpants (Android & iOS) - the flappy avenger!
It's a bird! It's a flappy bird! No, it's Ironpants! Probably the first example of Flappy Bird turning into an actual genre of gaming, Ironpants is a fresh take on the same formula. It puts you in the, err, pants, of Ironpants, a superhero without the super
, and expects you... to flap!
There are no kittens to be rescued, no burglars to be caught, no asteroids to be stopped, or other tired tropes. Just flapping, avoiding obstacles, and lots of wondering what made you want to play games like this.
Allegedly, Ironpants is even harder than Flappy Bird, which is a considerable achievement.