Flappy Bird, available for free download on smart phones and other devices, is the most annoying game to flap into the app store. A bird with flappy wings must try to dodge and fly above openings between green pipes, much like the pipes one would expect to find in the Mario Bros universe. A tap on the user’s touch screen device propels the bird upwards, and gravity allows the bird to fall down. The concept is so simple, yet that makes the game even more aggravating. The game requires quick fingers, yet the most dexterous person is sure to fail many times. The game seems to run on failure, in fact, as a slam into the pipe kills the bird, but makes the player want to try and over and over again.
The game’s “try, try again” strategy to gain players has worked, as the Hanoi-based game was the most downloaded game of January, although it has been on the market since May 2013. Critical reception has been mixed, but the game has spread through word of mouth. Professors and teachers everywhere should be wary as this game spreads like wildfire, because unlike Candy Crush Saga and other popular game apps, the game will cause students to slam their phone in disgust, making a scene.
The only winning strategy for Flappy Bird is to quit. A first time player of this game will undoubtedly make his or her bird crash into the pipes or ground before getting a point, which is gained by passing a pipe. There are photos online of insane amounts of points in the twenties and unconfirmed reports of players breaking 100, but a streak of five is sure to garner excitement. After playing for hours, the player is able to gain some rhythm and perhaps go on a medal-winning streak, but even the best of players fail many times.
The graphics are simple, stimulating a bit of sentimentality from days playing Super Mario Bros. There are a few variations on background graphics to change time of the day, and the pipes obstacle course has variations, but for the most part, this game is all about the bird and the pipes.
Flappy Bird is worth checking out, but downloader beware of its addictive annoyingness. The app succeeds because of simplicity of concept and graphics, and traps players with its addictive failure. Although extremely frustrating, the game is able to be played—and lost—by anyone.