So Flappy Bird is gone. The game was an instant phenomenon, once again proving that the industry has no clue what consumers want, because no one could've predicted this game's rise in popularity. Vietnamese developer Nguyen Ha Dong found runaway success with the app and walked away from all of it for personal reasons in the face of overwhelming internet harassment.
Mobile app stores do not leave success alone. Once someone finds a winning formula, others rush into the breach with their own hastily-developed clones. In Flappy Bird's case, the game is no longer available in any form, so the clones and alternatives are now riding high. They circle the App Store and Google Play like digital hyenas, seeking to pick riches from a still-warm corpse.
But the play is the thing, right? If you didn't download Flappy Bird - or perhaps you're an Android user like me - where do you go to get your Flappy Bird fix now? Join me on a journey into the App Store and Google Play to find a compelling replacement.
Super Ball Juggling
This is one of Nguyen's other games on the App Store, with similar tap-based gameplay behind it. Instead of guiding a bird through a series of pipes, in Super Ball Juggling you're tasked with keeping two soccer balls in the air ad infinitum. A number of users have migrated to this game with Flappy Bird's de-listing, which is fine because at least the money is still going to the same creator. Go with Super Ball Juggling if you'd like to keep your sketchy feelings to a minimum in your hunt for more Flappy Bird.
Ironpants is a 100 percent direct clone of Flappy Bird's gameplay, but developer Eduardas Klenauskis actually went the extra mile and created all-new art for the game. You play a pantless superhero named Ironpants (seems backwards) and instead of dodging pipes, you're dodging crates. Of all the clones, this is probably hammered together the best and represents a strong commitment to making a clone. Ironpants has great presentation despite a few bugs. Also, it's on Android too, which instantly makes it better.
This is where all pretense of originality gets checked at the door. Flappy Wings is actually called "Flappy Wings - Not Flappy Bird -" so presumably the developer felt some guilt. The bird in Flappy Wings has even less personality than its predecessor; its lone eye is just a single black pixel acting as a window into some dark abyss where originality goes to die. On the bright side, developer Totty Games put a lot of work into those pipes; they're less substantial than the ones in Flappy Bird, but the shading is absolutely top-notch. This isn't even the first Flappy Wings on the Google Play Store as the original has been delisted. This developer just moved into the spot occupied by the older game. Good job, folks.
The bird in this game doesn't even have eyes, it's just a random orange-colored bit of clip art. The developer has added the epic subtitle, "Flappy Bird Flyer," just in case you forget what game they're trying to rip-off. Fly Birdie is when you need to admit you have an addiction. Maybe you're playing Ironpants because you like this specific style of game, but Fly Birdie is the gaming equivalent of buying crack cocaine that's mostly baking soda; at this point you're so far gone that you'll take anything that looks close. Birds and tapping are the only thing registering in your brain.
Flappy *Insert Noun Here*
Half of the Flappy Bird clones on the App Store and Google Play are just the word "flappy" attached to a random noun. These games are pretty amazing in that they were probably developed in under a day to get in on that sweet, sweet cash flow. Winners in this category include Flappy Plane, Flappy Bee, Flappy Pig, Flappy Fish, Flappy Bat, Flappy Crow, so on and so forth. Most of these games include descriptions dashed off in a few seconds before app store submission. Here's the description of Flappy Plane for example:
Flap your wings to fly~~~ [How to Play] Just Tap to UP ! Avoid Walls... Keep concentrate Good Luck~ JJ factory 2014
Things like this is why the market is crazy tough for mobile developers. People are always trying to take your piece of the pie.