iPhone Life magazine

Flappy Bird Review: A Game You'll Hate to Love

Whether it's a small iOS game or full-fledged RPG, there is just something appealing about gaming. In the simplest of games, it might only take one minute to finish what was just started. Flappy Bird (free), the latest hit iOS game, will take a minute of your time—if you're good.

The game is almost frustratingly simple: get a yellow bird through a series of green Mario-like pipes. That's it. In Flappy Bird, one will never find a weapon, a puzzle, or even a second level. The only mechanic the game offers is that the player must tap to go up. The game isn't graphically well done either—it's 8-bit, similar to retro games. Sound easy? Not quite. 

In the game, the player has only one life, and the slightest tap of a wing to the pipe produces instant death and game over. While tapping the screen, it's almost impossible to get it perfect, causing a need for corrections and an increase in blood pressure. There is an equal chance on every pipe, giving good players an extended game and mediocre players extreme difficulty. Flying through the pipe only grants a single point, so scores are often times very low. 

The App Store reviews for Flappy Bird are littered with over 500,000 posts about anger and mind-control, which doesn't make much sense until actually playing the game. No one can quite pinpoint why the game is so popular and addictivemaybe because it doesn't make the least bit of sense. However, the game has topped that App Store free charts for days and doesn't seem to be slowing down. 

The app was created by .Gears, an independent studio found in Vietnam. According to the developer's website, "Our work is heavily influenced by retro pixelated games in its golden age. Everything is pure, extremely hard, and incredibly fun to play." The studio currently has three games in the App Store top ten, with Super Ball Juggling (free) at four and Shuriken Block (free) at nine. All three have extensive user-review pages.

Thinking about trying your hand in assisting that hated bird? Make sure to put a case on your cell phone and clear the area, because you're in for some rage. 

Oh, and my high score is 112. 

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Jake Underwood's picture
Jake Underwood is a high school senior, an award-winning journalist, and the editor of his school newspaper. Well known for his opinions and interest in Apple, Jake's knowledge is based around the iPhone and iPad. He likes to help people around his community with their iDevice and iOS problems.