Smartphone repair shops have been in very high demand recently, and all because of one, small little app. Flappy Bird. As many frustrated people will tell you, Flappy Bird is the most frustrating game ever to come out on the App Store and that you should absoloutly, definately, 100%, NOT buy the app. And so, obviously, the next thing you do is click the little “download” icon. You open up the app and start playing it. It looks kind of fun. You wonder what’s up with the people that said you shouldn’t buy it. You die.
And then you see why.
Flappy Bird is essentially a very simple game to understand. Your objective is to get through as many Mario-esque pipes as possible by tapping the screen; causing your little pixlated bird to flap up and down. However, unfortunately, it’s not all that simple. Every single time, you seem to just hit the pipe, you die, to some very frustrating and patronising “falling” music. One of the great things about Flappy Bird is that it is so incredibly simple. There are no upgrades, no “buy extra lives here'” which seems is the way that every other game makes money. I think that this element of the game means that somehow players affiliate with it; Flappy Bird was clearly not designed to make the developer rich. Other popular games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja all seem to have those links to other games or otherwise you are forced to fork out 59p for the no ad version. Flappy Bird isn’t like this. There are occasional ads across the top of the screen but they are nowhere near as prominent as in other apps. The effect of this is that the player feels a strage affirmity with the game. The same way we far prefer to shop at the family run business down the road than at a giant international coorporation.
Flappy Bird has recently been taken down from the App store as the creator was getting a lot of hate on social media. Devices with Flappy Bird still on them have reportedly been sold for prices exceeding £1500. All this and the game itself means that Flappy Bird shall forever be in our hearts.
But not necessarily for good reasons.