The once popular app known as ‘Flappy Bird’ is no longer available for download on smart phones and tablets. The object of the game was to navigate an 8-bit bird by tapping the screen through a maze of green pipes, earning one point per pipe passed.
To the player’s lament, the bird seems to be very heavy as the developer ignores the laws of physics because the second your finger stops ‘flapping,’ the bird plummets into the pipes or the ground.
This frustration may have contributed to the popularity of the game, as players soon found themselves addicted. The game made it to the number one spot on the app stores within a matter of months.
Many users posted their scores on social media sites and competed to earn high scores. Some posts on Vine illustrate the utter frustration one may feel while trying to beat a seemingly simple high score of 12, others threw phones across the room, one user even smashed his phone with a hammer.
The creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen said he pulled the game because it was ‘too addictive,’ and he couldn’t handle the pressure from the game’s recent success.
Some sources speculate Nguyen may have faced threats for legal action from the makers of popular Nintendo Mario series because of the resemblance between the design of the two games.
Flappy Bird graphics are reminiscent of early 8-bit gaming. The game features classic green pipes and the sound played when points are earned sound similar to the “ding” of coin gathering in the popular Mushroom World.
Nguyen also has other apps he’s developed, one called ‘Super Ball Juggling’ which has over two thousand reviews, and another called Shuriken Block with over 900 reviews. All of his apps, including Flappy Bird, have at least a 4 star average.
Flappy Bird existed for less than a year, released in late May of 2013. If Nguyen had kept the game available, the 29-year-old Vietnamese developer could have made up to $18 million from Flappy Birds in the first year.
That’s just from advertising; with no in-app purchases or upgrades, he earned around $50,000 a day.
The beloved game can now be found on eBay on smart phones and tablets, the most expensive being a $35,000 used iPhone with the app installed. This is, of course, a joke (hopefully), but the popularity of Flappy Bird will be forgotten in time. Only a few will ever remember its familiar flight.
If you’ve been affected by Flappy Bird withdrawal, copycat apps like “Splashy Fish” or “City Bird” are available on the market.