Friends, mobile gamers, and pixelated birds. We're gathered here to remember our friend, Flappy Bird. Though it was with us just a short time, it left a lasting mark. For some of us, this means a hole in the window when we hurled our phone in frustration. But now Flappy Bird is gone, and we will just have to grow accustomed to living in a world without it. Unless, you know, it comes back.
Remembering Flappy Bird
Perhaps it was your nostalgic graphics. Perhaps it was because you looked simple, but you were breathtakingly hard. Whatever the reason, we all kept playing. Of all the time I spent with Flappy Bird, I'll probably remember our first meeting the best. You were just hovering there, and said "tap." So I tapped and you flapped. I was thrilled! Right up until you started your sickening nose dive into the ground and died. It was like a slap in the face, and you made a sound like I was being punched in the face to save me the trouble.
But I played again and again, trying so hard to get you through those devilish green pipes. Sometimes you came in too low, or I tapped too many times, but sometimes (about six altogether) you passed through the pipe! I earned a point and you, dear Flappy Bird, were ready to face the next challenge.
One last flap
Though the game's developer Dong Nguyen has opted to remove the game from app stores for mysterious reasons, that does not mean that we should mourn. (Unless it's true that he pulled the game because of death threats and so on; then we should mourn, because that is horrible).
Instead, let us look to the numerous knock-offs and other mobile games that continue to be available to this day. Or even the pirated version that is freely available on Windows Phone. Farewell Flappy Bird. Our time together was brief and frustrating, but you captured the world's hearts for a few moments. And now I'm going to try to move on, as best I can, with one of these other games. Rest in peace, little friend. You've finally passed through your last pipe, and can fly freely into the sunset.
We’ve mentioned five major alternatives here, along with two somewhat different experiences included as special mentions – but well worth a look in their own right for those hungering for more flapping action.
Clumsy Bird (Android)
Hardcore Flappy Bird players will appreciate Clumsy Bird, which lovingly recreates the awkward controls of the original game. Do you fall quickly? Yea, verily. Will everything kill you? Absolutely. Interestingly, all the Mario homages are gone, and replaced with a lot of visual cues that seem to come from Angry Birds. This is a free Android game.
Flappy Tappy (Android)
If you weren't in love with Flappy Bird, consider Flappy Tappy to be an improved version. You don't fall as fast, and multiple tapping to raise your fleshy bird-thing is encouraged. You also score points for the number of seconds survived, so scoring under two is pretty difficult. There's also a hardcore mode with moving obstacles for those who have already mastered Flappy Bird. Again, this is a free Android game.
Tiny Wings (iOS)
Like Flappy Bird, Tiny Wings gives you control of an adorable avian protagonist. You also open and close your wings by tapping the screen, but that's where the similarities end. In Tiny Wings, your little bird can't quite get enough lift on its own and needs to slide down the sloping hills of the technicolour landscape. Tap the screen as you slide down and open them as you shoot up to take flight. A lovely and gentle game for iOS which costs £0.69.
Angry Birds Space (Android, iOS)
It's got birds, it's got wanton destruction, and it's unbelievably popular. This iteration of the game rockets the birds into space, where feathery slingshot flinging meets gravitational fields for even more maddening gameplay. If you don't care for the space theme, try the classic version, the Star Wars version, or the cart racing game. Available on iOS (for £0.69) and Android (for free), and just about everywhere else.
Super Hexagon (Android, iOS)
Okay, so this one doesn't have birds or flapping but it is really, really hard. While the techno music throbs, walls move in from six directions. Tap left and right to avoid being crushed but move quickly! If you weren't deterred by being killed over and over again in Flappy Bird, then you'll feel right at home with Super Hexagon. Available for iOS (£1.99) and Android (also £1.99).
Special Mentions: Crush Bird and Flappy Bird Typing Tutor
If you love Flappy Bird and text adventure games, then Crush Bird is a fascinating Twine game by James Shasha which gives you all the fun of Flappy Bird without any of the graphics. You might also want to check out the Flappy Bird Typing Tutor, which combines typing skills with tricky aerial pipe navigation – it’s well worth a whirl (we mentioned it yesterday in our closer look at the piracy issues now surrounding poor old grounded Flappy Bird).
As a final note, those players who are still flapping away with the original should see our tips on how to get a high score on Flappy Bird.