Flappy Wings Review
Flappy Bird may have gone the way of the dodo but that hasn’t stopped an endless flood of knockoff games for mobile devices. The amount of Flappy Bird clones is staggering, some of them are completely absurd such as Tappy Bieber and Flappy Turd. There’s even a Flappy Bird MMO that displays several players at once attempting to navigate the endless obstacle course of pipes. Among all the Flappy Bird clones, I believe I’ve found the best among them.
Flappy Wings is a Flappy Bird clone available on iOS and Android devices. The gameplay is identical to Flappy Bird which itself is similar to Helicopter Game, which is over 10 years old. The player controls a tiny bird who helplessly flails in the air. Tapping the screen causes the bird to flail upwards against the constant pull of gravity. The player must navigate the bird through the gaps between pillars (which replace Flappy Bird‘s maligned pipes) and collect coins along the way. Touching the ground or a pillar will result in a game over. Flappy Wings, much like the games it imitates, is a callback to games like Pac-Man which emphasize getting a high score.
Out of all the mobile games that I’ve tried out, Flappy Wings feels best suited to a mobile device. It’s one of the few games that I’ve been able to enjoy in any condition whether on a bus or standing outside in the cold. What makes Flappy Wings so addicting is that it finds the perfect balance between frustration and challenge. While my initial attempts at a high score were miserable, I never got angry at the game. It helps that the gaps between the pillars are much more forgiving than in Flappy Bird.
The temptation of “one more try” made it difficult for me to put this game down. The coin collecting evokes the Skinner Box techniques that are employed in big-budget games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. The reiteration time, that’s the time it takes to play again after getting a game over, is near instantaneous. Within less than a second of dying, the player can be on their way to attempting a new high score.
The aesthetics are heavily inspired by Super Mario World although the decision to use pillars instead of pipes will likely avoid Flappy Bird‘s most prevalent criticism. The bright colours and cartoon graphics have much more charm than jagged and dirty look of the gritty and “mature” games that are bloating the games industry. It’s easy to become jaded when half the games in any given year are restricted to a brown and grey colour palette.
Flappy Wings isn’t without a sense of humour. The player-controlled bird will occasionally poop in mid-air which may be a metaphor for the rate at which these Flappy Bird clones have appeared (though I’m probably reading too deep). While it’s par for the course with most mobile games, Flappy Wings has integration with twitter and Facebook, allowing someone to post their score after every game over.
My only criticism that’s specific to Flappy Wings is that the pop-up ads can get annoying. They aren’t frequent and only show up at the game over screen but this resulted in me accidentally tapping on an ad more than once. Flappy Wings is a free game but I honestly wouldn’t have minded paying a small fee to turn off the ads.
There’s a tendency for hardcore gamers to dismiss a game like Flappy Wings as not being a real game, this notion needs to stop. Flappy Wings is as mindlessly entertaining as a game like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. You don’t need a million dollar budget to make a fun game.
I wouldn’t say Flappy Wings is an amazing game, to be honest it’s not even a great game. It’s mindless entertainment and it’ll keep you occupied when deprived of access to a games console or a computer. That I find it so addicting is evidence that despite how far the graphics in video games have advanced, nothing will ever be more important than good gameplay and to that I say, hallelujah.