Flappy Bird: 60 Points and I Still Can’t Bring Myself to Retire
An influx of images on my Facebook Timeline started it. Several of my friends were sharing screenshots of very low scores (less than 10) and “Game Over” scrawled over the top of a very Mario-esque background.
“What’s this?” I found myself asking.
Never one to shy away from some Game Center based competition and feeling that 10 points was a rather lowly score and a score I should be able to trounce within minutes, I downloaded the game.
And what a ridiculous game it is. Ridiculous!
HOW CAN IT BE SO INFURIATINGLY DIFFICULT TO MAKE THE STUPID LITTLE FLAPPING BIRD FLY BETWEEN MARIO PLANT POTS?! HOW?! HOW CAN IT BE THAT DIFFICULT?
The first time I played, the bird (I blame the bird, not myself) flew straight into a Mario plant pot. The second time, it fell to the floor. The third time, it made it past the first obstacle before getting over excited and ascending at a rate quick enough to see it charge head first into the second.
15 turns later and I had 3 points. Half an hour later, 5 points. An hour, 12 points. It took 60 minutes of my life to achieve a pathetic 12 points.
I then introduced the game to a colleague who greeted my declaration of 12 points with, “I bet I can beat that in my first turn.” Of course he didn’t. 3 turns in and he’d yet to secure a point.
I felt better.
Now, 4 days after starting to play I’ve achieved 60 points. 60. I’ve got the platinum medal and yet I still cannot stop. WTF is wrong with me?!?! Why is this not good enough for me?!
Well, mostly because the game lets me believe I might be able to do better. And also because I have friends sneaking up behind me and almost catching me up. Hell, even the App Store has been Tweeting about it and setting the bar even higher.
— App Store (@AppStore) February 6, 2014
A Winning Recipe
The game has come awesome things going for it. Surely, we can’t overlook the familiar graphics. Mario is loved by millions. Using very Mario-esque graphics is probably what made me first download it. The screenshots I was seeing reminded me of something I loved as a child. Of course I was going to be curious.
But more to the point and undoubtedly the reason that the game is doing so well (and the developer is raking the ad revenues in to the tune of $50k a day!) is down to 2 things:
- It’s simple to learn to play it. You only have to have one turn to understand the objective and how to achieve it (even if actually doing so it anything but simple)
- You get better the more you play. Yes, you learn techniques and improve with each game
What Others Are Saying
The internet is raving about the game. Here are a few of my favourite write ups:
I Feel I Should Retire…
60 is a reasonable score. It’s respectable. It’s better than anyone else I know personally playing it. Surely, if I had anything of the Sir Alex Ferguson about me, I would know that now is a good time to walk because the only way is down.
But I just can’t bring myself to stop playing. So excuse me, I’ve got a top score to beat…