Flappy Bird is not the new Angry Birds – it's pure rage


In a single week, it has become the No 1 free app on Google Play's app store. But this game with a pudgy green bird isn't fun to play – it just sends you into a fury

Look around. See anyone using a smartphone? Is their face contorted into an ugly mask of fury? Have their teeth been ground down so violently you can see their exposed nerve endings rubbing together? Are they muttering swearwords with a ferocity that's coated everything around them in foamy spittle? Do they scream abuse at anything with wings? If the answer to any two of those is yes, there's a pretty good chance they are playing Flappy Bird.

Flappy Bird is the No 1 free app in the Google Play app store. Since its launch on the site last week, it has become such a phenomenon that people are already calling it the new Angry Birds. In it, you control a pudgy green bird. Tap the screen once and the bird soars into the air. Leave the screen untapped and it plummets to the ground. The bird lives in a world full of pipes, and you have to guide it through the gaps between them. If the bird misses one gap – just one, no matter how glancingly – it dies, and you have to start again.

My high score is four. I've got the poxy bird through four poxy gaps. I've only played it for a maximum of 20 seconds before the stupid bird cracks its useless skull against the sodding pipe again and I have to start from the beginning. I hate it. I hate Flappy Bird. And all birds now. I don't even know why it needs to go through all those pipes anyway. There's probably nothing at the end of it, anyway. Just more pipes. That bird is an idiot.

It has been suggested that the sudden and unexpected success of Flappy Bird is because its creator, Vietnam-based Dong Nguyen, has somehow spammed the app store with false ratings and accounts from cloaked IP addresses. Nguyen claims that it's merely down to luck. However, from my experience it seems more likely that Flappy Bird has been downloaded so often because it's so incomprehensibly frustrating that you feel compelled to condemn it in public the moment you play it.
People have tweeted about how much they hate Flappy Bird:

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They've made videos. They've made websites. They've made memes.

They've written angry screeds in national newspapers because they've only got a high score of four.

All this does is encourage more naive young morons, desperate to see what all the fuss is about, to download Flappy Bird for themselves. And it goes on and on. It's the Pay It Forward of annoying games about stupid birds who I want to punch into a fine feathery paste.

Is Flappy Birds the new Angry Birds? No, it is not. Angry Birds was fun to play. Flappy Bird just makes you want to climb up a tree and kick over a nest.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Heritage, for The Guardian on Wednesday 5th February 2014 16.12 Europe/London

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