Flappy Bird was a bona-fide mobile game craze in early 2014, but its popularity led to developer Dong Nguyen removing it from Google and Apple’s app stores. Now he’s returning with a sequel, of sorts.
Nguyen’s new game is called Swing Copters, and will be released this week. Mobile game reviews site TouchArcade bagged exclusive news and gameplay footage of the game.
According to the report, Swing Copters will be released on 21 August as a free download, with players able to pay $0.99 (£0.69 in the UK) via in-app purchase to remove advertising from the game.
Nguyen has since confirmed on Twitter that the new game will be released for iOS and Android devices.
How does Swing Copters move on from Flappy Bird’s famously-difficult one-tap gameplay? Well, it moves upwards.
While Flappy Bird was a horizontally-scrolling game that involved tapping to make its hero flap, Swing Copters scrolls vertically, with players tapping to make a propellor-hat-wearing character move from side to side, avoiding platforms and swinging hammers.
As you can see from the video footage, Swing Copters hasn’t ditched the punishly-tricky gameplay of Flappy Bird. If anything, it looks more difficult, thanks to those swinging hammers.
The original Flappy Bird game was released in May 2013 for iOS, but downloads took off in early 2014, notching up more than 50m players before Nguyen removed it from the app stores in February.
Nguyen found the pressure of success too much to bear. “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore,” he tweeted that month.
“It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore. I also don’t sell ‘Flappy Bird’, please don’t ask. And I still make games.
In March, Nguyen gave an interview to Rolling Stone explaining that a combination of paparazzi besieging his parents’ house and emails from parents complaining about the addictive qualities of Flappy Bird had led to his decision to take the game down.
In a single 24-hour period in February, 95 Flappy Bird-inspired games were released for iOS alone. In April, meanwhile, a game falsely claiming to be an official sequel, Flappy Bird: New Season, flew to the top of Apple’s App Store chart.
“What I did was like magic. It was unexpected. If a lot of people tried to do that again, I think they would fail,” Nguyen said on-stage at the Gamelab 2014 conference in July. His own return to the app stores this week seems rather more likely to be a success.
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