Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Flappy Bird goes viral in Bicol

Move over, Candy Crush. The newest game craze to hit Bicol is Flappy Bird, a simple but frustratingly difficult platformer that has been invading touchscreens across the region.

Flappy Bird
Flappy Bird
Developed by indie game maker Dong Nguyen, Flappy Bird has drawn much attention for its impressive performance both on Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Simplicity and difficulty

The rule of the game is simple: tap the screen to flap the bird's wings, and avoid hitting any pipe.

Even the game's graphics, which are a throwback to 8-bit images during the Super Mario era, are a nod to its aversion to complexity.

Such simplicity however, takes on a different turn when gamers find out that controlling the flying bird is not as easy as it seems.

Indeed, getting a score higher than one on the first try seems almost impossible.

The game's difficulty is what prompts gamers to brag about their high scores on social media, and teasing friends whose top scores are lower than theirs.

Overnight hit

The game has been available on iTunes since September, where it had already proven to be a hit.

However, it only made its way to Google Play, however, a mere five days ago.

Since its arrival on Android on January 31, the game's popularity skyrocketed enough to catch the eye of media giants like Forbes and Huffington Post.

This overnight fame has even inspired meme-makers to create Flappy Bird memes that mostly reference the game's addictive nature, or the belittling of the game by non-gamers.

Secret to success

Many agree that the secret to Flappy Bird's success is its genius combination of elements of simplicity and complexity.

The developer, however, said that luck was part of the formula.

He theorized that much of Flappy Bird's popularity was because of social media sharing, since he did not actively engage in promoting it.

"I have no resources," he said, "to do anything else but to upload the game."

As for gamers who want to beat their friends' high scores, he suggests that they should not tap "too hard and too fast."

Local hit

In Bicol, where many have joined in on previous game trends like Angry Birds, Temple Run, Plants vs. Zombies or Candy Crush, Flappy Bird's popularity is rapidly rising.

Already, one may observe screenshots of the game, as well as reposts of memes on social networks, indicating that many Bicolanos are getting hooked on the endless one-touch platformer.

It is remains to be seen whether Flappy Bird will reach the popularity of Angry Birds or Candy Crush, both of which have spawned products like toys, food items, and clothing which are still available in the local markets.

Still, it probably wouldn't hurt to try the game, if only to see what the fuss over a bird flying through a world of pipes is about.

That said, if you get addicted, don't say you weren't warned.

Where to download

Flappy Bird on Google Play
Flappy Bird on iTunes
Flappy Bird on Windows Phone - soon
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