The 28 Day Wonder

Even with its removal from the App Store, Flappy Bird remains a prominent hot topic around the world, perhaps even more so due to its untimely death.  It was part of an amazing phenomenon swirling around simple game mechanics, simple visuals--simple everything--that had millions hooked internationally.

Dong Nguyen, creator of the international hit game, says that he took the game down out of guilt.  Despite allegations that he used bots to propel Flappy Bird into the top charts, Nguyen upholds his innocence in the matter.  In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Nguyen said, “Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed.”  He also maintains that Flappy Bird’s death was not the result of any legal disputes and explains that his conscience was taking hits.  “...It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem.  To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird.  It’s gone forever.”

Perhaps it was with a hint of masochism that so many people were playing--and enjoying--Flappy Bird.  I’d managed to avoid this little game until just a week ago, only a few days before it was taken down from the App Store and Google Play.  I learned a few things very quickly when I began playing:

  1. Your existence is short and miniscule and you will die.  You can and will die in the first second of Flappy Bird.  You will die when your bird even just barely grazes the Mario-esque pipes.  You will die if the character nosedives into the ground.  You will die even when you think you won’t.  

To avoid dying, which is the whole point of the game (unless you like watching the protagonist repeatedly slam beak-first into the ground), you must tap the screen to ‘flap’ the bird’s wings, hence its name.  The objective is to weave in and out of the gaps left between pipes appearing from the right of the screen’s Y-axis, with each successful dodge counting as a point in your favor.

  1. You will come to hate the game as much as you love it.  You will consider throwing your phone against a wall, but ultimately click the ‘start’ button and resume the cycle of trying to beat your high score, however low it is.

  1. You will begin to hate



It’s a good game, truly.  Simple, addictive, and life-ruining.  Too bad it’s gone from the stores, but, hey, if you have $100k to spare, why not buy yourself a used phone preloaded with Flappy Bird from eBay?

- Sara Ji -


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