So, today I checked out Flappy Bird to see what all the fuss was about.
Let’s just say, I get it now.
As a game designer myself, I’m always thinking about how I could make a game similar to popular mobile games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Bird – simple, but addictive. (And probably slightly less rage inducing…)
And so, I outlined some key features and elements that I noticed this game had:
If you’ve ever read the user reviews of this game or actually played it yourself, you’ll know that playing this ‘game’ makes you want to throw your phone at the wall and not care about the consequences. I’ve never been one to rage in games (I play MOBAs…) but the anger levels could’ve risen dangerously high had I continued playing Flappy Bird for longer than that 5 minute session.
2. Silly characters
“Flappy Bird” or the character you play as just looks like an oddball, frankly. He’s kinda like a weird mix between a duck, a baby chick and a small bird.
It’s flight animations don’t help, either.
3. Simple gameplay
All you gotta do to make the bird fly is tap the screen, similar to Tiny Wings where you have to hold your finger on the screen to dive. This means the game is ‘easy’ to play and get into for anyone of any age.
Flappy Bird is insanely hard. The controls are simple and the game seems easy enough but actually try playing it and you’ll soon find out that you did not in fact pass that pipe without hitting it.
5. YOLO – You Only Live Once
You get one chance to pass each pipe and get as far as you possibly can before you lose it and then it’s game over. Combined with the insane difficulty, this makes the game very replayable – the player wants to ‘try again’ and also reduces the amount of development needed on the game.
These factors are what I consider to make up the addictive quality of Flappy Bird and possibly explain the massive success of this game (Flappy Bird makes over $50,000 per day… IKR?) That, and the familiar scenery… *cough* mario *cough*
P.S. My highscore is 5. 😛