As comebacks go, it may not quite be up there with Elvis Presley’s ‘68 special or the forthcoming Monty Python reunion, but fans of ridiculously difficult smartphone game Flappy Bird may soon have cause for excitement.
The title was nicknamed “the new Angry Birds” when it topped the Apple Apps charts in January, selling millions of downloads and becoming a much discussed cultural icon. However, developer, Dong Nguyen, withdrew his game from the Apple and Android stores in February, seemingly worried about its addictive qualities and driven to depression by Twitter insults and even death threats. Ironically, after withdrawing the game, he received further abuse and threats, many demanding that it be re-instated.
But according to an interview Nguyen is considering bringing the game back – albeit with an added warning to take regular breaks. The young Vietnamese developer, who worked on a couple of games before his unexpected blockbuster says that he was overwhelmed by the success of Flappy Bird, a game in which players must fly through a series of pipes by tapping the screen to flap the bird’s wings.
Some have game the original for its simplicity and graphical similarities to the Super Mario Bros title; others, like games designer and author Ian Bogost, have praised its compulsive nature.Whatever the case, the return of the original will be a relief to the sorts of people who considered buying highly priced second-hand iPhones on eBay, just to experience the game’s avian delights.
Since its absence from smartphone app stores, a cottage industry in Flappy Bird clones has grown up,with dozens of games sporting titles like Hoppy Frog and Splashy Fish dominating the charts. There are also versions that run on PC and Mac, including one massively multiplayer take on the recipe. So whatever happens with the original title, we are assured of many flappy returns.