Remember Flappy Bird? You could be forgiven for forgetting the intensely challenging mobile game that took the world by storm and then disappeared a decade ago. But now it’s back and combined with Wordle, it’s even harder now.
The premise of the first Flappy Bird game was simple. You controlled a small bird by tapping your screen. When you tapped, the bird would jump up a few pixels and then start falling back down until you tapped again. The point of the game was to avoid colliding with Mario-style pipes. But it was tough and unforgiving. It was also never-ending. You could tap and get very high scores and never reach the game’s end. It only stopped when you collide with a pipe.
Now, almost ten years after its initial release, AE Studio has released its own version of Flappy Bird but also incorporated the popular word game Wordle into the gameplay: FlappyBirdle. Instead of tapping on the screen to control the bird, you input a letter guess into a Wordle-style puzzle. The combination of trying to avoid pipes with well-timed guesses and trying to decipher the puzzle is orders of magnitude more complex than Wordle and Flappy Bird combined. And maybe even more addictive than both games on their own.
Flappy Bird took off in popularity in early 2014, with many criticizing the game for its difficulty and perceived graphic similarities to the Mario franchise. The game topped the iOS App store rankings at the end of January. But, the game’s popularity took a toll on its creator, who removed it from the App Store and Google Play on February 10, 2014. He later stated that the game’s addictive nature weighed on his conscious and that he had trouble sleeping at night knowing how addictive his creation had become. After becoming a worldwide sensation, Flappy Bird was “gone forever.”
But nothing that achieves that level of pop culture success is truly gone forever. It didn’t take long for Flappy Bird to become one of the most cloned games in the iOS App Store, with Splashy Fish (iOS, Android) being the closest and most enduring game to adopt the Flappy Bird model.