What made Flappy Bird so addicting?

Flappy_Bird_game_overBy Haylee LaBell

“Flap, flap, ding, ding, flap, pow!”

That’s the sound that avid Flappy Bird gamers heard on the daily. The addictive and recently discontinued smartphone application was a huge trend among gamers.

Gamers were dazed by the seemingly basic but frustrating application that had topped the free downloading charts with over 50 million downloads in its short lifespan.

The game seems pretty simple; make the bird flap its wings by tapping the screen to navigate it through a series of gaps in pipes. With each pipe passed through, the score goes up one point. When the bird makes contact with a pipe it falls straight to the ground.

Sounds pretty easy, right? All that has to be done is avoid the pipes and earn a high score.

But it is not that simple. Getting past even just the first pipes is extremely difficult. The app first hit the market in March of 2013 but didn’t become popular until January of 2014. The creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nquyen, said to the Wall Street Journal that he took the game down because he felt it was too addictive. He wanted a game people could enjoy in their spare time, not a game that was not meant to be played for hours.

One Fitchburg State University student and baseball player, Jose “Bam” Rivera, admits that he has become addicted to this game. “I play for hours at a time and yet my high score is only in the 40’s,” Rivera explains. “It definitely gets frustrating at times. I don’t know how people have been able to score so high, but on the other hand there are people who think my score is pretty high.”

He also mentions how lucky he is that he was able to download the game just a month before it was taken off.

Ali Hughes, another avid Fitchburg State Flappy Bird gamer, downloaded the app about a month ago. “When I first downloaded the app I was addicted, I played until my hands and fingers hurt,” she admits. However, she says she does not play the app as much now. “Occasionally I will open the app and play a few times, and the better I do the longer I play.”

She says that her high score is 34 and constantly gets close to beating it but ends up dying right before. “That’s the most frustrating part about the game,” she says, “being so close to beating your high score and hitting the pipe right before.”

Despite its popularity some students have never bothered to get into it. “I don’t believe in trends, when it comes to games,” stated Kate Domenichella, a Fitchburg State University sophomore. “I heard a lot about the game, but all I heard was about how irritating it is and the competition between who can score higher.”

Domenichella also said that she didn’t want to deal with the commonly-felt frustration that goes along with this game.

Although the game was taken down from application stores a number of similar games took its place, hoping to see the same ratings that Flappy Bird saw. Some of these games include Splashy Fish, Flappy Wings, and Firy Dragon. If you missed the Flappy Bird phenomenon you’re not totally out of the loop, any of the above listed games can help you to get the same experience, frustration and joy as Flappy Bird.

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Categories: Entertainment

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