“Flappy Bird,” the mobile game that has taken the App Store and Google Play by storm, is now gone “forever,” according to creator Dong Nguyen, because it was an "addictive product." Plenty of free clones are storming to take the place of the world’s most popular free app, including some that introduce malware to a user’s system.
However, if you really want to get your one-tap flap game fix, your best bet lies in a game introduced last April for iOS and in October for Android and BlackBerry called “Badland.” While the basic gameplay mechanics are the same, “Badland” offers a much better experience than “Flappy Bird” or any entry in its army of clones.
In “Badland,” players use a one-finger tap to take a trip through a dark, beautiful dream-world where everything is trying to kill them. As a dark, bright-eyed main character that somewhat resembles a hedgehog, players try to navigate through a swampy forest equipped with all kinds of gears, blades and smashing platforms.
While “Badland” works similarly to “Flappy Bird,” it could more accurately be visually described as “Sonic the Hedgehog” meets “Avatar”, as opposed to the former’s blatant graphic rip-off of “Super Mario World.” Frogmind Games, the creators of “Badland,” say they will not be pulling it from app stores any time soon.
“We were really excited with Flappy Bird's success, and followed it very closely,” Frogmind Games CEO Johannes Vuorinen, told the International Business Times in an email. “So great to see that viral hits like Flappy Bird are possible. I think it's super inspiring for many developers.”
“Badland” automatically saves a player’s progress, and offers more of a puzzle-solving journey than the endurance sprint found in “Flappy Bird.” There are numerous power-ups scattered throughout the forest, allowing the main character to grow big, small or even multiply itself into a flock of clones. The flying fuzzball in “Badland” looks slightly like “Sonic,” with power-ups that add a spinning motion to its movement, and critters peeking in the background adding to the comparison.
“It was sad to see that [Nguyen] decided to remove the game from the stores,” Vuorinen said. “In the end, I am very grateful for him for making the addictive game and giving the world a really interesting story. As a result, we put Badland on 50% sale in memory of Flappy Bird.”
In fact, “Badland” is now half-off for a limited time sale. Frogmind had a bit of fun with the popularity of “Flappy Bird” last week, posting a video showing the fish-bird making its way through a “Badland” level. They do not point out, however, that “Badland” has been under development for years and appeared a month before the May debut of “Flappy Bird.”
One of the most interesting “Flappy Bird” clones has to be “Tiny Bird,” released for the Pebble Smartwatch. The free game can be downloaded from the Pebble appstore, and offers a greyscale version of “Flappy Bird” that swaps the “Super Mario World” look for pipes similar to the GameBoy’s “Super Mario Land.”
Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey