“Flying Cyrus,” a knockoff of Dong Nguyen’s ultra-successful mobile app “Flappy Bird,” is currently the most downloaded game in the iPhone Apple Store.

The game operates with the same mechanics and basic principles – except Nguyen’s “Flappy Bird” has been replaced with a version of tongue-wagging pop sensation Miley Cyrus. Instead of dodging green pipes, Cyrus is dodging wrecking balls. User reviews claim the title is just as frustrating. We also spent a few minutes playing "Flying Cyrus," and we can assure you - the game is extremely similar. 

The app is beating other “Flappy Bird” knockoffs, including “Splashy Fish,” “City Bird” and “Derpy Dragon.” “Flying Cyrus” received an update yesterday and was developed by Talo Games. The objective of the app is to earn seven medals – green, blue, purple, red, bronze, silver and gold. “Flying Cyrus” is free to download and currently holds a 3.5 star rating in the app store.

The original “Flappy Bird” was published by Vietnam-based Gears Studio last May. At one point, the title was being downloaded 2 million to 3 million times per day and pulling in $50,000 in ad revenue daily in Google Play and Apple iOS stores. It topped the free category of downloadable games in the American and Chinese iTunes App Store at the end of January 2014.

flappy "Flappy Bird" was pulled from app stores earlier this month. Photo: Courtesy/GEARS Studios

As the game grew in popularity, criticism of “Flappy Bird” began to gain traction. Many people accused "Flappy Bird” of being too similar to 1985’s “Super Mario Bros.” Kotaku even called the mobile game “plagiarism” and “ripped art.” Another blogger questioned whether the massive success of “Flappy Bird” was due to the use of bots, or fake accounts run by computers to falsely create downloads or reviews. “Looking at some of the top apps in the store by Nguyen, I hate to say it, but it looks really similar to bot activity,” Carter Thomas, of online marketing company Bluecloud Solutions, said in a blog post earlier this month.  

On Feb. 9, Nguyen removed the game, claiming it was due to the amount of criticism and negative press it was receiving. “I am sorry, 'Flappy Bird' users, 22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down. I cannot take this anymore,” Nguyen tweeted. He also denied that he was asked to remove the app by Nintendo, a speculation made by many gaming sites. “It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore,” he posted on Feb. 8.

Since its deletion, knockoffs of the title are appearing everywhere -- and Apple and Google are cutting the cord on “Flappy Bird” clones. Both companies are taking action against eager developers hoping to make a quick buck from the post-frenzy of “Flappy Bird," banning knockoffs from the iOS and Google Play stores. Of course, games can possess similar qualities, but using the word “flappy” will result in a rejection of submission from both app stores.

Have you played “Flying Cyrus?” What do you think? Leave a comment below or Tweet me!