Mobile users are mad about Flappy Bird

Number one fan of Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird is crazy fun.

Slow walking people. Calling customer service and put on hold, then being disconnected after a long wait. These are just a small sample of frustrations experienced by everyone. Bloggers, being easily bored, have recently added a mobile game called Flappy Bird to this catalog. Topping the popularity charts in the App Store, the Schadenfreudian wonder was crafted in retro-loving style by a Vietnamese app developer named Dong Nguyen.

Not much is known about Mr. Nguyen or his game studio, but Flappy Bird is infamous for being frustrating and addictive at the same time -- a recipe for success that also frustrates the bloggers trying to understand it.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers have time for one more game.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.


Chris Buffa is on top of his game:

Flappy Bird is a rare breed of video game. It debuted last year and almost nobody cared. Now it's the top game on the iOS App Store. It's the sort of viral phenomenon that is bound to flap its way into pop culture. ... A friend thinks it's like Dark Souls...but we think it's like the water level from Super Mario Bros.  MORE


Proceed with caution, counsels Nick Statt:

It was after maybe the 14th or 15th time I'd seen "Game Over" flash across my iPhone screen in the last maybe seven minutes that I decided that the app Flappy Bird -- an experience so simultaneously simple and maddening that I could already picture it haunting my dreams -- was perhaps the worst smartphone game ever created.


Now, when I say "worst smartphone game," I don't mean objectively bad, lacking in quality, or all around worthless. I mean "worst" in the way that Netflix is the worst thing that happened to your reading habits, or Seamless the worst thing that happened to your diet. Flappy Bird is simply just the worst -- the worst thing to happen to everything and anything you're doing at any given moment.  MORE


Elaine Heney, indie-nial complains needlessly:

Over the last 6-12 months, indie developers have been complaining that trying to get to the top of the app store – without the development and marketing budgets of the large game companies – can seem nearly impossible.


Not so – meet Dong Nguyen.


Dong is the developer of a little game called Flappy Bird which is the #1 top free app and #1 top free game in the app store right now.


He's also the #2 free app & #2 top free game with Super Ball Juggling.


I was chatting to Dong earlier. He has allowed me to share his story here.  MORE


From the Happy New Year of the Horse's mouth:

.GEARS (dotGears) Studios is a small, independent game developer based in Vietnam.


Mostly, we're making arcade games that are bite-sized, take no more than a few minutes of playing right on smartphones and tablets.


Our work is heavily influenced by retro pixelated games in its golden age. Everything is pure, extremely hard and incredibly fun to play.  MORE


Marco Tabini, keeps tabs on sales:

Apple announced...that App Store sales topped $10 billion in 2013, with December alone responsible for “record-breaking” revenues that exceeded $1 billion.


Besides exceeding the national GDP of an alarming number of countries, App Store revenues have been accelerating almost constantly: It took nearly two years to generate the first $3.6 billion in gross revenues—a sum that the company matched, on average, in a little over four months last year.


These numbers are important for users [who] enjoy unprecedented access to software at little or no cost, as well as developers, [who] have access to a marketplace that continues to expand both in size and economic value.  MORE


The name of the game is simplicity, remarks Tadhg Kelly:

It's nice to know that the games industry can still surprise you and that – just when everybody thinks it's been figured out – there's room for a Flappy Bird.


Players still like to play a fun game that seems new compared to all the other stuff they've been playing lately. Simple. Yet if there's one thing on which you can always rely, it's that the industry will over-complicate what it means.  MORE


Meanwhile we find Dean Takahashi, Maru-ned on a high peak:

Flappy Bird is a silly free game, and that fact that it has climbed so high in the past week is a sign that we're all just a little nuts.


You play a pixelated "Flappy Bird" in the game. You tap the screen and try to fly past green posts that look like the pipes in Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. ... If you hit a pipe, the game is over. It gets more challenging as you go. And that's it.


My kids say that everyone is playing it. ... Evidently, the game's appeal lies in how frustrating it is. We only spotted it because John Gargiulo of BlueStacks, which makes software that runs Android apps on other platforms, pointed it out to us.


"In my years in mobile, I have never seen anything like this," he said.  MORE

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