Flappy Bird. No sooner did Dong Nguyen’s addictively simple game wing its way into our collective consciousness and Smartphone’s, than it quickly flapped off again. It left vacuum on the App Store and a trail of conspiracy theories but, more than anything, it left a gap in our casual gaming lives that needed to be filled. Thankfully there is no shortage of games willing to step up and fill that void. The trick is finding the best ones and so let’s brings on the attack of the clones!
Probably the biggest winner in our post-Flappy Bird world is Ironpants. The gameplay is almost identical but instead of a bird, you’re a superhero called Ironpants (see what they did there!). The superhero in question isn’t that ‘super’ as he dies when he comes into contact with the crates, but it’s a fun experience while it lasts and the visual style is very Flappy Bird. It’s free on iOS and Android.
If Flappy Bird clones that are a whisker away from a lawsuit are your thing, then Clumsy Bird is the game for you. Moving away from Flappy Birds’ retro-style graphics, Clumsy Bird flaps closer to a cartoon in visual flair, but the gameplay is 100% Flappy! Your doesn’t-look-at-all-like-an-Angry-Bird-bird must navigate their way through a forest as the dragons have stolen your eggs! There are a number of games using the Clumsy Bird name, but this one is from Candy Mobile. Accept many substitutes!
Super Ball Juggling
When is Flappy Bird not Flappy Bird? When it’s Super Ball Juggling! Ok so not the best joke in the world but if you’re looking for an alternative that isn’t about flying ‘something’ through pipes, then this game might be the one. First thing to recommend it is that it was also created by Dong Nguyen (you know, the guy who created Flappy Bird!). Secondly, the gameplay is very similar. You’re not flying a bird, but the addictive qualities of trying to keep a ball in the air between two players will keep you coming back for more. SBJ is free download, although it’s an iOS only title.
The award for cheekiest sub-titled easily goes to Flappy Wings…or to give it its full name ‘Flappy Wings…Not Flappy Bird’! It is probably the closest to the original you can get graphics wise. If you thought Flappy Bird was just too hard, although that was the key factor for many, Flappy Wings claims to improve on the original by being easier! It also has a bird that ‘poos’ as it flies. The innovation just keeps on coming, but only on Android it seems!
If the original wasn’t cute enough for you, then may I present Flappy Bert? Using the adorable popular character from Sesame Street, Flappy Bert sees Bert, minus Ernie for once, attached to a bird in a side-scrolling world. Your job, not surprisingly, is to navigate between the obstacles using the traditional one-button mechanic. The best news is that you can play it on your browser when you have a few minutes and still look like you’re working (but turn the volume down!). Before you call in the lawyers, it’s available on the official Sesame Street website!
Not all of the alternatives to Flappy Bird have to sound, or even look, like that game. Badland shares some of the gameplay DNA but not only plays brilliantly it looks amazing. So good it was voted Apple’s iPad Game of the Year 2013. Badland is, of course, a side-scroller but this time you must guide your clumsy protagonist through a forest of clones, creatures and magical plants. The good news is that it’s a lot more forgiving than Flappy Bird, the bad news is that it’s not free. The real news is that it’s worth every penny for all you iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Amazon users.