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February 2014 Retro Gaming Article


When Mario finds a Piou Piou impostor in world 1-1, lawsuits may flap into court

Flappy Bird logo The folks at Publisher's Clearinghouse periodically email me with the chance to win $5,000 per week for life. I rarely say no. It sounds good to me, although it has yet to come to fruition. With that mindset, one may have a hard time understanding why someone wouldn't want $50,000 per day!

Such is the quandary of game developer Dong Nguyen who's Flappy Bird mobile app has gained insane popularity which has reportedly translated into $50K in daily ad revenue. Rather than basking in wealth, he has announced removal of the app. The strange phrasing of his Flappy Bird cancelation tweets may be attributed to a language barrier issue, but his reasoning for canceling Flappy Bird is equally puzzling.

Flappy Bird has elements of Piou Piou and Super Mario World Flappy Bird has elements of 2011 mobile game, Piou Piou and Nintendo's Super Mario World.
Outcry on the internet ranges from the peculiarity of the game's cancelation to potential copyright lawsuits and the latter realization, "What if I can no longer play Flappy Bird!?!" Even CNN gave this odd tale a brief on-air mention.

Flappy Bird Taps Retro Simplicity

Why the fuss over a phone game? I felt compelled to install it after stumbling onto it's popularity via social media. It was praised. It was hated (but still loved). High scores were posted. One strategy video suggested taking a hammer to your smart phone as a way to "kick the habit". So, I had to see Flappy Bird!

Instantly I loved the simplicity and the obvious familiarity of various Mario games on the NES. Then I realized why folks are posting high scores - it's a damn tough game. Getting to a double-digit score is a feat. But I like that. It reminds me of those seemingly simple 8-bit games that beat down my morale, but kept me coming back for more! :)

The hidden difficulty of a seemingly simple game - be it on Atari or Nintendo - always kept me engaged. I find today's games are more akin to reading a good book - I want to see how the story unfolds. With Space Invaders, I simply wanted to play longer, clear more levels and get a higher score! I always wanted to shoot the last robot even though Evil Otto was bearing down on me!

Flappy Bird is Forever

Remember that "sexy" pic you uploaded to Facebook? Better judgement settled in and you deleted it. However, in the 45 minutes it was available online, 274 people downloaded that image. A few of those people tweeted it, some reposted it on Facebook while others pinned it on Pinterest and some posted it to questionably-legal amateur porn sites.

How many games of Flappy Bird will be played in a courtroom?
Despite your admirable deletion, within 24 hours three million people had seen your "sexiness". In fact, you may have gone on to become a sex symbol in a foreign country, much the way David Hasselhoff is regarded as a singer in some nations.

Regarding the future installation of Flappy Bird, there's good news for Android users. I'm not sure if this scenario applies to iPhone users, but Android apps are installed via APK files. A quick foray into Google should yield the Flappy Bird APK file that can be copied to your phone and installed. Nothing is ever "really" deleted from the internet. Game on, Flappy Bird!

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