Look Out, Candy Crush: Flappy Bird Is the Latest Craze in Mobile Gaming
Created by Dong Nguyen of dotGears, an indie game studio based in Vietnam, Flappy Bird is currently the No. 1 free app on both Apple and Android devices. To date, it has received nearly 500,000 four-star reviews in the iTunes store.
And that's not all. Nguyen has two other games perched high atop the iTunes charts -- likely resulting from enthusiastic word-of-mouth about Flappy Bird. These include Super Ball (#2) and Shuriken Block (#6).
Flappy Bird has been described as infuriatingly difficult to win and is characterized by a rudimentary graphic display and extremely straightforward (read: nonexistent) storyline. Players must continually tap on their touchscreens in order to navigate a bulgy-eyed yellow bird between green pipes -- not unlike those traveled by Super Mario himself.
The game was initially uploaded in May, but has only recently captured public attention. It is a free program that features ads but offers none of the in-app purchases that have made games like Candy Crush Saga so immensely lucrative.
While piggybacking on buzzwords -- like "birds" -- has proven effective in an increasingly congested app market, it has also raised legal eyebrows. Candy Crush developer King even successfully filed a trademark claim on the word "candy," while Zynga owns a trademark for the phrase "with friends," originating from its massively successful Words With Friends app.
While Flappy Bird's meteoric success is the kind that is simply impossible to predict, Nguyen himself seems the most shocked of all. "I don't know how my games can be so popular," he told TechCrunch. "Most of my players are kids in schools."
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Online Scams Are More Sophisticated Than Ever. Here's How to Shop Safely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, According to a Cyber Intelligence Expert.
This Guy Saved Barbie From Cultural Extinction. He Did It by Asking One Big Question.
The Top 5 Hot Franchise Categories for 2023, According to One Industry Expert
Why Can't We Resist Black Friday and Cyber Monday? A Behavioral Economist Explains the Psychological Forces That Make Sales Irresistible.
I Couldn't Sleep. I Obsessed Over My Failures. Then I Found the Weirdest Cure.
This Pitch Scored a $250,000 Investment — But It Almost Didn't Happen
Employees Were Demanded to Go Home. Here's How We Invite Them to Come Back.