Sometimes, the simplest things can be the most difficult to achieve. Take mobile sensation Flappy Bird for instance – it may just be about guiding a bird (or a Flappy) past pipes through a series of taps on the screen, but breaking a personal high often proves to be an extremely challenging feat.
And as if dying isn’t happening frequently enough, there’s now a new Flappy Bird battle royale game in town to bring players to higher levels of despair. Titled Flappy Royale, it pits an individual against 99 other poor souls in a tapping contest to see who can last the longest against a host of deadly pipes.
The game’s still as difficult as ever, but at least there’s a silver lining to this. Instead of dying alone, you can now die together with an anonymous flock of other Flappys, which does wonders in eliciting feelings of affirmation and validation.
Naturally, new mechanics have been introduced to the Flappy Bird formula. Customisation is now available, and each level will begin with all the Flappys dropping in off a bus – much like the parachute jump seen in battle royale shooters like PUBG and Apex Legends.
The core mechanics, meanwhile, stay the same: tap on the screen (or press the spacebar if played on PC) to make Flappy fly higher, and release to make him drop. Hit the ground or anything else, and it’s game over.
As much as it’s absurd, Flappy Royale is also very, very entertaining. Much like the Super Mario Battle Royale, it’s refreshing, beginner-friendly, and rather addictive to boot, which is a contrast to the darker zero-sum, winner-takes-all approach in the usual battle royale market. Despair still reigns here, but there’s something oddly charming and heartwarming about seeing a bunch of Flappys doing their best to beat the impossible odds.
Flappy Royale may be accessed on iOS, Android, and the web browser over at itch.io. It can be a little buggy at times, but does an excellent job at recreating the Flappy Bird experience, frustration and all.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.