Remember Flappy Bird, the addictively simple mobile game that had everyone glued to their phone screens, tapping and guiding a pixelated bird through a maze of Mario-esque pipes?
The game and its ascent to viral ubiquity was one of the most fascinating phenomena of 2014. But now, five years after its 15 minutes of fame (feel old yet?), we’re getting a new version of Flappy Bird .
Flappy Royale, a battle royale installment of the original, notoriously difficult game, is a last-bird-standing competition against 99 other birds.
The game is a collaboration between app builder and Microsoft engineer Orta Therox and game designer Em Lazer-Walker.
Just like its predecessor, the gameplay is simple. You tap your bird to flap and dodge the pipes. But this time, the goal is no longer to survive as long as you can. It’s to survive longer than the other 99 birds flapping alongside you.
And it’s just as addictive as the original, which was so addictive it was removed from the App Store and Google Play because the creator was concerned for players’ well-being, and because its virality “ruined his life” or something.
Before the game launches you from a dilapidated school bus and into the heat of the battle, you get a chance to customize your bird.
You can choose from 12 base bird designs, including ones that look like a dog, a ghost, a banana and possibly a sheep. Hard to tell. Then, you choose styles spanning hats, bandanas and beaks to make your bird stand out from the flock. We chose a cute and classy top hat for our little ghost bird.
Next, your bird is launched into the fray of the chaos alongside a terrifying mob of 100 birds that give us flashbacks to the Alfred Hitchcock movie, but in 8-bit form.
Even more infuriatingly difficult (and therefore devilishly addictive) than the original, Flappy Royale had us flapping for at most ten seconds before our ghost bird face-planted into a pipe.
For more serious competitors, there’s a “Daily Trial” mode that allows your bird to navigate a preset course that players can attempt up to 10 times for a spot on a worldwide leaderboard.
While Flappy Royale is available on iOS and Android as an open beta, with a preview version on browsers, the full launch is set for July.
So share in our misery and join us in the battle here. Let’s get flapping.