We’ve seen gamers ‘ragequit’ games before, but this weekend we were treated to a developer doing it instead. Yup, on Saturday Dong Nguyen, the mastermind behind Flappy Bird, announced that not only was he quitting the Flappy Bird biz, but he was removing the apps from the iOS and Android Stores...forevevah. Indeed, by Sunday afternoon the games had vanished.
That presumably put the kibosh on the Windows Phone port that he was working on. But fear not, we have some alternatives to keep you busy, and some would argue that these are even better.
Flappy Bird (clone)
We held back on posting about this version of the game, mostly because it’s not official and wasn’t done with the consent of Dong Nguyen. In fact, it was down right deceptive, since many of you did think it came from Nguyen. But now that Nguyen has quit, and Microsoft is not pulling the game (we had notified them), all bets are off.
Flappy Bird is, for all intents and purposes, the real deal. Granted, this wasn’t made, per se, for Windows Phone, but instead appears to be a clever rip. We’re still not comfortable with the developer profiting off of Nguyen’s work, but since Nguyen has basically forfeited the title and Microsoft sees nothing wrong with it, we don’t see the harm any longer. We won’t even touch the ‘Flappy Bird itself is a rip off of many other games’ argument, because of the Inception-like Jedi mind tricks that are required.
So long as you know that this isn’t Nguyen’s, ahem, vision for Windows Phone, you can take solace in knowing Windows Phone is now the only platform that has a semi-official Flappy Bird game. We win. Or something.
Download Flappy Bird (clone) here in the Windows Phone Store. All Windows Phones. Free, with ads.
We covered Line Birds waaay back in 2011. Seriously, read our review. We loved it back then and we still really like it. It’s got awesome graphics, and it has the ragequit difficulty too. But it’s much better than Flappy Bird and it’s homegrown to Windows Phone.
The game was last updated a year ago, but it still rocks. The only issue is there is no free trial, costs 99 cents and for some reason, ours still shows, which is doubling dipping. Still, if you bought this game years ago and forgot about it, here’s a reminder.
Pick up Line Birds here in the Store. All Windows Phones. 99 cents with ads.
Ever since Flappy Bird hit the gaming scene en masse – which was like 10 days ago – we’ve been tipped by you guys on a little game called Jolly Fish. It’s a true play off of Flappy Bird in that it’s not a direct clone. In fact, you could almost consider it a spiritual sequel.
Jolly Fish is different enough that the developer, Mintah, deserves a shout out. For one, instead of trying to keep a bird up, you’re keeping a jellyfish down, which makes sense due to the air versus water environments. So the physics are reversed, throwing you for a loop when you first play.
Like Flappy Bird, it’s also reminiscent of Super Mario Brothers, specifically the underwater scene. It’s been reported that Nguyen got his inspiration from the underwater Mario mini-games and this title just swims with that to its logical conclusion.
Jolly Fish has cute graphics and some sweet chiptune music to go along with it, making it a gem. The game is now on Android, leaving iOS users on the docks (for now). All in all, Jolly Fish is a swell riff off of the Flappy Bird craze.
Pick up Jolly Fish here in the Store. Windows Phone 8 only. Free, no ads.
Another game last update in 2012, Wacky Dragons is hardly new. But it’s certainly more along the lines of Line Birds in that it has rich graphics, a shop for unlocking characters, and – we’re just going to say it – chubby, cute dragons.
The goal? Navigate your rotund dragon through a dangerous cave. Pick up ‘dragon stones’ and avoid obstacles along the way. Gameplay is the familiar ‘hold to flap’ and the physics are very smooth. You also get some epic horn music in the background and we really dig the adorable graphics in this one.
The game has some outstanding reviews from people, works on all Windows Phones and it’s completely free. So what’s not to like?
Pick up Wacky Dragons here in the Store. Free.
What did we miss?
Look, we know there are tons of games like these on the Store, so forgive us if we overlooked a few hundred of ‘em. These four though range from ‘exact clone’ of Flappy Bird to ‘inspired by’ to ‘even better’. So pick your poison.
But life is short, and we’d rather be playing Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse: Alpha than detailing every one of these games. That’s where you come in, so let us know below which are your favorites!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.