When it comes to smartphone games, Sisyphus is one popular bastard. The original Damned. Push the rock up the hill. Watch it roll back down. Repeat. Repeat again. Kick the rock. Break toe. Start back up the hill.
We are Sisyphus. And our rock is Flappy Bird.
This isn't a particularly good game. Graphics aped right from a 16-bit Super NES. Sound effects consist of one (1) Flappy Bird flapping and the ding of pipes a-passing. There is no goal. There is no boss. Just the promise of frustration. And endless pipes. Eight-hundred and ninety-four kilobytes of pure, ad-supported, time-wasting evil.
The idiotic brilliance begins in the app description.
How to play:
- Tap to flap your wings to fly.
- Avoid pipes.
- Check your sense of self-worth at the door.
OK, one of those might be made up. But, really, that's the game. Tap to flap. So how the hell has this game become so popular, garnering more than 10 million downloads on Android alone. (And that's not counting the BlackBerry sideloads.)
It's all about shutting down. Turning of the brain for a few minutes. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I'd recommend it. But there are better ways to do it.
Flappy Bird feeds on your frustration. How can such a simple game be so damned difficult? How did you hit that pipe? All you had to do was tap at the right time. You screwed up. The next one was so close. You can get through it next time.
One. More. Pipe.
The app reviews are a testament to Flappy Bird's brilliant evil.
"Eff this game! Don't download if you're under any type of stress already. Only download if yur trying to break you're phone to get a new one." — Adina Houston, four stars
"Only download your game if u want a new phone because u will end throwing your phone at the ducking wall." — Billy Davis, one star
"Why can't the god dang bird get lip surgery, a bird has a beak for gods sake, you nasty butthole, how is the bird supposed to pick up his worms, they would just keeps slipping out of his mouth. I also don't get how the bird doesn't just call a plumber to get rid of the pipes so he can get to where he needs to go. My high score is 9 because his huge lips hit the pipe every time. The bird is way to fat, what does he do on his free time when he's not trying to dodge this pipes from Mario. This bird is fat." — Johnny Beck, four stars
Not every game has to be Myst. But not every game has to sap what few brain cells we have left, either.
Flap and die.