Feels like only yesterday when I started playing Flappy Bird on my iPhone 5s, LG G2, O+ Imagine, and Sony Xperia Z1. Fast forward to today, the free mobile game has become a true phenomenon in the Philippines with the country's biggest celebrities seemingly becoming obsessed with it.
Earlier this evening, TV Patrol - the longest-running primetime news program in the Philippines - ran a story on the blockbuster game for iOS and Android and there, I learned that Kapamilya Stars Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda have likewise gotten on the craze.
Flappy Bird, what? According to Wiki, it's a flying game developed by Vietnam-based developer Nguyen Ha Dong and published by .GEARS Studios, a small, independent game developer based in Vietnam. The free game was originally released in May 2013 for the iPhone 5, then updated for iOS6 in September 2013. In January 2014, it topped the free category of the American and Chinese iTunes App Stores and later on that month the UK App Store where it was touted as "the new Angry Birds". It ended January as the most downloaded App on the App Store and it is still at the top position as of writing.
Basically, the objective of the game is to fly a bird without hitting pipes by tapping on the screen; One tap is equivalent to one flap of the wings. "If a bird hits an obstacle - the green pipe or the ground - then the game is over. Each time the bird flies through a set of pipes the player receives a point. It features Super Mario World-esque graphics, very basic mechanics and adverts."
If you've just downloaded the game and you're like Vice Ganda who's now seemingly struggling to get a higher score, here are few tips and tricks that you can do to do better on Flappy Bird. I got these responses from TP Friends on Facebook and Twitter who are now actively playing the game.
1. Rem Tiangco (score: 96), Jeffrey Reyes (10), Nelson Cenido (70), and Aaron Banez (19) all said that you should stay calm and focused while playing the game. Wylfred Restauro (14) shared, "Just keep your patience and don't throw your phone!" Whee Rillera (200) and Vicente Magallanes (26) even suggested locking yourself up in the comfort room and sitting on the toilet bowl while tapping so you can focus more.
2. Les Capuli (173) added that keeping the bird low and tapping consistently are key to success. Charmaine Magtibay (52) suggested that you should keep your taps in check; Just two taps if the pipe is low and thrice if the pipe is high. Carlo Acetre(58) and Shane Anne Alcaraz's (27) secret is getting into a rhythm while tapping.
3. Chris Pungtilan (10) told me on Twitter that he scored higher when he played the game on a tablet.
4. David Villanueva's (81) tip is very specific yet a tad cryptic. Quoting him verbatim, "It's safer to stay closer to the lower pipe. Another, try to tap just before a pipe then hold it just right that it would pass after it for only a single tap giving you more options (if there are aside from just avoiding it. Haha) on how to deal with the next pipe, especially if the entrance to the next is quite far." Hmm.
5. Lawrence Fernandez's (20) advice is very simple: Don't play [the game] around people who shriek when [you're close to beating your top score.]
Finally, I want to share my tip: Just keep trying. Play the game again and again. I think it's more muscle memory than anything -- kinda like learning how to serve the ball in volleyball or shooting a free throw in basketball. You need to do it again and again to get it right. Also, don't get too excited when you're close to beating your highest score; Maintain your focus and composure and keep your rhythm steady. That's it!
For those who haven't downloaded the game, you can get Flappy Bird for free at the Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple App Store for the iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. Enjoy!