My friend sent me this article two days ago which spoke of a new, retrogade micro-game called Flappy Bird that has recently topped the App Store’s chart for most recent popular games. Comments such as these made me consider playing it:
One erudite user took to the App Store review section to bemoan how the game was “life ruiningly addictive”. “I haven’t slept, I used to sleep like a baby. Now I can’t,” they wrote. “I lie in bed, I can hear flappy bird taunting me to try and beat my score again. when I close my eyes I see flappy bird. I haven’t eaten. I see flappy bird in the food on my plate. I hear him in the voices of those I love” [sic].
Unable to resist the temptation of achieving a decent high score on what has been termed “the impossible game”, I took on the challenge.
Initial high scores of ‘0’ quickly informed me of the difficulty in making the flappy bird survive through the deceivingly simple maze the game presents. Subsequently achievement of the Bronze (>9), Silver (>19), Gold (>29) and Platinum (>39) badges taught me how to navigate my way through this vexatious game, and I have compiled some tips which may prove useful.
1. Get rid of the ads
Accomplish this by simply turning on your phone’s Airplane mode. The margin of error in playing Flappy Bird is too small to risk getting distracted by the sudden appearance of an irrelevant ad at the top of your screen.
2. Learn to fall and you will soar
It appears that most of my ‘deaths’ came from the nervous, panicky motion of double-pressing the screen the moment the flappy bird plummets. The key suggestion for countering this common problem is to note that the optimal timing to make a ‘flap’ or press the screen is right before the tubes. This allows the largest margin of error as the height of the ‘flap’ will usually not be high enough to knock the weak bird out. Accordingly, you should arrest your fall only when the bird is right before the tubes. Practice this enough and the fall would eventually stop provoking inner panic.
3. Pace your ‘flaps’
Related to the key problem mentioned in #2 is the fact that the timing between each ‘flap’ is usually too short; basically, we press our fingers on the screen too quickly. Try to increase the time between each ‘flap’ or pace your ‘flapping’, especially when the tubes are relatively even. You really only need to double- or triple-press when getting from low to high ground quickly.
4. Stay calm and carry on
Some people get very emotional and excited while playing the game, and that causes easy deaths. To reduce such problems, you need to calm yourself down. You could reduce stimuli by muting the game, lowering the brightness, playing the game as the phone is tilted perpendicularly (or making sure that the phone is parallel to the floor), or playing the game while lying in bed. Alternatively, you could use your own music or the game’s sounds to tether your concentration on to something.
5. Nurse your disappointment
It is extremely easy to get frustrated or angry when the damned bird keeps dying. But these heightened emotions will only increase your heart rate and cause yourself to commit more mistakes. Instead, nurse the sour taste of losing and the heavy weight of disappointment that you feel each time the flappy bird plunges to its unnecessary death; do not let the mocking words of ‘GAME OVER’ get to you. Use these dark emotions to stay cool, keep in mind the other tips mentioned above, and the Platinum badge will be yours.