Flappy Bird is no more. Dong Nguyen’s controversial mobile gaming hit was officially pulled from the iTunes App Store and Google Play this week. You can probably still find it for your Android device due to the more open nature of Google’s app offerings, but it’s not something you can get on an Apple device anymore. At least, not unless you’re willing to pay $100,000 for it on eBay.
Take heart. Don’t look at the demise of Flappy Bird, with its stolen artwork and uninspiring cloned design, as a bad thing. Now that it’s gone, you’re free to play all manner of other games. Better games. In some cases, even the exact same game, but with more going on. Flappy Bird is an addiction, and this is your support group. Any of these five iOS games (some also available for Android) will help to wean you off your flapping bird habit.
Why waste your time on Flappy Bird when you can play the real thing? Badland features the same sort of tap-to-fly gameplay, only it’s got more layers to the gameplay and some beautiful art design. Frogmind Games released this little gem in mid-2013, and it’s been one of our go-to recommendations ever since. The game’s customer review rating hovers around five stars, and – in a cheeky twist – Frogmind is running a $2 sale for it right now “in the memory of Flappy Bird.”
Available on: iOS
Freshly released in the iTunes App Store just last week, Sirvo’s simple, little puzzler Threes has already generated a lot of attention. It’s easier to understand once you play it, but the basic premise involves sliding numbered tiles around on a 4×4 grid. With the exception of 1 and 2, which can be added together to create a 3, tiles can only slide on top of each other when they share the same number. Doing so doubles the number displayed on the tile and raises your total score. A round ends when the board fills up and there are no moves left. Like some of the best mobile games, it’s easy to learn, difficult to master.
Another wonderfully minimal math-tastic puzzler that’s easier to play than it is to explain, Semi Secret Software’s Hundreds is similar to Flappy Bird in the sense that it’s a game built around precision screen-tapping. Number-filled circles float and bob around on the screen. You’ve got to tap and hold to “fill” them up, increasing both their size and the number at their center. The goal is to get the numeric sum of all the circles up to 100, a goal that is often complicated by a variety of obstacles.
Douglas Cowley’s Hoplite is a relatively recent mobile release that mixes turn-based tactical strategy with the sort of procedural generation you’d expect to see in the roguelike genre. To play, you move your troops around on a hex-based grid as you fight against the obstacles that spring up in front of you. Levels are completely random, so you’re never sure of what’s coming next. Don’t let the simple, retro-style graphics fool you. There’s a robust game here, and one with endless play potential thanks to the procedural level generation.
Available on: iOS
Which would you rather do: tap furiously to keep a suspiciously Nintendo-ish wing-flapping bird aloft or grope blindly around a doomed spaceship while Benedict Cumberbatch’s soothing voice attempts to help you? You get the latter with The Nightjar, an iOS-exclusive audio-only game from Somethin’ Else. The premise is simple: your spaceship is without power and caught in a deteriorating orbit around a sun. Everyone is either dead or on an escape pod. Well, everyone except you. And alien invaders that want to kill you. Fortunately, Benedict Cumberbatch is going to save the day. Just listen to his instructions and follow the audio cues and you’ll get to safety. Maybe.