We'll confess: We played, or rather attempted to play, Flappy Bird.
You know, that ridiculously viral and addictive game that became a huge success earlier this year before the developer randomly pulled it from both the Android and iOS App Stores without warning. Ever since then, we've been clinging to the hope that, as promised, it would eventually return. And now it is finally back. But we can't play it on our iPhone or Android smartphone.
Strangely, gaming studio .Gears has resurrected Flappy Bird as free game just for the Amazon Fire TV set-top box. It has a new name too: Flappy Birds Family. Not only can we once again try to beat our high score of 10, but we can do so while playing against our loved ones via multiplayer mode. It's the same game you know and hate, just blown up for your television screen and suited to work with the Fire TV's remote button or game controller.
Despite the near-certain chance of us becoming extremely frustrated, we decided to give Flappy Birds Family a go. Keep reading if you're interested in learning more about what the remake includes or doesn't include and how far we actually got in the game (spoiler alert...not very far).
- HP's new Omen gaming PCs explored: We tear down these gaming beasts to see what's under the hood (promo)
Fire up Fire TV (see what we did there) and use the microphone button on your Fire TV remote to voice search for "Flappy Birds". The first thing that should pop up is a choice to download Flappy Birds Family. Tap the select button on your remote to get the free game, and then go ahead and make sure your Fire TV game controller is synced. You can use the select button on your remote to play or the A button on your game controller. We used the game controller.
When the game first loads, you'll be able to designate your preferences before playing. The default settings brings up one player, but you can choose between one or two players as well as which character avatar you want. During our testing at one point, we had one player using the remote and another using the game controller. The second player simply had to click in to start choosing ther preferences. It was all pretty basic stuff.
Have you ever played Flappy Bird? Flappy Birds Family is just like that. But instead of ferociously tapping on your phone screen, you're tapping Fire TV peripherals. The goal is to side-scroll navigate a pixelated bird through a maze of Mario-style green tubes. If you fly into or accidentally hit any of the tubes, even just the slightest, your avatar will die.
Every tube you miss and pass will net you a point. In addition, while steering clear of tubes, you must also avoid any ghosts or other obstacles. And this kind of goes on forever, until you die. Simple, right? Not so much. You see, dying is all-too easy. In our opinion, you're practically a gaming expert if you can survive more than a few seconds and somehow get a score of 20 or higher.
Multiplayer mode is the major new addition to this Flappy Bird remake. You and another person can enter a split-screen race between two flappy birds. You will each get three lives, and the winner is whoever survives the longest. If you die (as long as you have lives left), you will come back as a flashing avatar that is indestructible for about a second. This levels the playing field so you don't come back and instantly hit an obstacle and die again.
Similar to the single mode, you have to side-scroll navigate past all the green tubes and avoid them as well as ghosts and other obstacles. You will see your opponent's ghost flying through your course as well, which increases the level of competitiveness (and frustration) in the room.
We completely understand why Flappy Bird has returned, just for the Fire TV. It's the perfect set-top box game. It downloads fast, loads even faster, and getting started takes all but two seconds. You can play by yourself or with a friend, using a remote or a controller.
In fact, we found both the Fire TV game controller and standard remote easy to use and handle. We honestly had no preference. Using the remote even felt a lot like using a Wii controller, but without any motion tricks of course.
But the best part about Flappy Birds Family is that it is free and has no ads.
Also, kitties love the new Flappy Bird. Our cat wouldn't stop chasing the bird across the screen the entire time we played. If you want cheap and mindless entertainment for you, your friends, and your pets, download this game today. Hopefully it won't get randomly pulled in two months.