Thursday, May 8, 2014

Soldier Bird Rush: Flappy Bird... that Rushes... OK?

Feels familiar for some reason... hmmm..

Flappy Bird will probably go down as one of the weirdest mobile game phenomenon of the first half of 2014 and while I am not a huge fan of the game, there have been some variations of the original Helicopter game that I do like such as the Jumpy Bird stage in Crisp Bacon. The game is/was so popular that you can go to Play Store, type in "Flappy Bird", and easily see over 200 clones of the popular yet absent game. Before I go into the review of this game only at request I have this to say to developers: STOP MAKING FLAPPY BIRD CLONES, THEY ALL SUCK. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM SUCK. I don't even have to play all of them to know that each of them such. Seriously, cut it out already! That being said, I intend on giving a real honest review of Soldier Bird Rush available on Google Play.

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   The great things about this Flappy Bird clone, and most of the clones, is that the game feels a lot like Flappy Bird: you tap the screen at different intervals to prevent from hitting an obstacle or the ground and try to get as high score as possible. Solider Bird Rush replaces the Super Mario-like obstacles with heavy artillery such as tanks that shoot multiple rounds, airplanes that drop bombs on you and planes that shoot their mini-guns at you in an attempt to take down your Armed Forces Feathered Commando. Not only do you have to tap the screen to avoid these dangers, but you can also slide to the front to avoid being bombed on but the difference doesn't really change the whole dynamic of the game as you immediately snap back to your previous position. Thankfully the hit-box detection has been greatly improved over the original Flappy Bird but even with all the changes to the style and ways of avoiding death doesn't really make up for the boring gameplay. The AI is horribly predicable so easy that my three-year old could probably figure it out by just playing a few rounds of this game. Now, it's not that I don't appreciate the developers attempt but the only reason I can even fathom for making a clone of an already horrible game was that this was some sort of practice. I don't expect every game to be a masterpiece, because frankly few are, but this chapter into the great Flappy Bird story is easily forgettable... but if I ever have to play another version of Flappy Bird I think I may literally kill myself. 

Oh... exciting! Right??

Visual and Sound Design:

   Grey, brown, green and dull! Even so, it's still an improvement in my book over the Super Mario ripoff design that the original game brought out. Your winged hero is on the... defense? Offense? No-fense? The overall theme doesn't really make sense. As for the enemy design, these aren't really that bad. Are they crudely drawn? Sure. Could I do better? Probably not, but if you're going to make a clone of a badly designed game, then you might as well keep up with the theme of bad designs. Of course, I could be thankful that they aren't worse and when you're an indie developer I don't expect you to have an art degree or be a master designer... but I think it would have been better finding some public domain or license-free art out there and just sticking it in. No, the biggest offender is when you press the Pin icon it brings up a monstrosity of memes, ads, and cheap merchandise: ew. So the graphics suck, so what? One thing I really did like about the game is the soundtrack and sound effects. The A-Team-esque drum roll music really sets the tone of the game like you're really going into battle (which you're not), and the sound effects from cannons firing, bombs dropping, explosions exploding, and the sound of my flapping are as well as they can be in a game this badly designed.

Final Decision:

   If you like Flappy Bird, you'll be surprised that this game is actually a better version of Flappy Bird... but if you hate Flappy Bird OR have a sensible taste in gaming please avoid this and every game like it. Please. Also to the developer, if you read this I am sorry that I was harsh on this game but really it stinks and please please please make something more original next time instead of setting a low bar for yourself from copying that very bad game.