Flappy Bird may have returned earlier this month with newly added multiplayer, but that isn't stopping creator Dong Nyugen from moving on to his latest and greatest project. What could Nyugen possibly create that could top the seemingly unstoppable popularity of Flappy Bird, the game that spawned a million clones? How about a game incredibly similar, but instead of going left to right, you go up.
That's basically what Nyugen's new game Swing Copters is: vertical Flappy Bird. As shown in an exclusive hands-on with the game from mobile gaming site Touch Arcade, you play as a cute little...thing...with a propeller hat on his head, who, instead of dodging pipes, must ascend skyward while avoiding swinging mallets. Instead of tapping the screen to flap, players tap to maneuver around the mallets and see how high they can go. It even features the same, retro-Mario look of its predecessor.
The game will release Aug. 21 as a free download, though what platforms the game will be available on is currently unknown. Flappy Bird originally could be played on iOS and Android devices, but it's re-release after months of being taken off various app stores saw the game return only on the Amazon Fire app store. Nguyen originally pulled the game while it was still dominating the Google Play and iOS game charts in part because of its popularity. He wasn't a fan of the attention it was bringing him.
"It happened to become an addictive product," Nguyen said at the time. "I think it has become a problem." He voiced his thoughts on Twitter as well, saying that after the media attention and sudden success of the game "My life has not been as comfortable as I was before. I couldn't sleep."
Swing Copters will be free with the option to pay 99 cents to remove ads featured in the game. Nyugen was reported to have been making around $50,000 a day at the height of Flappy Bird's popularity thanks to revenue from in-game advertisements.
Does Swing Copters have any chance of being as popular as Flappy Bird? Probably not. Flappy Bird was a perfect storm of sorts, a game perfectly capitalizing (intentionally or not) on the cute birds of mobile game darling Angry Birds, the pixel aesthetic of old-school Mario games and the bone-crushing difficulty of a game like Dark Souls. Swing Copters does manage to channel a lot of the same ideas, so perhaps it will find success. After all, if it is even half as successful as Flappy Bird, Nyugen could probably retire soon.