This minimalist (some say poorly designed) and addictive (some say brainless) smartphone game has shot to the top of the ‘Most Popular’ download charts for both Android and i Phone, and left trailing in its wake a small flotilla of articles asking everything from whether its creator faked the game's popularity to - 'is art?
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder what you're doing with your life in the first place.
You play as a cartoonishly cute bird, navigating your way through a never-ending stream of pipes, each with a single gap for you to pass through.
The game’s ‘instructions’ give some idea of its simplicity, offering only three pieces of sage advice: “Tap to flap your wings to fly. Try to get 4 medals.” The first time you play the game you will get a score of zero. Although seasoned players may boast of scores well into the hundreds, you’ll be lucky if you elbow your way past 5 after even an hour of play.
The second time you play you’ll get a score of zero. This has triggered an outpouring of online anguish (see the obligatory Buzzfeed article ‘12 Times "Flappy Bird" Drove Human Beings Into A Black Maw Of Existential Despair’) but it’s this difficulty that’s the key to the title's success.
Each ‘game’ is over in seconds, and with the barrier to getting a ‘good’ score set so low it’s easy to convince yourself to have another go.