It was only a matter of time before the battle royale genre got out of hand, and sure enough, here was stand at the end of all things. There is now a browser-based battle royale based on Flappy Bird.
Yes, that Flappy Bird. The cheap, yet somehow ridiculously addictive, mobile game that was all the rage back in 2013 for about a month. It’s called Flappy Royale (because of course it is), and future historians will no doubt point to it years from now as the beginning of the collapse of civilised society.
You can play Flappy Royale here, if you fancy losing a piece of your soul and an hour of your day. It’s also available on mobile, and currently exists in beta form, which implies the best of it is yet to come. A chilling thought, if ever there was one.
The game plays exactly as you’d expect. It’s Flappy Bird with 99 other players. After you choose your name and customise your bird, you’ll be dropped from a bus into an exact replica of the 2013 game.
From there, it’s pretty much just as you remember it, albeit with 99 other birds all desperately flapping alongside you, many dropping like flies within seconds. You’ll hit space to make your bird float, or do nothing to lose altitude. Combine both and navigate a maze of increasingly intricate obstacles, as you aim to the be the last bird standing (or flapping).
I tried for about 20 minutes and managed to make it as far as the fourth pipe. I’m massively crap at Flappy Bird and always was, which might actually be why I’m so bitter at the whole thing, really.
It’s actually not a million miles away from the recently released (and rapidly shut down) Super Mario Bros battle royale, which threw you and 99 other players into a race through the NES classic.
As easy as it is for folks to hate on both Flappy Bird and the battle royale genre, I do have to give props to game designers Orta Therox, Em Lazer-Walker, and Zach Gage. I’d imagine this started as a joke, but it is genuinely addictive, easy to pick up, and… dare I say it? Fun.
Seeing Super Mario Bros and Flappy Bird get the battle royale treatment in this way actually has me wondering what other classics would benefit from 99 players all swarming in at once.
Maybe the original Zelda? That could be pretty cool, if perhaps a little too ambitious. How about Pac-Man? The chaos 99 players would cause in that maze doesn’t bear thinking about. I suspect Flappy Royale is the start of a new craze, so watch this space.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.