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An open letter to Rovio

Kenny Campbell says Rovio has 800 Employees, and they made Floppy Plane.

Having a 2 hour commute and a new LG G3 to fill with content I thought I would brave the Google Play store since the clones have been culled. With the mobile app market gaining more games than fleas on a stray dog, I figured checking the top new releases on the market would take the pain out of it.

The number one choice according to Google is Retry by Rovio Level 11. Runners up were, Candy Burst, True or False or the Frankenstein IAP monster that is Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile. So Retry got a download.

I do love how the plane sticks to the walls. Impossible cloud surfing on Level 2.
I do love how the plane sticks to the walls. Impossible cloud surfing on Level 2.

“From the guys sitting in the room next to the guys who made Angry Birds, comes RETRY”, boasts the opening paragraph on the blurb. Now I don’t know why you would make this the first point on your app. The main reason, I assume, being to distance your main game from this just in case it flopped.

Before downloading it clearly states that the game is made in Unity and that devices running x86 architecture are not supported. Now Rovio your target audience for Flappy Wings is not going to have a clue what Unity is or what architecture their device is running. Just be grateful they knew to download from Google Play instead of iTunes. Also Google Play filters out games that cannot be played on certain devices as long as you chose the right settings in Unity before you hit Build.

So since it is made in Unity the APK is a bit bloaty and my mobile signal was a bit weak so to kill the time I looked up a few reviews.

“The game has often been mistakenly been compared to Flappy Bird, despite the two having very little in common.” Let’s examine that:

Uncontrollable avatar that flops about on a single touch.. Check!
8 Bit Pixel Design…Check!
Obstacles to get in the way…Check!
Die repeatedly due to the controls…Check!
Promoted on the insane difficulty…Check!

Although, most were honest and stated that Rovio was releasing a Flappy clone with some differences.

You're now halfway through the level, activate checkpoint? Pay up or watch an advert.
our now halfway through the level, activate checkpoint? Pay up or watch an advert.
But the plane can loop and fly backwards and it’s not endless I hear you cry. That’s all great but the main mechanics are the same, tap the screen and flop about avoiding objects.

The game itself is not terrible, the IAP is not the worst since you can watch Angry Bird adverts to gain coins and completing the levels is fairly fun unless you want to collect all the coins and get 3 stars then its tedious at best.

So what really annoys me about this game? The company who made it! If this game had been made by a small indie team or an individual, then hats off it would be a great indie title. When one of the biggest names in Mobile gaming is putting people in a room and telling them to copy one of the most cloned games and add IAP something has gone wrong.

Rovio are boasting that at any one time they have 40 games ideas in production. Surely there must be some original, engaging, platform changing gems brewing within that 40. However, instead we are gifted Cloney Wings.

Rovio go sit at the back of the class and write out ‘I must not copy other peoples games’. Once for each time someones little Kamikaze Plane smacks a wall.

Published inFeatures