Flappy Bird is a 2013 mobile game, developed by Vietnam-based developer Nguyễn Hà Đông and published by GEARS Studios, a small, independent game developer also based in Vietnam. The game has a side-scrolling format and the player controls a bird, attempting to fly between rows of green pipes without coming into contact with them. The developer created the game over several days, using a bird protagonist which he had designed for a cancelled game in 2012.
The game was released on May 24, 2013 but received a sudden rise in popularity in early 2014. It was criticized for its level of difficulty and alleged plagiarism in graphics and game mechanics, while other reviewers found it addictive. At the end of January 2014, it was the most downloaded free game in the iOS App Store. During this period, its developer claimed that Flappy Bird was earning $50,000 a day from in-app advertisements.
Flappy Bird was removed from both Apple's App Store and Google Play by its creator on February 10, 2014, due to guilt over what he considered to be its addictive nature. The game's popularity and sudden removal caused phones with it pre-installed to sell for high prices over the Internet. Games similar to Flappy Bird became popular on the iTunes App Store in the wake of its removal, and both Apple and Google have removed games from their app stores for being too similar to the original.
Flappy Bird is a side-scrolling mobile game featuring 2D Retro style graphics. The objective is to direct a flying bird, which moves continuously to the right, between each oncoming set of pipes without colliding with them, which otherwise ends the game. The bird briefly flaps upward each time the player taps the screen. If the screen is not tapped, the bird falls due to gravity. The player is scored on the number of pipe sets the bird successfully passes through.
There is no variation or evolution in gameplay throughout the game as the pipes always have the same gap between them and there is no end to the running track, having only the flap and ding sounds and the rising score as rewards. However, some subtle elements of the gameplay design make the game easy to learn but hard to master, a technique that makes games interesting to play.