When the developer of Flappy Bird pulled the original game from app stores it broke more hearts than when Bambi's mom died. Fans of the out-of-control duck can start drying their eyes though, because the popular game has been reincarnated, in the shape of Flappy Birds Family.
We are family
Before you get too excited you should be aware that Flappy Birds Family is currently only available for Amazon Fire TV users, via the Amazon App Store. However, it's likely that the game will be made available for Android smartphone and tablet devices in the future.
I've tested out Flappy Birds Family, and can report that it's just about as unputdownable as the original. In fact, it breaks developer Dong Nguyen's promise in May 2014 that the new game would be "less addictive" than the original Flappy Bird. He'd pulled that one from app stores because it's success was having a negative affect on his simple life, and I guess he was hoping to avoid similar headaches by making Flappy Birds Family not as good.
Flappy Birds Family is good, though. The game follows the same tap-to-flap mechanic as the first game, which spawned a million copies (including Nguyen's own Swing Copters). The idea is to fly through the gaps between the pipes to beat your high score. If you touch the pipe (of the floor) it's curtains for the bird, and you'll have to restart from the beginning.
Flappy Birds Family now lets you choose from three characters and adds some new obstacles in the shape of ghost-like characters that rotate around around a magic egg. You must avoid the ghosts but can take a chance and try to nab the egg for more points if you dare.
A bird in the hand
The game isn't quite as hard as the original. The bird appears to fly a little slower, and the gaps between pipes seem bigger. Perhaps this is what the developer meant when he said he was going to make Flappy Birds Family less addictive.
The biggest change from the first game though, is the inclusion of a two player, split-screen mode. Here you can go head-to-head with a friend to see who can keep flapping the longest.
Graphically, Flappy Birds Family follows the same format as the original game. It's a colorful 8-bit affair, taking inspiration from games like Super Mario World. It's a shame nothing new was added in terms of backgrounds, musical selection, or even distinctly different characters. But if you were happy with the look of the original you'll probably find it as charming.
So is it worth rushing out to buy an Amazon Fire TV just to be able to get to play Flappy Birds Family? No, of course not, but if you're pining over the original game you won't be disappointed if and when when this drops on Google Play and other mobile app stores.