Flappy Bird has flapped its way into its final obstacle.
The simple side-scrolling game, in which you guide a bird through a series of pipes by tapping your screen, is no longer available from either the App Store or Google Play, after developer Dong Nguyen made good on his weekend threat to eighty-six the popular game. The game disappeared from app stores Sunday, as if a millions of flapping birds suddenly cried out in terror and were silenced.
And you know what? Good riddance, we say.
Look, we get that some people found the game addictive, and that one person's maddening time sink is another's delightful diversion. But will we be sad to see the Flappy Bird-related tweets disappear from our Twitter timeline? Will we miss puzzling over how the game inexplicably rose up the download charts? Will we have that pang of regret that friends and family will no longer gas on at length about how difficult Flappy Birds was to play? The answers are no, no, and good God, no.
But why stop separating the wheat from the chaff with just Flappy Bird? So long as apps are being culled by their creators, we can think of a handful of other offerings that we'd like to see follow Flappy Bird's flight into oblivion. And unlike Flappy Bird, where it's not exactly clear just why the developer pulled the plug, we can give you a reason why we'd like these apps to go the way of the dodo, flapping or not.
PC gamers speak in reverent tones of Dungeon Keeper, the strategy-heavy game that made its debut way back in 1997. The tones become decidedly less reverent for this mobile reboot, available on both Android and iOS. Much of the strategy that characterized the original has been supplanted by persistent, hard-to-ignore demands for your dollars in the form of in-app purchases. Certainly, developers should have a chance to make a buck like the rest of us, but there's a fine line between earning a comfortable living and nickel-and-diming customers for as much as the market will bear. Dungeon Keeper finds itself on the wrong side of that line a little too often for our tastes.
We'd cut Electronic Arts a little more slack if the app maker wasn't trying to game its ratings, at least for Android users. According to Pocket Gamer, the rating solicitation that pops up on Android versions of the game gives Dungeon Keeper users the option of either posting a five-star rating to Google Play or selecting a lesser rating of 1-to-4 stars. Choose that latter option, and you're taken to a feedback form for EA — and your low rating never sees the light of day. It's a fairly transparent attempt to boost the number of five-star reviews and the number of downloads that inevitably accompany a highly rated game... even if those ratings came about under dubious circumstances. — Philip Michaels
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