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One-hand, one-tap games you should have played instead of Flappy Bird

Leah Yamshon | Feb. 13, 2014
That odd sound you heard over the weekend wasn't the wail of Olympians missing the gold, or Beatles fans collectively reminiscing about the band's U.S. debut 50 years ago. No, it was mobile gamers lamenting over the loss of Flappy Bird, a seemingly simple game for iOS and Android that was pulled from the App and Google Play stores on Sunday.

Jetpack Joyride
Come on, is there any part of the name Jetpack Joyride (free; iOS and Android) that doesn't sound fun? In this side-scroller, you help Barry Steakfries steal a jetpack and make a not-so-prompt escape from an experimental science lab, which contains a string of long, tunnel-like rooms.

By default, Barry runs, but tap on the screen to activate the jetpack. You'll need it to avoid hazards like electrified barriers, lasers, and missiles from the lab's defense system. Collect coins and complete missions along your escape to keep things interesting. Jetpack Joyride masters the one-button approach, and it's challenging without being maddeningly so.

Ski Safari
A longtime favorite of ours, Ski Safari ($1; iOS and Android) involves guiding Sven the Skier down a slippery slope to escape an avalanche. Sven is in constant motion, and all you have to do is tap the screen to make him jump over rocks, ski jumps, and other obstacles. To mix things up, make him hitch a ride on an unsuspecting penguin, wolf, eagle, or yeti to boost ahead of the snow even further.

If that doesn't pique your interest, Ski Safari's challenges surely will: Make Sven catch an eagle while riding a wolf, for example, or smash through 20 rocks over a series of games, and you'll earn Sven power-ups while also keeping Ski Safari fresh.

Canabalt ($3; iOS and Android) is one of the longest-lived single-tap games on the App Store: It made its debut in 2009. But Canabalt's very simple 8-bit black-and-white graphics coupled with an eerie soundtrack make this game a classic.

All you have to do is help the runner jump from crumbling building to crumbling building, while vaulting over obstacles like barrels, chairs, and broken glass. As this is a truly endless runner — there are no stages or levels to complete, so eventually your hero will meet his end. We don't know the runner's backstory, but you can try making up your own.

One Tap Hero
One Tap Hero ($1; iOS and Android) is actually a full-fledged platformer that still only requires single taps to play. Tap to jump, tap to climb, tap to collect stars, tap to change direction, and tap to do pretty much everything.

Levels are quick with a single objective: An evil witch has turned your sweetheart into a teddy bear, and you must collect stars to change her back. Each level is its own puzzle, so you must figure out how to collect all three stars through a series of taps and hurdles.

Flappy Doge
Okay, fine. If you must have some Flappy in your life, turn to your browser and play Flappy Doge. It is exactly the same, but features the Internet's favorite shiba inu. Wow.


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