It's a bit of a mystery as to why Dong Nguyen's Flappy Bird [Free] suddenly hit it big seemingly overnight a few weeks ago. Since then, the game has been glued to the number one position on the iTunes top free download charts. It's not the first time an odd (and old) game appeared from out of nowhere to topping the charts, as Backflip Madness [$0.99] went from weird obscure game we enjoyed in a TA Plays to an internet sensation all because of a single video from PewDiePie.

Flappy Bird had none of that, in fact, I think I even mentioned on one of our many Twitch streams of the game that it made no sense that it was charting so high, just like how every now and again you'll see those very odd MP3 downloader apps shoot up to the top of the charts and disappear. Well, if you thought the Flappy Bird fad would disappear just as quickly as it arrived, you haven't looked at the top charts lately. Dong Nguyen's Super Ball Juggling [Free] and Shuriken Block [Free] are currently #2 and #6 respectively on the top free download charts.

screen1136x1136I've fielded a number of "WTF"-laden instant messages today from people who have noticed these games charting so high, particularly because Flappy Bird features no cross promotion, "More Games" button, or anything else. Presumably, the only way you'd ever find these other two games would be by directly exploring what else the developer has made on the App Store. While no one seems to have any idea what is causing the insane virility of these games, they're worth downloading just to see what all the fuss is about.

Both Super Ball Juggling and Shuriken Block are simple single tap games that feature instant death following any mistakes, just like Flappy Bird. In Super Ball Juggling, you're tapping to bounce a soccer ball as many times as you can. Meanwhile, in Shuriken Block, you time your taps on the screen to stop incoming ninja stars from lodging themselves into the skulls of (presumably) unsuspecting victims. Each game is very weird, and just like Flappy Bird, features instant game overs leading you into this endless loop of, "Wait, what? OK, I can totally score higher than one."

As far as what sort of black majiks are powering these games' stickiness on the charts, that's up for debate. It seems like everyone is playing Flappy Bird though, so it seems to make sense that folks would explore the other brutal titles from the same developer. Either way, we've reached out for some kind of inverview to get the answers straight from the source, we'll see what happens.

  • bigred447uk

    Er.... I hope something decent gets released this week.

  • ODMay

    Dong Nguyen is on the rise.

    • jhamdotme

      Annoying pun, for the Nguyen.

    • rewind

      First of all, don't name your kid Dong.

      Secondly, I wonder if that guy cares that his games are going wild out of the blue. I'm surprised the guy isn't trying to milk as much money as possible from this success, and I guess he's just content with the advertising revenue.

      • daniel5457

        Why not? I can name my kid Dong if I want.

  • cloudpuff

    All three are enjoyable, but flappy bird will always have a special place in my heart. The first game that almost had me putting my fist through my device 🙂

    • rich_952000

      Calm down cp, it's just a game...or is it?

  • Kane

    Can I be your flappy bird? You can tap me in the right places all night long.

    • Tyler

      Thanks for the laugh, mate!

  • Boony Tuesday

    Wow, respriting simple game templates work!

  • Peter Bohanna

    sure its nothing to do with the wording of the game flappy..bird

    • nini


  • KevinS

    The dev is uncomfortable doing interviews and has refused everyone who's asked. He's said Flappy Bird was made in just a few days and he had no money to do marketing or anything like that. He doesn't know why it has become so popular, all he did was upload it to the App Store. You can probably find answers to any questions you might have over on his Twitter account. 🙂

    • rewind

      Haha, I just looked at his twitter account. People are throwing questions at him, like you would expect, and he basically has no idea why this is happening, and thinks that simple, quick games are the best. He also thinks ads are "a good thing for mobile gaming" and has no plans to make money other ways. And lastly, he plans on updating it, which i hope he does not.

  • hvianna

    Shuriken Block is pretty good! It's not as frustrating as the other two games, since it gives you 3 lives. Sound effects are nice too.. I just miss some music in these games.

    Anyone else with an iPhone4 getting random crashes after you die? In both Shuriken Block and Super Ball Juggling :/

    • dydiec

      Yeah, I had random crashes too for both of these other games. It was getting so annoying and frequent to where I had to uninstall the apps :/

  • _the_escape_artist_

    Dong Nguyen is probably Illuminati... Hahaha. Kidding.

    • Happy W

      I sincerely suspect that you yourself are an agent of the Illuminati, and you have deliberately posted this jokey allegation so as to deflect and pre-empt any genuine attempts to expose the Illuminati/Freemason origins of the Flappy Bird app (anyone reading this should research the top secret Pentagon "Project Dong" documents before dismissing me as a troll or a crank).

      • daniel5457

        Grow up. The illuminati doesn't exist. Stop being so paranoid.

  • Tobias Holmes

    I'm afraid these aren't going to help our situation with people who think mobile games aren't real games.

    • JPhilipp

      Flappy Bird is is the kind of game you can pull out at the bus stop while waiting for a minute or two... nothing wrong with that, and there's plenty of such casual games on other platforms (PC, Flash etc).

    • daniel5457

      Mobile games are as real as PC games. When will people learn?

  • Breinstein

    Pssst, do not tell anybody: flappy bird was made by the NSA with only one goal , taking control over all mobile devices. All your devices are belong to us!

  • iVaro

    He sold his soul to the devil. DUH!

  • kdash2008

    Flappy bird is on the top because the facebook page "welcome to the internet" with almost 3000000 followers post a shot from a funny comment in the apple store. The same facebook page owner have another 10 pages with 100k or more followers.

    • nini

      So it is a meme! Of course it is, dammit reddit!

  • kdash2008

    Ohh my mistake. The page is "4play" from the same owner. 500k following.

  • NickyNichols

    Dong, where is my automobile?

  • leehomf

    Isn't there a picture of a funny app review of this game that made to the reddit front page and several other popular websites?

    • nini

      Would explain why every review is trying equally as hard to be funny in the same way.

  • Will28S

    You're all wrong. PewDiePie got this popular, with over 14 Mil Subs! Anything he plays instantly gets a burst of fan girls downloading it, just like with Backflip Madness.

  • Jay G

    I wouldn't be so bold as to say "everyone" is playing this crap.

  • NeoZeitGeist

    Goes to show, you can never predict what will be a hit.

  • DAiv Games

    It'd be interesting to know how much ad revenue he's gettings from these, which I imagine doesn't get logged in the 'Top Grossing' charts.

    • rewind

      That's the only question I want to know. He has a low budget, yet he's made no attempt to capitalize on the success of his games. I respect that he favors advertising and hope he continues to punch out addicting games, but I just wonder....

  • spokentruths772

    When are the other two coming to android

  • Me

    ...the App Store is weird.