IMG_4323With the removal of Flappy Bird, the App Store (or as Ouriel Ohayon points out, the "Flapp" Store) is a crazy place right now. Anything that's appearing in a search for Flappy Bird is flying up the charts resulting in the top four free games being Flappy Bird-likes. It really makes you wonder how many more downloads Flappy Bird would've seen if it was still on the App Store, as it seems reasonable to assume that these downloads are being driven by people looking for their next Flappy fix.

Nguyen's Super Ball Juggling [Free] and Shuriken Block [Free] are still charting well, but it's nothing compared to anything Flappy. It's easy to assume these are all terrible games, but I wouldn't be so quick to judge, particularly if you even vaguely found yourself enjoying Flappy Bird.

So, let's go through the top four games on the App Store and figure out what's worth checking out and what you should totally skip:

Fly Birdie - Help the Bird, Free - The top of the App Store charts currently is dominated by the game with the weakest mechanics of the other flappers. The framerate is shockingly low, the interface is crazy (The button to tweet is a upside down Facebook "F"?) and the challenge of the game seems to come from fighting against the buggy game mechanics than actually playing the game itself.

For instance, you have three lives, but get a game over when you've got one life left. The spaces between the pipes you fly through are huge, but the collision detection is even worse than Flappy Bird pre-update. Oddly enough, it also has some seriously out of place background music. Ads are fairly obnoxious, but don't seem to get in the way of gameplay.

Ironpants, Free - Number two is actually a pretty decent Flapp-like, and was already charting before the removal of Flappy Bird. In Ironpants, you play as a masked super hero of sorts. Instead of tapping to fly up, you hold your finger down on the screen and the hero flies up. I feel like Ironpants caught on as well as Flappy Bird because this control method is equally tricky, as the rate that your dude shoots up doesn't make a whole lot of sense and takes loads of practice to master.

Instead of flying through pipes, you're flying through stacks of boxes. Scoring works the same, and because of the difficulty it's often pretty difficult to get more than a few points. Ironpants has some seriously obnoxious ads, not necessarily in regards to frequency, but rather, their placement. These games lend themselves to retrying over and over, and the clever developers behind Ironpants have the ad pop up what feels like only a few milliseconds after the retry button comes up, in the center of the screen. Playing Ironpants will truly test your patience in regards to accidental ad clicks.

Splashy Fish - The Adventure of a Flappy Tiny Bird Fish, Free - I like this game quite a bit, and of all the Flapp-likes I'd say it's the closest to feeling like Flappy Bird when you play it. It controls very similarly, with you fish feeling ever-so-slightly floatier (I mean, you are underwater.) than Flappy Bird. Difficulty levels seem to be in between pre and post-patch Flappy Bird.

The advertising in Splashy Fish also isn't terrible. A constantly rotating Google ad banner sits on the bottom of the screen, but it stays there. Even though you're viewing ads constantly, it doesn't feel obnoxious at all as it doesn't get in the way of gameplay and is very easy to tune out.

Flappy Bee : The real Challenge, Free - Easily the worst of the high charting Flapp-likes. First off, it's stealing its icon directly from Bee Leader [Free], and the game isn't even called Flappy Bee on your device, it's Happy Bee, making this by far the most transparent of all the developers cashing in on the success and removal of Flappy Bird.

Insane difficulty, which seems to be the core component of what makes a Flapp-like a Flapp-like is curiously absent. Instead, you just control a bee flying up and down on the screen collecting flowers. It seems the only way you can die is flying off the top or bottom of the screen, both things being very easy to avoid. While Ironpants wins in the obnoxious ad placement category, Flappy Bee dominates it in ad frequency. It seems like everything you do in this game triggers a full screen ad. Starting the game, pausing the game, dying, you name it, you've got an ad. Avoid this game.

So, there you have it. The brave new world of the Flapp Store. I'd definitely check out Splashy Fish, particularly if you missed Flappy Bird. It's the best of the bunch, and it'll be interesting to see if it stays that way as more Flapp-likes hit the App Store. Right now it'd be easier to list the developers who aren't making their own Flappy Bird knock-off. So, batten down the hatches if you can't stand Flappy Bird. We're going to be in for a wild ride before we reach App Store equilibrium again.

  • Taclys

    Couldn't you just say "retextured flappy bird" on most all of them?

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  • ItouchBrett

    So what does TA do? Make another article about flappy. For 6 years I ahe been coming here and not once have TA ever really mentioned the top free lists. Now it's like that's all is written. Can't wait till life resumes here. Tired of this shit.

    • lr1919

      Quit griping, I'm amused, you're amused, hey we all want more flappy bird news!

      • Tim

        When WSJ and Forbes are running articles about Flappy Bird, it would be weird if TA didn't have more in-depth coverage about the phenomenon.

      • Edwin Ramirez

        Sarcasm? Right?

    • Leydz Boomshaka-Irwin

      Must agree with you. Huge fan of TA and i've been coming here for years but im over the Flappy Bird thing. I know why they keep posting it but it makes me sad a little.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      We've posted six other stories today including indie game reviews, exclusive world-first screenshots of popular RPGs, and news about reworking our site to be better for readers. Those stories have gotten a fraction of the interest that anything to do with Flappy Bird has. If you don't like these stories, check out the overwhelming majority of other stuff we posted today which has nothing to do with the biggest and most substantial shake up of the free charts since the App Store went online.

    • MrAlbum

      Flappy Bird made headlines. The story behind it was so ridiculously improbable that it became newsworthy. Plus, it spawned a craze of its own. This 'shit,' as you put it, is happening right in front of TA's eyes.

      Think to the movie "The Great Muppet Caper." Kermit and Fozzy got FIRED from their newspaper job in the movie's beginning. Why? Because they failed to report anything newsworthy, WHEN NEWSWORTHY STUFF HAPPENED RIGHT BY THEM. Sure, it was played up for comedy, but the point is obvious.

      News outlets, even gaming ones, HAVE to report what they SEE, NOT what they may want to see, the moment they see it. Plus, they need to capitalize on what is happening right in front of them, because if they DON'T, customers go to OTHER outlets that have up-to-date and RELEVANT news. Even though, as you put it, Flappy Bird-related news is 'shit,' it is RECENT, and RELEVANT to iOS gaming at this point in time, BECAUSE of the impact it had.

      If they don't report it, then another iOS site will. And all the people who want to stay up-to-date will go to those other sites, instead of TA. In short, it would be career suicide to NOT put out articles on Flappy Bird, as long as they are not re-posting the same info. Last I checked, every Flappy Bird article DID report on something unique, AND it was up-to-date with what was going on in the App Store at the time they posted each article. This article is no different.

      This is TA doing its job. If Apple decided to replace its App Store with a poop collection service and was SERIOUS about it, TA would HAVE to post about it. If the App Store decided to implement their own form of YouTube's ContentID system in an effort to help devs protect their copyrights, then TA would HAVE to report on that. If some unknown developer makes a poop collection simulator game, and that game rockets to the top of the App Store charts for no apparent reason, then TA would HAVE to cover it.

      TA doesn't have a choice. It's their job. No amount of ranting can change that.

      You want them to talk about something else? Then FIND something recent AND relevant to iOS for them to talk about, and bring that to their attention! Doing anything less than that is NOT going to give them the chance to stop posting about Flappy Bird-related news.

      • CzechCongo

        Yeah, let TA make some dough on random Internet peeps clicking TA links. It's all good, and the "real games" are still there. Don't think covering the Flappy Fenomenon is taking much time away from covering other stuff.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        We don't sell advertising based on views or clicks.

    • McBlink

      It is tiring, I even saw a report on the local morning news. The coverage is reaching Justing Bieber level of annoying.

    • rewind

      If you don't like the reticle, you could simply be quiet about it...

    • http://farblaze.blogspot.com Blaze

      I don't like the TA PLAY and I don't read the "how to win X without spending money" posts, but you know what I do?? I don't read them. Easy as that. TA would be really dumb trying to make some money posting about a worldwide phenomenon.

  • KevinS

    Please make it stop. :(

  • armilla

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • crunc

    I guess Flappy Bird articles are topping the charts too.

    • B30

      Flappy what???

  • ODMay

    This Flappy Bird era just won't die, huh?

    • vicsark

      Today I saw Flappy Birds articles in the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg news, Forbes, so I guess not.
      Weird day O_o

  • CkX82

    Ugh, time to turn off push notifications from TA. I like you guys but I had enough of this shit.

  • jaggi

    Unlike most of the posters here, I love reading about Flappy Bird. I don't like the game that much, but you have to admit it's a great story.

  • Jake7905

    The Flappy Bird story is far more entertaining then the Flappy Bird game, so it's hard to complain about TA's coverage. If they posted a 4-5 star review of the game then I'd complain. But so far TA's been reporting, not hyping.

  • spokentruths772

    OMG ENOUGH WITH THIS FLAPPY BIRD CRAP!!! it's like flappy bird is all TA can talk about and if they haven't noticed by now PPL ARE TIRED OF FLAPPY BIRD there are tons of way better UNDERRATED games on the App Store why only talk about a freakin bird flying through pipes? This is seriously getting old now there are better games you just need to look TA -_-

  • riChchestMat

    Half the traffic on the news stories seems to be your readers telling you to stop.

    • Jake7905

      It's like if half the people at a Justin Bieber show only bought tickets to tell him that he sucks.

      • CkX82

        Its nothing like that, no one bought tickets to get annoyed by flappy bird push notifications .

      • Holcman

        Then turn it off, jeez. He they posted other stuff today, too.

      • Holcman

        They* not he they! darn iPad keyboard.

      • CkX82

        I understand that completely, I'd rather not because I generally enjoy this site but its gotten to the point of being absurd..

  • kioshi

    Say what you will buy Splashy Fish is awesome.

  • Chungston

    I like splashy fish. There I said it...

  • HelperMonkey

    Someday your grandchildren will ask the question. "Where were YOU when Flappy Bird was pulled?"
    Before the Great Flappy War began, before the invasion of Canada, before the atrocities of the Angry Flapping Birds Brigade, before the bread lines and the epidemic, before the global economic meltdown, before the markets crashed, before the Dow fell, before Apple faltered and the App Store went offline, before it ALL turned to shit and people were happily piloting that flappy little bird across their screens... Were you reading TA and in touch with what was happening, or were you oblivious and uninformed because you didn't think it mattered?...
    Where were YOU? What did you do? Could you have done more?
    The future will hold us accountable. Stay informed. Stay involved.
    Long live TA.

  • camo

    Flappy Turd

  • araczynski

    all you need to do now is add an iphone babe of the day...

  • anabolicMike

    I knew I shoulda made a flappy bird game and threw it up there just to get the added popularity. Seemed cheap tho lol. Looks like some people are gonna do it anyway! Mine was gonna be called "Flappy Minecraft Slender Saga Titans Clash Eating Candy Bird". It would been awesome!