After Dong Nguyen pulled Flappy Bird from the App Store, Tapity developer Jeremy Olson decided the time was right for him to learn how to produce a game and explore what makes Flappy Bird so popular. Instead of a solo project, Olson decided to make it a group effort and involve his family members in the development process. It was as Olson writes "an opportunity to take a break from our daily routine and do a fun experiment." After a few weeks of work, this experiment today launched in the iOS App Store as Buffalo Wings.
Rather than duplicate Flappy Bird, Olson and Tapity UI Designer Christain Billings decided to replace the bird with an 8-bit buffalo character, which was whipped up by his ten-year-old brother in just ten minutes. The Buffalo Wings app shares the same gameplay as Flappy Bird, requiring you to tap on the screen to keep your buffalo from plummeting to the ground as you fly in between pipes. The mechanics are similar to Flappy Bird, with the jagged shape of the buffalo adding some challenge to the game.
As work on the app progressed, Olson recruited his younger brother to help and taught him the basics of Objective C coding. His father provided the audio, while his sister researched the silly buffalo facts. Other family members were involved in the testing of the app, helping Olson tweak the physics so the game was hard, but not too hard.
The challenge of the gameplay is where Olson nailed it. There's a nice balance in Buffalo Wings -- it's hard enough to be challenging, but not so hard that you throw your hands up in frustration (at least not all the time). As you make your way through the game, you are rewarded with silly buffalo facts that occasionally will make you laugh out loud. The graphics are polished for an 8-bit game, and the gameplay is every bit as addicting as Flappy Bird.
Buffalo Wings is available for free in the iOS App Store. It is compatible with the iPhone and requires iOS 7.0 or later. There are in-game ads, but they are barely noticeable and don't interfere with gameplay.