Frenchy Bird Review - Wii U
In a world where every developer is trying to make a living selling video games to the public, you are bound to come across clones. Games that, for one reason or another, just decide "Hey, they did it, so why can't I?" A few tweaks to get by copyright infringement, or getting sold on a shady marketplace, and someone can cop a pretty penny simply remaking someone else's idea.
There are also the homages. Much like my recently reviewed Titan Attacks for the 3DS, it took the Space Invaders theme to a whole new level.
Then, the world was bequeathed Flappy Bird. And I honestly don't know what to say. The phenomenon exploded overnight, and everyone was hooked on the single-tap unforgiving difficulty of an 8-bit bird-turd struggling to vault through some not-Super-Mario-Pipes. If the fame alone wasn't enough to cause clones to fly out of the woodwork, the fact that the developer took it off the market made it all the worse.
Frenchy Bird, a $1.99 budget title available on the Wii U, actually may take the concept of Flappy Bird and improve upon it, surpassing "copycat" status and entering into "homage" territory. It's true, there's not much you can do with "tap a button to flap" in terms of gameplay, but they added some tweaks. First and foremost, the entire game is done in 3D, with a fully animated bird winging through the streets. No pipes here, just lampposts, but you'll find those posts to be coming toward you slightly tilted out of the background instead of a flat 2-D playing field. I don't know if this helped or hurt the gameplay of the original Flappy Bird, but the variety is noted and appreciated. The lighthearted French atmosphere and 3D scrolling backgrounds are other neat additions that could have easily been overlooked when popping out a $2 budget title.
The game takes advantage of the Wii U's online integration as well, with unlockable Miiverse stamps and seamless online leaderboards. It's only a matter of time before the masters of games like this fulfill their addiction and make the leaderboards impossible to climb, but it's still pretty darn cool that something like this was put into such a simplistic game.
To be honest, I'm really surprised I've even written this much about a Flappy clone, but I must say if you missed your chance to see Flappy Bird before it disappeared from the marketplace, or are just curious what all the fuss is about, this is a cheap little game that will fulfill that curiousity. It might've found a better audience on the portable 3DS with it's game sessions maybe even lasting less time than it takes for you to load up your Wii U, but it still allows you to have a little oldschool twitch action right on your Wii U menu to slide in between Mario 3D land challenges and epic Zelda storylines. You literally get the entire experience of the game right here: Flappy Bird in France. But again, if you've read this far, it may be worth your two bucks.
A review copy was provided by Carbon Fire Studio for review. It can be purchased on the Wii U eShop for $1.99.
Final Review: 2.5/5 overall, but 4.75/5 for what it's attempting to do. :)