Flappy Bird is no longer just a two-dimensional sprite. It’s now a plush toy that you can use to play the hit mobile game that disappeared from app stores last month.
ZowPow, the winner of GamesBeat 2013’s Who’s Got Game competition last October, is starting a crowdfunding project to get its own version of Dong Nguyen’s mobile hit Flappy Bird on iOS and Android devices. In ZowPow’s game (the app itself is free), Flappy Toy, players lift up a wireless, battery-powered plush replica of Flappy Bird’s main character to control him onscreen. Moving him up and down in a flapping motion navigates him safely through an endless series of green pipes. That’s one way to circumvent the tricky touchscreen controls that frustrated so many players.
Flappy is still challenging, though, so ZowPow has designed the toy so you can take your frustrations out on it. It won’t break even if you throw it.
“My co-founder, Brian, and I are huge fans of Flappy Bird, so we decided to use our technology to make a wireless toy controller for the game,” ZowPow’s Jennifer Lu told GamesBeat. “We showed it to our friends and also to random people on the street. Everyone loved it and wanted one. So we figured we’d create a crowdfunding campaign to make it available to everyone and sell it pretty much at cost, for $15.”
ZowPow is asking for $25,000 in crowdfunding to make Flappy Toy happen. The campaign, which is available on the company’s website, runs until April 8.
Original Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen pulled the game from the iOS and Android app stores in February because it was too “addictive.” Nguyen was making about $50,000 a day in ad revenue from Flappy Bird, so it’s not a surprise that another developer would want to cash in on that success while Flappy Bird fever is still hot. Since its removal, a number of mobile-game clones have appeared in its place.
In regard to potential legal ramifications, Lu said that ZowPow’s version will be slightly different from the original Flappy Bird game. It’s also making its SDK available to other developers so they can make their Flappy Bird-like clones work with the plush controller as well if they wish.
“We’re not really concerned,” said Lu. “The changes are significant enough. We’re really doing this for fun.”
If crowdfunded, the company hopes to ship Flappy Toy in May.