Gaming, Technology, Uncategorized, Video Games

Flappy Bird Vs. Ironpants

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the saga of Flappy Bird. This 8-bit game comes out of nowhere to take the world by storm, and before long, dominates both the App Store and Google Play. Then, just as quickly as it appeared, Flappy Bird’s creator says he’s unhappy with the game, and he decides to pull it from both stores. Just like that, Flappy Bird’s two-week reign came to an end. Now, a new Flappy-esque game is climbing up the ladder: Ironpants. Ironpants is sitting at #4 on the Google Play Store, at time of writing, and it may reach the top spot before long, as players are still in the tapping-to-fly craze. With that being said, which is better: Ironpants or Flappy Bird? Well, both feature similar controls, art styles, and objectives, but oddly enough, the two are pretty different in one key way: difficulty. Read on to see what I have to say about these two addictive games.

In case you somehow don’t know, here’s a quick synopsis of Flappy Bird. Basically, you have this 8-bit, fat, little bird that can’t fly on his own, for some reason. His wings flap once every time you tough the screen. The objective is to navigate him through a hole between two Mario-style pipes; one that sticks up from the ground, and another that comes from the sky. Then, you face another set of pipes… and another, and another. The game doesn’t end until you hit a pipe (or the ground) and die.

In Ironpants, the goal is pretty much the same. You take the role of an 8-bit style superhero who can’t really fly, apparently due to the fact that he’s wearing pants made out of iron. Just like in Flappy Bird, you have to tap continually to keep him in the air as you navigate through obstacles. This time, crates jut out from the ground and sky to impede your progress, and if you hit one, you’re done for.

Before I get into comparing the gameplay of the two, I must first comment on one aspect: the UI. I noticed in Flappy Bird that when you would die, it seemed to take way too long to get back into the action for a second run, especially considering how short each life usually was. In
Ironpants, however, when you die, your options immediately pop onto the screen, and one quick touch sends you to your next attempt in under a second. This is good because it fuels my rage and addiction by allowing me to continue quickly. Anyhow…

In Flappy Bird, as you’re going through a set of pipes, you can already see the next set on the far side of your screen. In Ironpants, this isn’t the case. The two sets of crates are spread out just enough so that you can’t see where you need to go next in enough time to adjust your course accordingly. This makes the game much, much more difficult. Secondly, in Ironpants, you fly much faster. Your screen whizzes by very quickly, so not only can you not see the boxes from far enough away, but once they do appear, they grow closer to your face much faster than the pipes to in Flappy Bird. Again, this doesn’t give you much time to adjust, so oftentimes, you’ll fly straight into a box; there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Also, let’s compare the drop time on both games. I hope you can envision this… For Flappy Bird, you can keep him afloat with a slow beat. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. In Ironpants…. taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap. Literally, in order to keep your overweight hero flying, you must tap the screen constantly. You have the option of holding the screen to keep him afloar, but then he rockets toward the sky, so holding isn’t an option most times. Go too long without tapping, and he drops like a rock; gravity acts on him a lot quicker than it does on Flappy. This makes the Ironpants controls very touchy; you should hope you don’t have an opening near the bottom followed immediately by one at the top; you’ll never make it without going out of control.

With that said, let me show you the final judge of difficulty between Flappy Bird and Ironpants. In any given Flappy Bird run, I can usually score above 20 or so without really trying. My high score is 113. In Ironpants, it takes all I have just to get 5, and my high score is a mere 11. Yes, it’s that much harder.

So, if you’re in for an insane challenge that makes no sense, go for Ironpants. If you want a challenge, but not too much of a challenge, I would suggest Flappy Bird… but he’s gone forever now.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed! Leave a like or a follow if you wouldn’t mind, and consider checking out the Let’s Play Channels in my “Links” tab.

Tired of Tapping
Matt

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4 thoughts on “Flappy Bird Vs. Ironpants”

  1. Most any game consists of repetitive mechanics when broken down far enough to perhaps(?) miss the forest for the trees, making it come down to the mechanics that you enjoy painted a particular colour from amongst other colours. That’s not a cynical statement, it’s a matter of fact when, as I said, one gets close enough to miss the forest for the trees.

    With that said, Flappy Bird is fucking stupid, mindless and a demonstration of what the hell is wrong with video games. Ironpants looks to be the same way. It’s not a platformer broken down to its barest essentials like some other indie platformers, it’s quite literally repeating not a set of mechanics but one action over and over again through various obstacles. While some platformers are about maintaining a particular rhythm I wouldn’t call any of them as mindless as Flappy Bird, a game that seems to say ‘just try to fuck with this bird and get it through this area while you’re waiting for the bus’.

    I would offer that Ironpants occupies the same territory. There is a better way to spend time gaming and it isn’t a subjective matter of taste, it’s a matter of fact.

    1. I agree with you, to a point. Yeah, Flappy Bird (and all the clones that are popping up, including Ironpants) are stupid, pointless, and all the like. That’s definitely true. But I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is “what’s wrong with video games.” I mean, I wouldn’t actually PAY to play this game, precisely because it’s stupid, pointless, and all the like. On the other hand, it does a great job at being the go to game, as you said, while waiting for the bus, waiting for class to start, etc.

      It’s just a time waster, and I’m sure the developer full well knew that when he made the game. In any case, it is a great conversation point as well. Bragging to my friends about a better Flappy score is fun, and of course, pointless. But it occupies the 5 minutes before class, and as long as we’re all aware that this is the only purpose of these idiotic games, then it’s not necessarily anything wrong with gaming.

      When we get to the point that we think this is worth paying for, then oh yes, we will have a problem.

      Who knows, maybe they’re even have early Beta access for Flappy Bird 2; I know that would make you so happy, wouldn’t it? Hahaha XD

  2. “I mean, I wouldn’t actually PAY to play this game, precisely because it’s stupid, pointless, and all the like. On the other hand, it does a great job at being the go to game, as you said, while waiting for the bus, waiting for class to start, etc. […] It’s just a time waster, and I’m sure the developer full well knew that when he made the game. In any case, it is a great conversation point as well. Bragging to my friends about a better Flappy score is fun, and of course, pointless.”

    The problem is demonstrated above, however I will break it down:
    (1) the game is developed by people in an attempt to make money;
    (2) the user is unwilling to pay for it;
    (3a) the user admits that it is a time killer rather than a time filler AND
    (3b) the user admits that it is enjoyable;
    (4) the user, and presumably the user’s friends, compare high scores.

    What this boils down to is that there IS a demand for this sort of thing because people enjoy it, knowing full and well that it is merely wasting time as opposed to filling time, however people are loathe to actually pay for it. This generates a demand for something that panders to the lowest common denominator and sets up the environment for aggressive payment models in an attempt to get something for the work done from the small fraction willing to pay.

    “When we get to the point that we think this is worth paying for, then oh yes, we will have a problem.”

    We are already at this point and it is both the refusal to pay for something that brings enjoyment with a significant portion finding enjoyment in not filling time but killing time that video games have come to this point with bugs, inappropriate DLC and all of the other problems. I’d like to compare it to the whole thing with Napster in the early 2000’s because, truth be told, the impetus is the same.

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