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.
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Tired of Tapping