Much as we may not like to admit it, Flappy Bird was a legitimately clever game. Taking its extraordinarily simple premise, it wrapped the challenging gameplay in a coat of exceedingly charming paint, masking the constant frustration it ought to have elicited and instead gave players the drive to do better. Within the confines of cheap, too-close-to-Mario sprites and one-note gameplay, it garnered a massive following as people joined together to play with – and against – their friends. Flappy Bird worked because it was simple. It did exactly what it needed to do; had it been any more fancy, any more complicated, any more detailed, it would not have become the phenomenon that it was.
If you can afford the luxury of paying $1.99 for a few minutes of amusement, maybe Frenchy Bird's your thing. For the rest of us, however, the charming presentation — while a nice break from the usual blandness of these clones — is not nearly enough to justify the asking price. This is the same recycled thing we've seen over and over in the two years since Dong Nguyen had a surprise hit, and it's high time this vapid avian adventure took a permanent vacation.
Do not get this score wrong, Frenchy Bird is one of the worst games out there. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It seems to have passed the developer's head, by a distance that has to be measured in light years to get a graspable number, that Flappy Bird was by no means made to be taken as a serious game. However, without that comedic aspect, Frenchy Bird just becomes a fool, and the worst thing with the fool is that it is painfully obvious to everyone but themselves that they are indeed a fool. However, those stamps make it impossible to simply give the game a score of one. Frenchy Bird could, however, become so much better if a patch was added that introduced a cheat code to just unlock the stamps from the off, making it into a way more tempting €1.99 four stamps pack.
But while Carbon Fire Studio has demonstrated it has real talent behind it in its first game, I find it to be a lot of effort wasted because I can't look past the fact that this game costs money. It's pocket change, sure, but it's still the cost of a coffee. A coffee I could then buy and drink while playing Flappy Bird or one of its dozens of free clones on my iPhone or iPad - portable platforms that are far more appropriate for this kind of experience.
It's Flappy Bird with 3D graphics and a stereotypically French art direction some, myself included, might find charming. Some might find the ultra simple gameplay addicting. Miiverse Stamps! Appropriately cheap.