Dong Nguyen, the Vietnamese app developer behind the hugely popular and insanely difficult Flappy Bird game, is back with a second title - Swing Copters.
Capitalising on the massive publicity gained from Flappy Bird, which soared to the top of the iOS free app charts despite it being impossible to score more than a handful of points, Swing Copters is perhaps even more difficult.
Borrowing a similar design to Flappy Bird - which itself was accused of copying the original Super Mario games - the aim of Swing Copters is to pilot a helicopter vertically while avoiding a neverending assault course of platforms with swinging hammers attached to them.
First off, there are no instructions. You are told to tap the screen, which starts the helicopter, but with no further input it will veer violently to the right, crashing almost immediately. Do you tilt the phone? Do you tap in the direction you want to fly? Do you tap more frequently to go faster?
The game doesn’t say.
After several attempts (and advice from Twitter) I learnt that a single tap changes the direction of the helicopter from right to left, and vice versa. That’s it. The controls are no more advanced than that.
It took about 20 minutes and probably more than 100 attempts to score a single point - a process which takes about three second from takeoff to inevitable crash. I soon cracked the two point barrier and three whole points came before the half-hour mark.
Swearing like a sailor in a storm
Then I gave up. Feeling like I was on the edge of a job-ending, financially-crippling, health-damaging and life-shortening addiction, I gave up. You win, Dong. You’ve created a monster. A monster which taps into that competitive bit of our brain that says you will not be beaten by such a simple game. Moving a helicopter left or right shouldn’t be this hard, and I can’t think of any other game where the softest of contact with anything at all immediately kills you with no chance to recover.
I’ll play it again later - of course I will - and I’ll no doubt swear like a sailor in a storm while trying my hardest to score just four miserable, useless points.
A quick look at the global leaderboard shows it headed by players with more than two BILLION points, so clearly it’s easily hacked. This only adds to the frustration, making this game feel even more like a joke than it already did. The highest ‘real’ scores look to be in the 30s and 40s, while my pitiful attempt doesn’t even register.
There’s nothing else to say. Swing Copters is a ridiculously difficult game with virtually zero reward, no story, a single control, a dull design, uninteresting scenery, graphics which are deliberately rubbish and a points system which can easily be manipulated to show grossly inflated scores.
Now watch it climb to the top of the app charts. Because we’re all stupid.
Swing Copters is, mercifully, free on Android and iOS, or you can remove the adverts for 69p.
App Store link Google Play link