With every successful app, there will be app clones. The sneaky (and sometimes flimsy) replications of popular games always seem to flood the app stores after the games go viral. We don’t have to look too far for examples – earlier this year games like Flappy Bird and 2048 plagued our minds and, soon after, our app stores. The parade of app clones with names like Splashy Fish and Flappy Crocodile began to pick up steam, with every other developer creating low quality versions to ride on the coat tails of these simple but addictive games.
That is the price of simplicity. The world of game development is so accessible that people could even replicate these simple games at the drop of a ball.
It wouldn’t really come to a surprise to you that when creator of Flappy Bird Dong Nguyen released his new game, Swing Copters, the app stores instantly flooded with shameless app clones. Not only were majority of these games also named ‘Swing Copters’, but some developers even attempted to make their names similar to Dong Nguyen’s, with ‘Dong Developers’ or ‘Nguyen Ha Dong’ amongst the many culprits. This ‘viral leech’ problem only serves to discourage real innovation in the app game community, especially when game developers put in serious thought into game design and original titles only to get ripped off by the hundreds of people trying to make a quick buck.
App Store Crackdown
Many have noticed that a few days after the initial flood of ‘Swing Copter clones’, the app stores look significantly different. A search on Swing Copters today on the ITunes Store is not as likely to look as chaotic as on Thursday, when the game was launched. Sure, it isn’t free from clones, but it is arguably better. According to an article on TechCrunch, the clones are caught and rejected during the Apple review process.
Google Play is also looking significantly better, with Nguyen’s original game taking the first spot, and the clones that made it through the review net looking quite different from it’s source of inspiration.
It is a relief that after years of game cloning that have sparked so many game disputes (Candy Crush Saga creator had sued the creator of CandySwipe, an eerily similar game that came out two years earlier), the app stores are finally doing something about the app clones. The process may not be perfect yet, but it does help keep the hapless developers trying to make easy money at bay.
One Tap For Instant Addiction
A piece of advice for anything thinking of trying out the Swing Copters game – don’t. Despite the facts that it is created by the same creator as Flappy Bird, and feels exactly like Flappy Bird, I was still lured into it by the same curiosity as the viral hype of Flappy Bird.
On starting the game, it prompted me to simply ‘tap to play’. You can imagine what happened next. After I smashed into the right wall of the game in the first tap, I spent the next hour furiously getting past my high score of 1. It is pretty much like Flappy Bird, except moving up instead of sideways, and with swinging hammers of doom.
This game will likely not pick up the same viral insanity as Flappy Bird – people should know better by now – but it does not mean that it will not be as successful. According to Google Play, Swing Copters already has 500,000 – 1,000,000 downloads as of August 24th.
This review written by username Mardiff712 pretty much sums it up. It was accompanied by a one star rating on the ITunes Store:
“There was once a time when I could breathe freely. I can still see the beautiful flowers in the meadow over the horizon, yet I can no longer experience these senses.
My story begins on August 21st, 2014, on a dark and stormy night in the App Store. At number four, I spotted Swing Copters, made by Dong Nguyen, notorious for destroying the lives and dreams of many after creating his world famous app, Flappy Bird. However, avoiding all signs, I ignored the warnings and downloaded the game. It’s been 38 minutes since I played my first time, and I’ve already began to realize my mistake. After 5 minutes. The tears began. However, completely unaware of everything happening outside of the devil’s game, I proceeded, still ignoring all signs of impending doom. At the 15 minute mark, my smoking addiction began. Since then, I’ve gone through 14 and a half packs and I can feel the cancer in my lungs. So, to all of those still with their whole lives ahead of them who haven’t downloaded this game, I leave you at this:
Beware. This game is not for the light-hearted, or the heavy-hearted or anyone in between. As Dumbledore once said, “For anyone not wishing to suffer a most painful death, [do not download Swing Copters].”
I may have paraphrased a bit, but the lesson is the same.
This game will end you. There is no return. Take it from me. You will never, ever, return from the depths of Tartarus once you download this game.”