Version Played: Android – Out Now (Free) – by Zomdad Studioz
Mobile games have a pretty crappy reputation, but there’s clearly a huge audience out there for them. ‘Real’ gamers are pretty snobby about them and with the droves of shovelware available – not to mention games that would be half decent if it weren’t for predatory monetisation and/or gambling style practices – it’s easy to see why. With console and PC games publishers learning entirely the wrong lessons from mobile gaming – in terms of the dollar signs they clearly see from these aforementioned practices, it’s clear that gamers see mobile gaming as the source of many of the issues we currently have with companies such as EA, Activision and WB Games.
They have a point, but it seems unfair to generalise and tar all mobile games with the same brush. As with console and PC games, there are also games that don’t go near these types of tactics, though of course small indie games do still need to find ways to make money from their projects, without charging for them upfront (the race to the bottom on mobile for game prices is a very real issue).
There’s also been a number of astonishing breakout hits on mobile. From the phenomenon that was Angry Birds, to the incredible success of games such as Words With Friends, we’ve seen polished, addictive and even social experiences come to fruition that would likely have never existed otherwise. Flappy Bird was a weird little game that somehow caught everyone’s attention; taking graphical cues from Super Mario World, of all things, it was an infuriating little game that saw you tap on the screen in an attempt to keep your bird from hitting obstacles on a procedurally generated course. It was simple, it was stupid – and no one could get enough, for a little while at least.
It’s this type of game that Tappy Turdz both parodies and apes; just from the puerile pun of the title, it’s clear where the developers are going with this. And, pardon the language, it’s perhaps the most deliberately shitty game you’ll have played. Not in gameplay, of course – but in subject matter. Rather than being a bird, your character is – yep – a turd. Albeit with wings, trailing chunks of corn and fart noises.
Like Flappy Bird, it’s a game that you’ll install and play for a minute, wonder what all the fuss is about, then find yourself still playing half an hour later, having only achieved a high score of 16 in that time. It’s infuriating, it’s stupid, it’s full of toilet humour (which I’m sure I didn’t need to tell you!) and it’s maddeningly addictive.
I’m not quite sure what it is about these games that’s so compelling. Perhaps it’s that razor thin line between success and failure; when you lose (and one hit ends your run entirely, so it’s pretty challenging), you always feel like you were a split second away from succeeding and that you’ll do better next time. You don’t always do better, of course, but with a new run just a few taps away and usually lasting seconds at a time, the compulsion to give it just one more shot is ever present.
There’s an in game shop where you can buy cosmetic items, but they seem very highly priced at thousands of coins each (especially when you consider that the highest score on the leaderboard right now is at less than 300). You can’t polish a turd but you can strap a rocket pack onto it or give it a top hat and monocle, apparently.
Though free to download and ad supported, the ads appear as banners at the top of the screen and are generally unintrusive in my experience so far, which is good to see. There’s no monetisation, beyond that – so often, mobile games fall into the trap of having decent enough gameplay with horrendous in-game economies to encourage spending; though items are, as I mentioned, somewhat overpriced in-game, at least you have to grind towards getting them without spending real money.
So there you have it. Somehow I’ve managed to spend far more time than I anticipated tapping my phone screen to make an apparently sentient, winged lump of crap attempt to fly through the sewers. I’m surprised by how addictive it is. Tappy, flappy, crappy and worth a
shit shot – you never know, I may just have found you the ideal game to play on the toilet. You’re welcome, dear reader.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this – or any of my other content – it’d be much appreciated if you’re able to share this article via social media. I’d also be forever grateful if you’re able to support me via: Ko-Fi.com/geekmid or PayPal – all of my work is provided for free and I earn no income from the blog, so any donations are gratefully received and assist me in keeping my writing dream alive. Above all else though, thanks for reading – I truly appreciate it!