FLAPPY FIGHTER by AAPCOM: iOS Review
It seems everybody's in a flap about Flappy Fighter and "It's all blowing-up on Twitter!" For co-developers, Andrew and Danny Baxter. What, on its surface, appears to be nothing more than a gimmick (and you'd be forgiven for presuming so), might actually be the best Fighter currently available on the App Store.
After downloading completely out of curiosity, and with low expectation, I found myself to be rather pleasantly surprised after a few rounds with Flappy.
Aapcom have taken a fistful of inspiration from aesthetics, another from the gameplay of both Flappy Bird (in a sense) and Street Fighter II, mixed them up with a third fist of secret ingredients of their own creation and concocted a recipe of something pretty palatable. There's a fine line between homage and copyright infringement, but I believe the Baxters have got as close to the right side of that line as they safely can --toes touching maybe? Let's pray.
Shortly after opening the .app and a comical intro, you are presented with the title screen. Here, there are options to fight, train or choose 'how to play'. A short tutorial, if you will. That, introduces you to the virtual on-screen controls, and lets you know how to navigate to the pause menu. Here, you will find options to toggle the training buttons, view your fighter's command list and exit the game. At the title screen, you can also tap the fighters to change their colours, (more can be found in the shop or by winning an unlock after watching an ad, though you could just win a duplicate.) There are too, buttons to view your stats, as well as Game Center (gone, but not forgotten) leaderboards and achievements, the aforementioned shop, (where you can also remove ads for £2.99 and restore purchases) and links to Flappy Fighter's Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Going in blind, Flappy Fighter initially feels like a button-masher. You can win with that method, but after spending some time in Training Mode, you'll come to realise there's in fact a certain amount of depth involved. This realisation came to me after practising combos there. See, in addition to left and right dash and your super combo meter, there are only four buttons, but some of these act differently, depending on your distance from your opponent, i.e. button 3 from a distance, is a fireball, but up close, it's a jab or low kick.
The left and right dash buttons, also double as block buttons. Blocking fills your super combo meter. Tapping this when full unleashes your super combo. Time it right, and you may just pull off a Super K.O. In any case, it's good to practise stringing hits together and building combos. Players have already managed to do round-winning perfect combinations and they look amazing! I've not done so myself yet, but it must feel awesome too! As well as practising, it's good to up the difficulty in Fight Mode shortly after you've unlocked it. This will help you up your game.
It's very clever, somewhat challenging, but most of all --great fun! Flappy Fighter is visually and audibly sound, runs superbly, and aside from the obvious, it has tactics akin to those of Street Fighter II, and a draw like that of Flappy Bird.
The only caveat for me, was discovering what the developers meant by a 'new fight next week!' After updating, your stats are reset and the previous fighter/s have gone. I guess stats are reset because you're facing a new challenger, but I thought the roster was actually going to be added to, as opposed to the fighter/s being replaced. So, right now, it's actually Splashy Fighter as Flappy has been swapped out. Hopefully this will change. I believe a lot of players are asking for multiplayer too, and that would be kind of cool. Just please don't remove the option to play offline against AI opponents. That ability is definitely one of the attractions for me and I'd hate to see it go. Chances are, if you're a Fighter fan, Aapcom's wonderful creation will be a welcomed addition to your collection. If you are not, well, you may just find it fun anyway. It's free, so why not give it a try, and if you like it, let the developers know by leaving a review on the App Store or support them by buying an in-app purchase. Let Flappy Fighter evolve! #flappyfighteristhebestfighter
With the likes of Street Fighter II and the Mortal Kombat trilogy long gone from the App Store and not too many worthy alternative substitutes to mention, Flappy Fighter certainly fills a gap. I only hope it stays around much longer than its wayward predecessors, ( Flappy Bird included.) I'm looking forward to more content, and who knows? Flappy Fighter may end up on other platforms someday, heck I'd not rule out stumbling upon an arcade cabinet in the future. Flappy Fighter 2048 anyone?
A couple of weeks ago when it was initially released, I captured some gameplay of Flappy Fighter. Since then, I've decided to start building a YouTube playlist, which you can find on my channel. This will potentially be a growing compilation of the new fights each week, so be sure to subscribe or check back every seven days or so, if you'd like to see more.