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'Sesame Street' unveils 'Flappy Bert' as an answer to 'Flappy Bird' withdrawal

"Flappy Bird" was a simple to play yet frustrating to master casual game that spread like wildfire before getting taken down by its creator for one reason or another. As addicted casual gamers scramble to find something for their "Flappy Bird" addiction that doesn't involve shelling hundreds of dollars for a device that has "Flappy Bird" pre-installed, the hit educational children's series"Sesame Street" through its Sesame Workshop website now offers its own version of the flapping, crashing, and frustrating casual game with "Flappy Bert."

Riding along the hit and subsequent disappearance of "Flappy Bird," Sesame Street shows off its own version of the frustrating and addictive game with "Flappy Bert."
Sesame Workshop

"Flappy Bert" has a similar interface and objective that "Flappy Bird" had.

  • There is a bird.
  • It flaps.
  • Tap the game screen to make the bird flap so that it avoids hitting the ground while passing through gaps in pipe columns.
  • Repeat to achieve a high score that may or may not be above 1.

The main visual and game play differences in "Flappy Bert" is that the flapping bird is now carrying Bert from Sesame Street and the visuals have a distinct feel of that very street. And should you inevitably crash, Bert's "Ernie!" whine will surely annoy you or motivate you to play better (or quit altogether). At the very least, the Sesame Workshop does a good job of capturing the look and feel of "Flappy Bird," which was something "Flappy Bird" couldn't do as it looked and felt like something from a Mario game.

While "Flappy Bird" critics may have noted how that game paid homage (read: ripped off) various Nintendo artwork & sound, "Flappy Bert" manages to get away with using "Sesame Street" artwork since the game was produced and uploaded using "Sesame Street" resources via the Sesame Workshop.

"Flappy Bert" is an excellent way to ride the successful wave of a hit fad so that it can bring attention to "Sesame Street." But it's hard to tell what lessons are there for children to learn from this game. Maybe a future Sesame Workshop program will address video game addiction. Or there'll be a Sesame Workshop behind the scenes feature that teaches the skills needed for programming and developing video games.

Or maybe "Flappy Bert" will simply teach children how to rage quit before they understand the term. If that is the case, all "Flappy Bert" needs to do is say that this game was brought to you by the letters "F" and "U."