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iOS Game Review: 'Swing Copters'

The "best score" says it all.
Dong Nguyen/.Gears

Swing Copters on iOS


Dong Nguyen, creator of Flappy Bird, is back on the App Store.

Swing Copters was clearly made to be in the same vein of the wildly popular Flappy Bird, but the result could not be more disappointing.

The game features the same primitive, 2-D graphics as Nguyen’s last game, but the difference with this title is that it’s roughly 20-million times more frustrating.

The controls are sloppy and inconsistent, and that raises the difficulty curve to unimaginable heights. If you like to advance past the first reasonable milestone within your first 50 tries of playing a game — Swing Copters is not for you.

Many critics lauded Flappy Bird for its simplicity, challenging gameplay and ability to become addictive. But Nguyen definitely missed this time in terms of replay value.

Think back to how many attempts in Flappy Bird it took you to reach five or 10 tubes passed. For anyone who grew up playing video games, or even casual users, it was likely less than 20. Swing Copters has experienced gamers going 50 tries without eclipsing two sections passed.

The genius part about Flappy Bird is that the mechanic was incredibly intuitive. There’s a rhythm involved that users can wrap their heads around. The controls for Swing Copters are so hideously difficult that it makes the game virtually unplayable after about four minutes.

A large slice of the gaming community is all for a challenge, but the improbability of any reasonable progression is beyond annoying.

Nguyen definitely deserves success as an innovative game developer. After all, the guy took the tubes from Super Mario Bros, added a stupid-looking bird and made a ton of money in advertising revenue. If that’s not the American dream…

Swing Copters will undoubtedly have great success. It’s currently the No. 2 Overall Free app on the App Store, but you have to wonder about its longevity as long as it’s this frustrating.

The last thing that has insiders in the industry curious — how many people will just keep playing because “Flappy Bird guy” made it?

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