As Flappy Bird bites the dust, we round up the next big free apps looking to take its crown at the top of the App Store.
The decision of Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen to remove his hit app from the App Store because it was ruining his “simple life” has been met with outrage across social media, as users mourn the demise of the tiny pixelated pest.
Now that Flappy Bird is gone, what other free apps are vying to take its place? The new number one free download is Ironpants, in which users press and hold the screen of their device to propel along a small superhero through a series of boxy obstacles. So far, so familiar. Riding high in second place is Fly Birdie – Flappy Bird Flyer, another cleverly named game very similar to the dearly departed app, which involves tapping the screen “to make the birdie fly”.
Distinct homages aside, we take a look at the five best free games currently available to download:
Dumb Ways to Die
Released as an app in May 2013, Dumb Ways to Die originated from an Australian public service announcement to promote safety around railways. Players can choose from 15 mini games to save a variety of brightly-coloured characters from a series of unfortunates deaths – including gnashing by piranha, eating glue and removing forks from toasters. Currently number 24 in the free app chart, Dumb Ways to Die is available for iOS and Android.
If you just can’t break the habit of tapping to avoid obstacles, iCopter classic could be the one to fill the Flappy-shaped hole in your life. Touching the screen propels your mini copter along, while releasing your hold causes it to drop down in the school of vintage arcade games. Avoid touching the walls and various obstacles to achieve your high score. Available on iOS and Android, it was originally released as an app in 2009.
Hungry Shark Evolution
Make the switch from an oddly-proportioned bird to a cold-blooded killer shark in Hungry Shark Evolution, the fifth incarnation of the hit game. Swim through the seas chomping on unsuspecting turtles, swimmers and fishermen to grow from a pup to a 10-foot Great White in 45 mini missions. Currently 185 in the free downloads chart, it could well be time for a shark attack come back. Available for iOS and Android.
Flick Champions Winter Sports
Get into the Sochi spirit with Flick Champions Winter Sports, currently number 43 in the free downloads chart. Choose a nation to represent in seven winter sports including slalom, ski jumping, ice hockey and ice skating and compete for 18 cups. Flick and swipe the screen of your device to control your little character in their race for gold. Available for iOS and Android.
A beautifully simple game, JellyCar puts you in the driving seat of a squishy car attempting to navigate a soft-physic world. Touch your device in the direction you’d like to drive your car, and tap your car to inflate it beyond its normal size. Available on iOS and Android.