Flappy Bird clone makes its way to your smartwatch

Run for the hills. Flopsy Droid, a clone of the infamous mobile gaming sensation, has found its way to smartwatches running Android Wear.

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Sebastian Mauer

It has enveloped phone screens, ruined productivity, invaded dreams -- maybe even broken up marriages? And now, it's on your wrist.

The smartphone hit Flappy Bird, in one of its innumerable distillations, has made its way to Google's mobile operating system for smartwatches, Android Wear, a little under two weeks after the launch of Wear's full software development kit at the I/O developers conference.

If there is any singular time that will be remembered as wearable technology's "iPhone moment," when devices on our wrists that communicate with our smartphones are on the verge of becoming ubiquitous, it is now.

The game is appropriately called Flopsy Droid and is a clone -- a term for a game that shamelessly borrows the core gameplay mechanics of another title -- of Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen's mobile creation. Flappy Bird remains absent from smartphone app stores since Nguyen pulled it down earlier this year.

In place of our iconic Super Mario-inspired feathered friend, Flopsy Droid features Android's titular logo as a floating specter representing everything that's wrong with modern society. Thrown together by developer Sebastian Maurer, the title does in fact mark one of Android Wear's first gaming experiences designed specifically for the wrist. The game is a bit choppy, says TechCrunch's Greg Kumparak, who tried the game on a LG G Watch, but does theoretically activate by saying, "Ok Google -- start Flopsy Droid." Maurer called it an experimental attempt at designed games for Wear.

Maurer also released the source code publicly on GitHub. That means we can only assume that more Flappy Bird riffs will make their way to watches everywhere considering that, at the height of the game's popularity back in February, Flappy Bird clones were popping up on Apple's iOS App Store every 24 minutes.

Currently, Samsung's Gear Live watch and the LG G Watch are the only two devices on the market running Android Wear. Motorola's Moto 360 is on the way later this summer and handful of devices are slated to soon follow from other hardware manufacturers.

At the very least, this should be a celebratory moment for wearable tech enthusiasts. Now, you can stand in public and not only stare down at a device -- diverting eyes from other human beings in a quest for a high score devoid of any meaning and imparting nothing but existential dread -- but you can do so in a way that makes it look like you're conducting important business on your futuristic time piece. The dream has been realized.

 

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