The road to the White House, much like the effort it takes to set a high score in Flappy Bird, is long and difficult. So it only makes sense that the Washington Post would combine everybody’s favorite unforgiving mobile game with the never-ending presidential campaign cycle.
The result of the mash up is Floppy Candidate, a game for Android and iOS that takes all of the surprisingly similar frustrations caused by Flappy Bird and politics and puts them in a single app. The game is essentially a clone of the viral smash from 2013 but with pixelated heads of presidential candidates put in place of the titular bird.
“The first prototype, when we replaced the bird with our Donald Trump emoji and everyone laughed — we knew we were on to something,” Washington Post director of digital products and design Joey Marburger told Mashable.
If you’re looking for a game the recreates the anger-inducing difficulty of the original Flappy Bird, you’re best off trying one of the litany of clones that litters the App Store; the Washington Post has opted to tweak the challenge settings to be a little more user friendly.
It has added a new element of gameplay to the tile, though: trivia.
Scattered throughout the map of monuments and other relevant structures (like Hillary Clinton’s email servers) are quiz questions tied to news about the candidates. You’ll run into questions that will press you on what Donald Trump’s secret service codename is, or what Ben Carson thinks was stored in the Egyptian pyramids.
The optional knowledge obstacles add to your score and have the unintentional side effect of creating a more informed electorate. The print industry may be dying, but at least the Washington Post has found a way to get the news to the people.For the time being, playable candidates include Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and of course Donald Trump. The true challenge of the game won’t be answering trivia but avoiding the temptation to just smack Trump’s head into the nearest obstacle.
More candidates are said to be on the way soon, with unique levels and candidates-specific questions accompanying them. Even if presidential politics aren’t your thing, you can probably find something to enjoy in the satiric take on the topic. If nothing it’s it’s a reminder that following politics is pretty much just like playing Flappy Bird: impossibly hard, inevitably fruitless, and for some unexplained reason entirely addicting.