By Nathan Grayson on February 21st, 2014 at 10:00 am.
I promised myself I wouldn’t write about any more Flappy-Bird-alikes, but damn it, Delirious Bird is actually really good. I know, I know: I make myself sick too. In penance, I will hurl myself at the nearest 12-foot-tall cartoon pipe just as soon as I’m able. I guess that makes this my final act, assuming real cartoon pipes are the silent monoliths of imperceptible violence videogames have taught me they are. But anyway: Delirious Bird is basically Flappy Bird, except exposed to near-fatal dosages of psychedelic rainbow radiation. The end result? Total madness. And a really cool gameplay mechanic.
The game is actually quite an apt metaphor for the increasing flappiness of human existence, if you think about it. See, the more and more you play, the more you lose your mind. Or at least, your tiny, impossibly-bad-at-being-a-bird avatar does. This causes the level to warp and churn and swirl until pipes start unfurling in your face like barbed whips, and doom is all but certain.
Like most birds, you must also contend with a rampant drug habit in the form of pills at nearly every pipe junction. If you collide with one, you immediately become frighteningly disoriented, with imagery and music spiraling out of control. One pill is more or less manageable (even soothingly rhythmic, in its own way), but two or more spells almost certain disaster.
So you have to bob between pills while also avoiding pipes. Oh, and pills move too, albeit only up and down. Darting between both pipes and pills, however, changes the typical Flappy Bird rhythm ever-so-slightly, and it’s all the more satisfying as a result. Little puck/soap bar/urinal cake objects take the edge off your intoxication, but they are few and far between. Because of that, it’s even more satisfying to stumble through a pill blitz and then reset the rhythm by flutter-crashing into a “health” item. There is, of course, tons of randomness involved, but that’s what keeps you coming back. Well, that and the music, which is strangely excellent (at least, for a single, vaguely unsettling looping track).
Delirious Bird is by no means a masterpiece or the Citizen Kane of Flapping or anything, but it kept me nervously mashing my up key for far longer than I’d like to admit. It’s free, it’s disarmingly mesmerizing, and you can give it a go here.