From the title alone, it's pretty easy to tell that Frenchy Bird is yet another in the line of Flappy Bird imitators released on the Wii U eShop. Yet whereas some of its competitors have been content to merely replicate the feel of the original, Frenchy Bird makes the bold move of replicating it with personality. Goofy music, surprisingly decent graphics and unlockable stamps to post on Miiverse make this arguably the definitive clone of Dong Nguyen's original sensation on Nintendo platforms. Of course, that isn't saying much considering the fact that Flappy Bird itself "borrowed" quite a few elements from other games, but if you've got to subject yourself to this sort of thing, you won't find a better way on Wii U.

It's difficult to discuss a game in detail that has so little to offer in the gameplay department. One of the particularly confusing things about Frenchy Bird — and all the other versions of this same concept that came before it — is the fact that it appears on a home console at all. Clearly, these simplistic stylings were better served on mobile devices, where people have a vested interest in wasting time. There's simply not much to experience here: just repeatedly hit the button to avoid the obstacles jutting out from the top and bottom of the screen until you eventually fail. This was a novelty when it first appeared in 2013 (and was little more than a guilty pleasure among those who did find themselves playing extensively), but almost two years later this idea has been shamelessly repeated time and time again with almost no variation. It would be remarkable if your interest were held more than a few minutes at most — and you don't need to be an economics expert to know that isn't a very good value, even for $1.99.

Frenchy Bird does deserve a little credit, though. It manages to infuse a bit more personality into these tired proceedings than you might expect thanks to an appealing presentation. The graphics are fairly simple, but the use of 3D models and a different angle of perspective are nice touches. Miiverse integration with unlockable stamps is an interesting addition as well, especially since there's not a whole lot of conversation to be had about the game itself, but hey — you can unlock a baguette stamp, which pretty much blows all prior stamps out of the water. Bonus points for the game's whimsically stereotypical French accordion music, which admittedly did give this reviewer one chuckle upon starting the game up. That's one more chuckle than fellow flapping title Flapp & Zegeta got.


If you can afford the luxury of paying $1.99 for a few minutes of amusement, maybe Frenchy Bird's your thing. For the rest of us, however, the charming presentation — while a nice break from the usual blandness of these clones — is not nearly enough to justify the asking price. This is the same recycled thing we've seen over and over in the two years since Dong Nguyen had a surprise hit, and it's high time this vapid avian adventure took a permanent vacation.