The Flappy Bird phenomenon will never die. Although the game has been pulled from the App Store, the addictive little Bird has spawned a million clones, and been ported to all manner of devices, including Android and Windows Phone smartphones, as well as the Mac.
But what you’re about to see might just be the ultimate Flappy Bird port. It’s Flappy Bird running on a vintage Apple IIc, at an astonishing 60 frames per second.
Called Flapple Bird, the game was programmed by developer Dagen Brock, who spent six weeks programming the port in his spare time. It might not look like much, but it required some pretty Herculean coding to get done. Brock writes:
I spent way more time on this than I had intended. I wanted to just hack out a junky version over the weekend and get on with things, but of course nothing ever works out that way…
But I wanted to prove a point. I wanted my version to run at 60 FPS on a 1MHz Apple IIe with no flicker. So at the end of the first two weeks I realized that my generalized drawing code wouldn’t be fast enough. I spent it took another two weeks to find time at night and on weekends to optimize all of the drawing routines. Finally after a month I had a pretty much optimized game engine.
Flapple Bird will run on any Apple II, or Apple II emulators. There’s even an emulated web version. Imagine an alternate universe where we had Flappy Bird to play on our old Apple IIs, alongside Oregon Trail and Zork.