One week ago I would have sworn that Flappy Bird was a case of beautiful dumb luck: some guy threw a bunch of out-of-the-box elements on a screen, and accidentally created a world-wide phenomenon. But after subjecting it to scrupulous analysis during the process of "accurately" cloning it, I discovered so many fundamentally important details that I’m no longer sure it was luck. I'm starting to suspect that Flappy Bird is a minimalist work of gamedev genius.
Hear me out. The magic lies in the way the developer, Dong Nguyen, so sublimely twisted the normal "rules" of game development. He took a handful of well-known, irrefutable game-making adages and threw them to the birds... discarding the usual "must-implements" and implementing the usual "nice-to-haves". But which rules to break, and which to follow? That's the $50,000-dollar-a-day question!