Spiral Review – The spiritual successor to Flappy Bird?

Thomas Wellburn
February 14, 2017

Spiral is a fiendishly simple endless runner that takes the best from games such as Flappy Bird but manages to carve a niche through its own quirkiness.

The comparisons to Flappy Bird are obvious from the start. It’s infuriating, simple and immensely difficult. If there was ever another game that could cause people to throw handsets in sheer anger, this could be a real competitor.

Graphically, things are colourful and fully 3D. Watching the ball trickle down is strangely hypnotic, while the sci-fi sound effects add a subtle ambiance to the game.

The concept of Spiral is simple; just jump the ball over obstacles as it rolls down a spiral slide. Much like Flappy Bird, it’s another endless runner that sounds incredibly easy on paper. Put it into practice and you’ll soon realise that even reaching a score of 10 feels like a monumental achievement. There’s no forgiveness in Spiral whatsoever. You’ll get into a comfortable rhythm and then suddenly realise that the obstacles have been shifted slightly forward, destroying your flow and causing insta-death to anyone who dare play it.

Along your journey of pain and frustration, you’ll pick up jewels which can be used to purchase additional balls and spiral arenas. The amount needed is high but not unforgiving, so you’ll need to a fair amount of grinding if you want to get everything.

The comparisons to Flappy Bird are obvious from the start. It’s infuriating, simple and immensely difficult.

An ad-viewing system is in place for those who want to speed things up, offering 20 jewels a time for a 30 second clip. Interestingly, the developers have decided to completely leave out in-app purchases, meaning the only way to really earn jewels is by sheer effort.

On the topic of advertisements, we wouldn’t call it an ad-free experience. There’s plenty of videos in-between menu screens and also every time you die, which only adds to the overall frustration. You can opt for an ad-free experience, though this will incur a one-off fee of £1.69. This is to be expected of a free title and while it can be annoying, we at least appreciate the chance to remove them.

Spiral is one of those perfect commuter games that turns up every once in a while. While it doesn’t reinvent the endless runner genre, the unique and colourful presentation is enough for the game to stand on its own. We can see it attracting a huge following of people desperate to get the next big high score, as the bragging rights alone will be enough to justify grinding on this very difficult game.


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