Pugo - the Story Behind Flappy Bird Philippine Version

By @judithaparri on

When Vietnamese Dong Nguyen from Hanoi took his Flappy Bird from Google Play and App Store in February, many Flappy Bird clones surfaced as game devotees were upset and want to resurrect the addictive video game. The Guardian reported that almost 1/3 of the new games that were in Apple App Store are Flappy Bird clones.

Apple then took measures to get rid of clones, at least those that sound similar to Flappy Bird. However, there is an app which made it to the digital store despite the whirlwind, this time from Filipino designers Patrick and Camy Cabral. The game's name does not bear "Flappy", but a bird's name which is native of the Philippines - Pugo.

According to a Philippine website Minda News, a few days after Pugo stays in the Philippine App Store, it already occupied the top spot, and captivated the hearts of mobile gamers who loved Flappy Bird; and the reason is quite transparent. While inheriting the simplicity of the Flappy Bird video game, Pugo adds up its cheerfulness and cuteness which is uniquely Filipino.

The Filipino bird's feathers are colored pink, purple, white and fuschia and the tiny bird explores a forest while a jolly sound plays in the background. It can go miles in avoiding obstacles. If it picks up a Philippine flag, it acquires extra life and avoids "game over". Pugo is in the first version so the graphics may not appear really smooth. Also, the audio sounds choppy at times.

Just like Flappy Bird, Pugo's core is simplicity - bird travelling at speed but needs to hurdle the obstacles on the way. It has the same "taste" of Flappy Bird addiction, getting everyone with smartphones tap the screens enjoyably.

In an interview with Minda News, newly-married couple Patrick and Camy both developed Pugo, with Patrick taking the risk of using the supposed honeymoon money for the video game instead. He downloaded materials, tutorials and took online classes while Camy went on with her job as an art director of a company that developed games. However, her company closed and while looking for jobs, they played with various game concepts until they came across Flappy Bird.

The couple who wed just last October thought it would be great to put enhancements to Flappy Bird with their artistic and creative skills; but that was just an idea. However, barely two days after their experiment, they learned about Flappy Bird taken down from the App Store. Thus, they thought they really need to continue with the endeavor. Pugo was then born.

When asked why name "Pugo", the couple said that eating kwek-kwek (a street food that are boiled small quail eggs served with sweet sour sauce also called "pugo") is something that they love doing.

For now, Pugo is available for free at the Apple Store. Google Play will have it soon.

Join the Discussion