Move over Pokemon GO. There's a new king in town, and it's "the world's #1 cliff diving game."
How many other games it had to beat out to earn that distinction is something I simply can't tell you. It could be that there are a bunch of other cliff diving titles I simply haven't encountered, but even if that's true, I'd wager none of them ever ascended to the top of the App Store in countries all over the world like Flip Diving.
That means the only logical thing to do is to dive right in -- pun intended -- to try to discover why Miniclip's latest has made such a big splash.
What is Flip Diving?
Though App Annie has been tracking the game since March, Flip Diving really burst onto the scene with the release of its current version earlier this month. Developed by Finnish studio MotionVolt Games, it starts out with a warning that the dives you see in it are modeled after those done by professionals. Don't try this when you're not at home, in other words.
At its heart is really simple but well-honed one-touch gameplay. Your diver starts off knowing only one trick, a front flip. You hold down to prepare to jump and release to start him on his way toward the water.
During the dive, you can tap and hold to get the diver to flip, and release to get him to straighten out. The idea is to get him to either enter the water leading with the head or feet, because a belly flop will end your round. It's not as easy as it sounds because the realistic physics require you to account for the rotation from different heights on the cliff.
Why it's so addictive
It starts with the mechanics, which hit the sweet spot between accessibility and challenge. Anyone can pick up and grasp Flip Diving right away, but it takes some time to actually get good at it.
There's also just enough to keep you playing, as you can collect coins to earn new tricks, different divers, and alternate places from which to dive. Rewards are dished out randomly via a prize wheel, something that falls right in line with current mobile gaming trends and probably adds to the compulsion to keep playing if we're being honest.
MotionVolt also made several player-friendly design decisions, including the lack of an energy system and no need for an internet connection to play.
What made its timing right
It's probably not a coincidence that Flip Diving made its rise right during the Rio 2016 Olympics. Even though there's not all that much similarity between what you're doing in the game and what you saw people do off the springboard and platform, the Games are pretty much the only time that diving is in the public consciousness in a significant way.
So right game at the right time? Sure seems like that. Mobile games don't have to be complicated to be fun and catch on like wildfire, and this is one that proves it. Check it out and we almost guarantee you'll find yourself getting swept up in cliff diving, probably for the first time ever.