iPhone game entirely made of emoji released by 19 year old student

We can look back at the tremendously popular iOS game Flappy Bird and instantly see how simply designed it is; one-touch controls paired with colorful, blocky sprites. Well, a 19 year old Russian student may have just taken the simple design factor to a new level, with his game Emoji Cosmos made of nothing but emoji.Emoji Cosmos, available for free on the App Store, plays like a mashup of Flappy Bird and Galaga, with you controlling a rocket ship flying straight up into space, and needing to avoid obstacles by moving left or right. These obstacles are the emoji of a moon with a face, the passengers on the ship are represented by different head/face emoji, and your score and movement arrows are the light blue block emoji. When your ship explodes after colliding with a moon rock? Fireworks emoji.

Creator Ivan Grachyov, who studies computer science at Moscow State University, says the idea of using emoji as graphics was intentional from the beginning, partly as a way of bypassing the need for an artist, but also because the icons "definitely have their own charms." He says he made the first prototype of the game in about two weeks, and later submitted the final version to the App Store in September after having built it with Swift, Apple's new programming language.

The result is a game that ranks right up there with Flappy Bird in the easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master category. You will crash, seconds after starting, many times. And yet that itch to try again and again will keep nagging at you. The game may be free, but expect to pay with your free time once you're hooked.