“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit comfortably on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau
Flutter Away is a short, cosy, nature exploration and photography game set in the Amazon rainforest. Players take on the role of a butterfly researcher and can take cute photos, meet animal friends and keep a journal of all the important discoveries!
Developer: Runaway Play
Released: 3rd August 2023
Narrative and Gameplay
Flutter Away’s butterfly-researching protagonist is on a camping trip for five days. The player gets a journal, camera and a stick that can be used to entice butterflies allowing for a closer look. The camera can be used at any time with photos being stored in the journal. Each day there are three butterfly species to discover, four goals for each day and each night as well as animal friends to engage with and a number of hidden objects to find.
The journal is where all butterfly information and photographs are documented, along with more traditional journal entries, extra photos and the goals for each day. Goals include things such as photographing specific creatures, plants or landmarks, setting up camp, and sitting to relax for a while. However, players can also do other things such as explore different areas as they unlock, photograph a variety of things and befriend an adorable capybara. The game world is quite small, with a campsite and three short paths to explore, however, there is a nice range of things to observe and discover and the area feels adequate for Flutter Away’s short playtime.
The gameplay has a very casual and relaxing pace, it offers laid-back activities and exploration and does not present any challenging elements. Simple and intuitive keyboard and mouse controls add to the laid-back feel of the experience and solidify it as a family-friendly title. It will take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete with a small amount of replayability in the form of in-game achievements.
Flutter Away has jolly 3D visuals with vibrant colour palettes and atmospheric lighting. The Amazon rainforest makes for a delightful setting for the game and the art style does a lovely job of representing it. The background music is relaxing and serene, making the perfect accompaniment to the experience and the relaxing ambient nature sound effects help bring the colourful jungle setting to life. It has some variety to help keep things interesting but is coherent and seamless in its transition. The ambient sound effects, such as birds tweeting or rain falling, are convincing and well-implemented, adding to the sense of immersion. The overall aesthetic is colourful and expressive and suits the style and pace of gameplay as well as the narrative themes perfectly.
Flutter Away is a wonderful and wholesome little game that will provide an hour or so of entertainment and offers a wealth of features. These include vibrant 3D visuals and charming sound design that create an immersive overall aesthetic, casual but satisfying gameplay with lots of fun secrets to discover and a delightful, if minimalist, tale of the protagonist’s five-day stay in the Amazon rainforest! While the game does have a lot to offer, and despite a small amount of replayability, it is perhaps a little too short for the price tag and players should be aware of this when deciding to purchase or not. I recommend this game to anyone that likes relaxing but engaging nature-themed experiences, though maybe wait for a sale if the RRP feels too much.
You can also watch a full playthrough of the demo on the Indie Hive YouTube channel.
If you enjoy photography games you might also like these reviews:
Pupperazzi – Relax with this Cute Dog Photography Game! – Beasts of Maravilla Island: A Magical New Photography Game