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Fluttery Away Review: Simply Wonderful

EDITORS' RATING : 7 / 10
Pros
  • Beautifully captivating scenery
  • Great for all ages, especially great for younger science classes
  • Easy and fast tutorial
  • Capybara!
Cons
  • Not enough game play
  • Restricted exploration to only three paths

A PC code was provided to Zaaz for this review. "Flutter Away" will launch on August 3, 2022, for Nintendo Switch and PC.

We all need a break in life at some point. Maybe you are looking for a game to kill time before you are off again with your busy schedule. Perhaps after hours of playing an intensive game, you just need something that is a little more laidback; or as a parent, you need a new kid safe source of entertainment to buy you some extra time. No matter the escape you are looking for, "Flutter Away" provides a welcomed relaxing experience.

Explore a beautiful and cozy rainforest as you search high and low in this new hidden objects game. "Flutter Away" is a short adventure that will leave you wanting more, as you take on the role of a butterfly researcher who is taking a much needed break from the city. For five days, you will be transported into this scenic nook while you explore three different trails in hopes to accomplish everything on your to do list, including finding three different butterflies a day. While this game might seem rather simple, there is a nice balance that makes this game enjoyable across the spectrum of players. 

Simply balanced for multiple run throughs

Sometimes the hardest thing for cozy games is to find the sweet spot when balancing game play. "Flutter Away" does a great job at finding the balance between being simple while not being oversimplified. One of the ways this game finds the balance is through pacing and objectives. A great example of this is the research log that tracks your tasks for the day. Some tasks might be straightforward like, 'Set up campsite." Simple lists are a pretty standard practice for most hidden object games. However, "Flutter Away" adds another layer by creating a section of secret hidden items that are only found by taking random photos. This removes the pressure of wanting to just accomplish the tasks quickly, and leaves the player walking up and down the paths to make sure they've snapped everything.

Another component to the balancing act is between the short game play and your score at the end. Just getting everything on the list is not enough for a 100%. While it might take only an hour for players to complete the game, you are going to want to take some extra time to shake all the trees or pet your fur friend as much as possible because everything you do feeds into the 10 achievements available. Unlike other games where you might be able to track your progress while playing, you will only know how well you did at the end. 

This beautiful balancing act sets the game up for multiple run throughs without leading to game burnout. 

Fun and educational

As with most cozy games, game play is rather simple and relies more on the atmosphere than game mechanics. With only five days for your exploration, it's important to make every moment count — which is why it was a great decision to have the tutorial set up within the to do list for the first day. This provides a quick and easy guide for the player to pick up the mechanics effortlessly so they can continue on enjoying all the game has to offer.

The downfall is that sometimes the mechanics feels a little too easy and repetitive. For example, if you are looking closely, you might notice that there is a sun beam over the area you need for the next butterfly. Once the butterfly is found, you have two tasks to complete before all the pages in your nature journal are revealed. This includes taking a photo and getting the butterfly on a stick for a closer view. This will happen for every butterfly you find, which is three per day.

As an adult, this might be too simple, but for a kid, this is perfection. Not only is "Flutter Away" a great game to add to a science teacher's classroom that showcases how to observe nature, but repetitive step building is key for child development. The steps provided in this game go hand and hand with the steps taken by scientists in the real world. This ability to take a fun cozy game and double it as a learning tool just makes "Flutter Away" even more wonderful.

Beautiful Designs are an added bonus

"Flutter Away" really soars when it comes to the design. Calling it beautiful is an understatement. When you first start to play, it's hard not to be swept into the colorful rainforest scenery that surrounds you. This includes the tall tree tops, beautiful stars at night, the roaring waterfall, glowing mushrooms, and so much more.

The landscape adds so much to the excitement of the game, it is a shame that you are restricted to only three trails. Allowing the player more room to roam would add even more to the balance that the developer, Runaway, has already created, while giving more of the open map feeling that cozy gamers love.

However, it isn't just the rainforest that is captivating. As you play through the game and find your daily butterflies, you will unlock journal entries. These small blurbs recap the specific species you just found along with the overall daily review. The writing isn't anything special, but it is the drawings that are paired with it that leave a lasting impression. Pops of color merged with simple drawings is like the cherry on top for an already stunning game.

Overall, "Flutter Away" is a fun, colorful adventure through the rainforest that is great for all ages, but a must-play for kids and families.

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