Sorry for the gap – after years of eating lentils and clawing every £ from lords and masters with bloodied fingers… our new big laptop arrived. I have been … distracted. (Yes it’s superb, it’s an Asus ROG and I’m sure I’ll burble about it in good time)
Now to Flutter. Our most favourite Android game isn’t hard to pick. This is the one all of us play, and all people we introduce it to play, and I’m putting it out here, so I dare say that will mean even more people try it and get hooked. It’s about butterflies, which you collect. The butterflies don’t PvP. They do just flap about in their habitat like butterflies do. I can’t tell you what’s so compelling. I don’t know!
True, collecting is compelling, but there are a lot of games where you collect things – fish, dragons, whatall. Perhaps it’s that thing where you take a simple notion and do it really well. It is a polished game and the balance is not too bad between buying/earning the Flutterbucks you need to complete sets. One is always tempted to buy, but there is the feeling that one could probably play a lot and earn enough to do the trick. More about that later. We are currently (squee) collecting a set. Last set, I bought Flutterbucks to complete (we had some Christmas money), this time I’m trying the ‘earn it’ route. For this balance to work nice, it does need to be possible to earn your way, albeit at great cost of time and effort. We shall see. I am currently logging in almost hourly to collect any honeydew/flowers. This for me is unusual behaviour. The game is on the good side of addictive.
Which brings me to how it works: (I can’t remember what you start out with, but I don’t remember struggling). At the heart of everything is a book, which contains sets of butterflies and achievements. On screen is a round flower setting which allows you to adjust 3 factors – the set, the size, the rarity. You have a flower collection (flowers pop up in the environment, or are spat out by a frog when you feed it treats, can be earned through errands – many ways – and ofc you can buy them with real money.) Oops got to point out about about the money. It uses the cash to Mobacoin to Flutterbuck/honeydew system which old-fashioned dudes(and dudettes) believe obfuscates how much things cost. Unfortunately in this day and age most of the developed world posesses a calculator, internet banking and there are social networks to spread information far and wide. Flutterbucks are pricey when you figure out how many you need, but the game is good. Presumably whales are being believed in. I don’t mind topping up here and there to support the people making this but at those rates it’s not going to be a habit. Sadly. Because I’d like to complete every single set, ever ! – and I don’t have enough time to do it via time and effort.
So you choose your flowers for set, size, rarity and place them in the wheel-like setting in the habitat, touch the centre and choose to attract an egg. Then a whirly thing happens and an egg arrives. You can use this as a sort of slot machine – just put one or two flowers and let the game choose your egg (I love doing this) or you can look in your Butterpedia (I don’t know what it’s called :)) and get very specific. Some flowers are rarer than others, as is right and proper. It’s a nice game inside the game. Ooh and the flowers are really pretty – in fact here’s a shout to the artists – I love! the graphics in this game. Even the eggs are pretty, and awww the littel caterpillars….( and the fine detail on the chrysalis).
The music is nice and soothing, your egg takes time to hatch (how much depends on which butterfly) but sooner or later it gets a glowy pulsating ring and when you tap it, there is a stupendously appealing little caterpillar. This you move to a free nestybit in your habitat and feed it leaves (free, no purchase) when it’s hungry, through some stages. Then it hops up onto a twig and turns into – you know, I think this is one of they things where “you have to *be* there”. The end result is a butterfly that needs a few upgrades (flowers produce pollen to fuel this and each upgrade reveals pictures and info in the Fluttpedia). Hehehe. I know it sounds like fluff. Don’t care. It’s time to check for flowers!
Hah gotta Red Pierrot flower. (need many more though). Ehm where was I? Oh yes, now and again there are events with special sets to collect which keeps everything fresh and we really do love the events (squee). Here though a word of warning. There is no way to get any of these sets after the event is over. The other day I sold my Snowflake by mistake – that’s from the Christmas set, and that’s it GONE FOREVER. So need to be on toes when selling butterflies. (Selling is back to the game, you get honeydew or a tiny amount of Flutterbucks.) Caused quite a little stab in my heart when that happened. (Also if you don’t quite finish a set, that means you never can.) With that words of warning out of the way though, all else is pretty good. It runs well, it looks nice, it sounds good, it’s pretty – and by whatever magic beans they put in their coffee, I feel compelled to play it.
The game is made by Runaway games, and their blog is worth a visit: http://www.runawayplay.com/tag/flutter/ They seem very enthusiastic and motivated about – butterflies, wildlife, making games, all sorts of things. Can’t help wishing them well – love the WWF hut. And next I have nice things to say about Mobage which seems to be the umbrella under which Runaway released this game. And odd nice thing. You see, you can earn Mobacoins by installing other Mobagames. I tried it once. I thought “once”, but actually I never have never yet uninstalled any of the games I tried for Mobacoins and I’m quite happy to try more. There’s a thing!!!
I mean who would have thought I’d really like a game about building CARS – but there it is on my tablet, installed and waiting for me to have more time to play it. Tried it, liked it, am definitely going to play it – along with all the others that I tried. Not a single one uninstalled. Which is amazing, because I’ve been through Google’s play store like a locust and though I enjoy most when I try them to some extent, few are keepers.
My Nexus is stupid with screenshots, really absurd, got to hold it firm sideways on a table, push two buttons with split second accuracy & hope. I haven’t managed a nice screenshot yet but will keep trying (or maybe a Runaway/Mobage person reading this can send me one they’d like me to use). Update: finally got a screenshot and have added it to this post :).
Big thumbs up for this game then. If I had one wish, it would be to be able to collect the Legacy/Event sets after they’re done – not only because of my lost Snowflake, but because when I looked on Flutter’s facebook page I started drooling. Some of those old sets are soooooo nice – please can we have a way of collecting them?