Flutter brings the tranquil sounds and exploration of the rain forest to Facebook, but needs some more depth in the environment

The game developer Runaway has decided to enlighten Facebook gamers with Flutter, a game that captures not only the mood of the rain forest, but teaches you a thing or two along the way. With simple game-play mechanics, an educational value, and soothing background music, Flutter is enjoyable for those from seven to 77, or somewhere in between.

From the start, players are given a butterfly to choose of their own liking. Quickly thereafter, you’re whisked away into the forest in a 2D stylized environment that has trees, flowers, and little creatures, to feed and assimilate with. The mouse is your guide, or joystick, as you point and click where you want your butterfly to move and explore. You will see and gain honeydew right away, a form of currency used in Flutter throughout the game.

Flutter

Flutter is a mix of two main ingredients; one being a home virtual space and the other the exploration area. They are integrated with each other nicely. In your home area, you are able to assemble foliage, new pets or creatures, and take care of them throughout the game. If you get enough honeydew you can easily warp back and plant a few more things or feed your pet caterpillar. Your home zone is similar to other Facebook games, as you are able to uniquely add foliage, pets, and food, to your thriving personalized environment. This in turn brings a spark of your own personality by creatively placing items into the dwelling of your new best friend, the butterfly, and also a way to have friends stop by and visit your space. There are even quests that involve decorating the space in order to specifically impress your friends. From here and with the click of an icon, you are easily transported back to the exploration area. This is the area where you will find new quests and honeydew.

While in exploration mode, players will find not only new quests, but a reference point to how the rain forest actually works. The educational content of the game lies mostly within this environment. As they explore, users will find characters or icons inhibiting the world as well; from floating water drops to fire flames. These hovering characters will activate new quests that are shown in the log in the right corner of the screen. You can play through these quests by yourself or invite friends in to join you. The quests are run from fairly simple to moderately difficult, depending on what stage of the game you are playing. Most of them ask you to do specific things like water some flora or collect a few flies. You can also have a number of them activated at once, so if you get bored with one you can do some work in another quest. It’s up to you.

Flutter

Aside from the brilliant atmosphere, Flutter’s environment can feel a bit cagey. With a theme that holds the entire rainforest at your fingertips, a lot of the environment is unchanging and exploration can at times come up short. Sure, there are secret areas to find, but they are just small corridors and don’t’ offer up anything too unique. The personal space you create and show off to friends holds much more customization and change ups, in comparison to its exploration world. An update could and should be added to keep players engaged in a title that touts this peaceful and educational vibe not seen in games regularly.

When talking about Flutter, another game comes to mind: Flower on the Playstation 3. The relaxing atmosphere and romantic vibe set forth in both of these games is in contrast to a lot of more intense titles that give you time limits and even add a hint of stress to its gameplay. A vibe such as this triggers the senses in a different way others do. Flutter is engaging enough to keep you involved without pushing your patience to the point of getting irritated. There will be no shaking the keyboard or snapping at friends because you missed the last check point in Flutter; just bring a smile and a cup of herbal tea.

Flutter hits its mark in the peaceful environment and vibe it sets out to make, but falls a bit short in the depth of its exploration within it. It has great virtual space customization even though the exploration areas could use some upgrading. Flutter is not only fun, but educational as well. It’s a game that can and should be played by those of all ages, if only for a few hours.