Enjoy the serenity of the Amazon rainforest in this cozy short nature exploration game. As a butterfly researcher on a five-day camping trip, explore nearby tracks, take photos, meet animal friends, and journal the discoveries found along the way!
Publisher: Runaway Play
Reviewed on: PC [ASUS ROG Deck}
Also available for: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Runaway Play
Director: Emma Johansson
Producer: Yuko Shimada
Lead Programmer: Beric Holt
Research & Narrative Design: Jonas Goodwin
Composer: John Hoge
Curled up in bed at night, it took me about an hour to play through Flutter Away. Though short, this is an adorable little experience about cataloguing different types of butterflies and making friends with a Capybara.
The protagonist’s name is never revealed, but it doesn’t matter. Their personality comes through the beautiful and colourful drawings in a journal detailing information and pictures they capture of butterflies in the Amazonian Rainforest. Runaway Play is the New Zealand developer behind the game, whose mission is the create games focused on conservation and awareness of our natural environment. As such, there’s no widely running off into the rainforest as the game explains it could hurt the wildlife and habitat. Instead, you’ll be spending five days wandering back and forth across a couple of tracks around your campsite to investigate different types of butterflies, butterflies you’re not capturing but simply photographing, admiring and detailing what you see in a journal.
The star of Flutter Away, however, is a Capybara who hides from you at first but warms up to you as the game progresses. It’s a real cutie, I loved getting to know it, and if you’re a fan of the niche genre of games starting a Capybara, this is a must-play.
The sound design is excellent, with a mix of leaves rustling as the Capybara walks away and the sounds of birds lowly chirping in the distance. I played the game with headphones on and suggested the same to anyone planning to check it out.
Flutter Away encourages exploring our beautiful world in a way that won’t harm it. It’s cute, and the damn Capybara had me talking to my screen, saying, “come here, ya cutie!” And with a short but fulfilling playtime, it’s one of the more wholesome games I’ve played this year. There’s not much here aside from wholesome vibes and messaging, but the game never overstays its welcome, knowing it’s a short and sweet experience from the outset and delivering a lovely Amazon Rainforest visit.