Indie games are on this perpetual conveyor belt of churn. New games appear almost daily, without concern about the concept or quality. It is hard as a consumer of these goods to make an informed decision. Many come wrapped up in pretty packaging, and promise the world, but rarely do they deliver. If I’m willing to gamble on an unknown entity, I look for several factors; low price, unusual concept, and garish colours. The winner from this hearty mix is Butterfly from publisher and developer Xitilon.
Butterfly is a puzzle adventure title that shows that no matter your disadvantages in life, you must make the best of the situation you find yourself in. You control a caterpillar who cannot; jump, swim or fly. He must use his brain to highlight the weaknesses in his opponents, all while searching each level for several flowers left lying around.
A few levels, and little challenge.
40 levels of non-jumping action await you in this platform puzzle game. You must observe your starting position, and work out a path that allows you to use all the surfaces, and your enemies to gather the fauna. If you fail to analyse the situation correctly, and you do not collect all the plants, then you must restart the level and plan again.
It sounds like it should challenge, but it doesn’t. With a quick glance at the screen, you will see an obvious solution to the problem that lies before you. Pipes will be utilised, as well as the backs of bees to reach higher points in each map. You will fly through the levels with little difficulty, and only your own inadequacies will prevent you from succeeding.
You will need accuracy and quick reactions.
Though the action is simple, and you will know what you need to do, this doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. If you cannot move at the right time, or you fall into the bees as they pass you, you will be killed and you start that stage again. You must time your approach well, and failure to plan correctly will prevent you from proceeding.
I like a good, straightforward game as much as the next person, but Butterfly lives by the rules of simplicity. Game mechanics progress at a slow rate, and each level has a sense of Deja vu about it. It was a shame that Xitilon didn’t push the concept further, as in its current state it gets old quickly.
The concept lets it down. How about its presentation?
Graphically, it’s as old-school and basic as they come. A fixed screen, 2D world clearly shows all the action, and there is little in the way of surprises. The pixelated animals will not wow you, nor will the animation that has them moving around the screen. The colour palette is bright and garish, and had a Super Mario World feel to it. Like the main mechanics, the visual presentation kept it simple, allowing you to focus on the basic gameplay.
The audio didn’t push itself any further than the rest of this title. A chiptune soundtrack accompanies the action. Its light-hearted songs matched the unusual theme and created a jovial atmosphere. The sound effects were basic and were reminiscent of many games I played on the SNES. It will not win awards for its presentation, but it worked with this title.
Mastered in under a minute.
The controls were so simple that I didn’t have to think about what I was doing after level 1. There was little to no challenge in approach, or delivery. Once you knew how to succeed, you steamrolled your way through, waiting for the next level to load up. This lack of difficulty took away from the complexity, effected the longevity, and gave the gameplay a hollow feel.
With 40 stages to attempt, it would be easy to believe there is replay value to be had, unfortunately there isn’t. With a lack of originality, and each level appearing similar to the last, it becomes dull at an incredible pace. If you then consider that the achievement list is fulfilled in around 10 minutes, there isn’t a lot to make you return. At around £3 it won’t break the bank, but there are better indie titles at this price point.
Was it worth the little effort spent on it?
Having wasted around 1 hour of my life on this colour title, I can say I had some fun, but it was a forgettable experience. The premise isn’t bad by any stretch, yet it doesn’t challenge its player base. I did like the colourful presentation, and this reeked of retro influence. Many other elements were outdated and done better by other titles. Do I recommend you play this? Not really, no! If you want an easy 1000 Gamerscore, it can be purchased here! Control your caterpillar and use the environment to eat all the plants on offer.