Earlier this month, Runaway's Flutter, which started as a Facebook game, was given new life on iOS thanks to the developer's partnership with DeNA / Mobage. The product of this partnership is Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary, a gorgeous free-to-play iPhone and iPad game that encourages you to collect and raise butterflies from all around the world.
Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary feels a lot like Nimblebit's Pocket Frogs, but the game is much more linear. Starting with a single butterfly and a single habitat for that butterfly to live, you'll start to work on collecting Honeydew, the game's free currency. Honeydew is used to unlock new habitats for your butterflies and expand your overall rainforest setting. Expansions cost an increasingly large amount of Honeydew with each one you unlock, but your butterfly friends will produce Honeydew automatically over time.
If you'd like your butterflies to produce more Honeydew, you'll need to give them Pollen to eat. Pollen is generated by spending Honeydew to pollinate flowers. These flowers can produce different amounts of Pollen over different amounts of time, depending on how much Honeydew you actually spend. Flowers can be upgraded to produce more Pollen in the same amount of time by spending Flutterbucks, the game's premium currency, and while you can spend your entire time in the time without upgrading a flower, your progress will be much slower if you go that route.
Thankfully, the game offers plenty of free premium currency via leaves that bounce around the screen and achievements that can be completed over time.
Once you've gathered enough Pollen to start leveling up some of your butterflies, you'll likely want to expand the rainforest even farther and attract new butterflies to the game. This is accomplished automatically via the incubator. Some butterflies take longer to earn than others, and these butterflies start as caterpillars that must be fed using leaves that also appear automatically over time.
Every major action in Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary is timed, from waiting for flowers to generate pollen to waiting for caterpillars to grow into new butterflies, but when you have a forest full of fluttering butterflies, it's likely that you'll always have something to work on while everything else continues to count down on its specific timer.
Once you do run out of available actions (if that ever occurs), you can dive into the game's encyclopedia and learn more about the real world species of butterflies that you're helping to raise. The more you level up a butterfly, the more its encyclopedia page is revealed, giving you plenty of incentive to keep leveling up butterflies if you're into the educational content available here.
Ultimately, Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary is a fun twist on the "gotta catch 'em all" gameplay mechanic, as the butterflies mostly live their own lives, and you simply guide them around the screen with a touch of your finger. The caterpillar stages of each butterfly are chubby and adorable, and the grown butterflies are colorful and pretty. If nothing else, Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary is a very striking game visually, but it also comes with some fun gameplay to support the graphics. If you'd like to dive into the world of butterfly collection and rainforest expansion, you can now download Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary for free on iOS.
Download Flutter: Butterfly Sanctuary on iOS >
What do you think of this new version of Flutter? Did you every play the original Flutter Facebook game? How many unique species of butterflies have you unlocked in this game so far? Let us know in the comments!