“ Genre: Family & Entertainment „
I love games like Luxor and having completed Luxor and its follow up game, Amun Rising, was keen to find another game which gave me as much joy. If I am going to buy a game at a price of 13.99 GBP, which seems to be a standard price for these downloadable games, I wanted one in the same ilk. The idea is that you have a chain of balls which make their way around the screen, and that you shoot balls from the bottom of the screen to create rows of three or more, to eliminate those balls from the gameplay, with the objective of getting rid of all the balls in the chain before they reach a tunnel at the other end of the track they take.
It's a pretty easy formula and one that works rather well with Luxor, as they seem to have focused their attention on gameplay rather than clever graphics, and by goodness it shows. The difficulty levels really do stretch the player, and that was the main reason that I was looking for a game in a similar ilk.
Butterfly escape promised every bit as much fun as Luxor, and went one step further with graphics, in that instead of solid coloured balls that look like Christmas decorations and don't distract the eye, Butterfly Escale decided that the balls should ressemble bubbles, and their opacity really is clever and cunning. Place these on a backdrop that is really pretty, with flowers and plants, and the overall look of the game impressed me enough to part with my money.
The game is downloadable from many sites, though the one that I use is Reflexive.com, since I have never had program failure, or problems with downloads or payments from that site, and its layout is familiar to me. Downloading the game takes very little time on a high speed connection, and you are then offered an opportunity to try out the game for a trial period of an hour, which is just enough to get you interested, though insufficient to show you the pitfalls of the game.
Butterfly Escape Game System Requirements:
800Mhz or faster Processor
3D Video Card
Where the pitfalls start to kick in is around level 3, where the angles of play really are too hard, and it isn't just a question of skill. What the makers of this game have done is take a simple concept and complicate it by having graphics that are too advanced for the gameplay. There are angles at which you are supposed to shoot, which really do not give accurate shots, and believe me, I am an expert on this type of game, so it isn't just a matter of my lack of skill.
The background music is pretty atrocious and irritating, and special sounds that have been introduced to the game a little infantile, although I guess that the market the makers were aiming at with this game was younger children, whose attention span is perhaps not as serious as the more experienced players. What could have been a fun game turned into an almost impossible muddle, and this doesn't just mean the gameplay. The graphics confused me, because the whole concept of the game was to centre Butterfly escape around nature, and all things beautiful. So why oh why did they insist on introducing the weapons that they did, which are not only unsuitable for the game, but actually make the game irritating at best.
Instead of the normal ball holder at the bottom of the screen, they introduced a creature that looks something like a cross between a wasp and an ant, and who throws the balls. There are bonuses to be won, but it is here that the game takes on a sinister turn, introducing guns and bombs, and I really don't think that the designers had to do this, as it spoils the whole nature of what could otherwise have been a very child friendly game. Humans are already bombing hell out of each other, and the range of violent games is sufficient that they really didn't have to introduce an insect who shoots machine guns and who bombs the bubbles. When you look at the aim of the game which is to free butterflies, it hardly goes hand in hand with the wanton destruction that the weapons give to the player. You are expected to free 15 butterflies, and here, the game has a little educational value and shows the player a little about each of the species, so why oh why did they need to make it violent. Okay, violent is possibly an exagerration, though for me, the two concepts don't go hand in hand.
Yes, indeed there are clever features in this game that do not feature in the traditional Luxor game such as turning a whole row of balls into one colour, getting rid of many balls with the bombs, though all they really achieved was stunning graphics, rather than good gameplay. There are a total of more than 100 scenic screens during the course of the game, and three modes to play the game in, i.e. Normal, Legendary or Tournament, and I can see that the Tournament play would be fun, although usually play games of this nature alone. I do know that children that have played on my computer liked the game, though were as puzzled as me about the weapons, which just didn't fit with the scheme of things.
The power ups are quite cool, and these are bonuses that you are awarded for good gameplay though they aren't enough to pursuade me that this is a more playable game than the original Luxor. It isn't, and not only that it takes up almost twice the disc space that Luxor does at a fairly hefty 33.98 Mb as opposed to the 19 Mb taken up by Luxor and I would say that the majority of this doesn't account for gameplay features, but is taken up by extensive graphics.
On the whole, I would rate the game as follows
Gameplay 6/10 spoiled by lack of thought.
Graphics 9/10 distracting in places, though very pretty.
Sound 5/10 appalling music and sound. Better muted which thankfully is an option.
Controls 5/10 all done by mouse, although disappointing response.
Educational value 3/10 and here it really is disappointing since the area that concentrates on teaching kids about Butterflies, is limited to a very small section, where you simply look at butterflies through a magnifying glass. Put this next to a creature that carries a machine gun, and the educational value of the game is questionable at best.
Download Luxor, or Amun Rising as alternatives, since the lasting ability of these games really is outstanding compared with this game. After several weeks, I had finished the game, and had hours of irritation, whereas Luxor gave me more challenge.
Sad because it could have been good.
Butterfly Escape - Adventure and excitement await for those who help Buka free butterflies from Dungeon of Darkness and return sunrise to Kingdom of Light.