You give me butterflies, and I take them away

Creator: egg

Average Rating
7.7 / 10
Average Difficulty
57.2 / 100
[Download Not Available]


Avoidance (1) Gimmick (12) Short (10) Art (1) SourPls (1) TriggerWarning (1)


  • by egg

Creator's Comments:

egg [Creator]
update: added easy mode so more people can play. normal mode is the intended way to play, but feel free to try easy mode if normal's giving you trouble.
made for nanc 2020 but i didn't want to change it per the judge's request so i forfeit and uploaded it to
additionally, please don't submit any screenshots of this game. just the title screen will do

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Tagged as: Gimmick TriggerWarning
[1] Like
Rating: N/A       Difficulty: N/A
Oct 16, 2020

22 Reviews:

(Fair warning, there will be spoilers ahead, but I don't think much of anything I will talk about can be discussed without mentioning aspects of the game, so I'd rather not put spoiler tags all over the place. Therefore, just play the game. It's well worth your time and won't take much of said time.)

I find it a bit difficult to put my thoughts into words regarding this game precisely because of that which makes it so excellent - the personal nature, the meanings behind the game, its very essence makes it a tricky game to tackle in the way of description. I don't want to offend the creator, nor do I want to misconstrue their purposes behind the game. The only way I can tackle this is by sticking to the age-old adage: the player's interpretation is king, insofar as they're concerned. My interpretation is no more correct or incorrect than any other, and the meanings which the creator put into their game are evident and genuine, but I'll only worry about the aspects which resonated with me personally.

First and foremost, the easiest discussion to broach is gameplay: The game is quite short, understandably, and it's all gimmick-based. It opens with a shiny, happy stroll that quickly goes awry in an Eversion-like transition. Once that happens, there are three screens of gameplay and they're all excellent, my favorite being the final platform gimmick. I won't discuss them at length, but they're all executed excellently and never outstay their welcome - in fact, some are too quickly gone for their own good. This is all in relation to how it feels to play these screens, mind you. There's really not much to say in this respect given that it plays second fiddle to the true core of the game.

I cannot speak in concrete terms what this game means because that ruins the essence of it. I can only speak to my personal interpretations. I don't suffer from severe depression, nor any other mental issues that I know of, but I am rather acquainted with sadness and the various emotions Give Me Butterflies deals with, as is our wont as humans. We cannot escape these terrible emotions, merely learn to live with them, and that is what this game feels like to me: the journey towards coming to grip with these emotions.

The first screen doesn't feel terribly depressing or melancholy, but there is a special sort of pain to it. The basis is that you're given seven blocks that spin and some will produce a spike from its top every now and then. It's random which one has a spike, but the top of the screen informs you before the spikes show themselves. The rub here is that you're given an ice-based, momentum driven movement system, meaning it's nigh impossible to keep yourself in one place and changing blocks is a task in and of itself. It was the hardest screen for me, and I did get a little irritated with it. I found myself hoping I'd get lucky and just always be on the safe platform, but it rarely worked out that way. Instead, I would notice my block is dangerous, scramble to find a new one, and then either choose wrong because I didn't notice the block of choice was dangerous, or I'd miss altogether and fall to my death. In that way, this screen was especially malicious, never feeling like it was trying to come to an agreement with you; instead, it wanted nothing to do with you and didn't care whether you lived or died. Nonetheless, I forged on, eventually tackling this screen and feeling good about it.

The next screen was the easiest, being an avoidance with a gimmick similar to that of the rocket carnival screen from Morning Dew (an obvious inspiration, so obvious I won't discuss further). You have an aura around you that you want to touch the oncoming fruit with, and touching said fruit will give you points that build up the more you touch without getting hit yourself. You can also change the size of your aura from large to small if you want to get an absurd amount of points, but it's of course harder. Here, the pain changes a little. Instead of coming to terms with the danger and pain around you, you're in a place where you have to get close to that, risk yourself just so you can get through. The riskier you play, the better your points, but there's always the danger of fumbling and seeing all of your progress going away. No matter, though, I found this to be the easiest screen in the game (and I hope that doesn't say anything about me).

The final screen is, naturally, the most striking. There are 36 razors that act as sideways platforms and you are expected to use them all at least once. There are fruit which come out from the side and using a razor makes some fruit shoot from the middle as well. As an added bonus, you have ghosts following you that solidify and will kill you should you be there when they're solid, though they soon go away after said solidification. Here, I think interpretation is easiest: pain as a way to get ahead. You're given no choice but to hurt yourself just to move forward, just so you can get ahead; yet, once you beat the screen, you'll find it was all for naught.

The game ends with a simple poem and then closes itself abruptly. I won't describe the poem as I don't think it necessary, but it's clear what meaning it serves.

So, what do each of these screens come together to actually mean? I said it was a journey towards coming to terms with sadness and pain, but that's not really true. Those are aspects, yes, but it's not a journey with a pleasant end. In a sense, it depicts the meaninglessness of striving towards even just getting up in the morning. What's the point in doing anything to make yourself feel okay or to get through the day when it all ends up the same? The butterflies die all the same, no matter how much you cry and try to save them, so why waste your energy doing so?

I am at a point in my life where I just don't care to better myself. I don't have the energy to become a better person or to do all the things I want so as to improve my life. There are so many ways I can be happy, but I just don't care to go about putting those ways into play. I simply don't care enough about myself to do it. I live only for other people, but I can almost never really believe those other people well and truly care about me because if I don't care for myself, why would they? I've never hurt myself, and I've never seriously thought about suicide, but they're common topics in my head at times. In that respect, this game resonates with me deeply.

Yet, I move on nonetheless. Maybe I won't feel better tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or even in the next ten years, but I move on nonetheless because I don't really believe there's any other way for me to go. I feel there's no point, but I do it anyways because others see the point, and I trust them more than I do myself. And you know what? I want to do it. Something being pointless doesn't stop me from wanting it, that's the most human thing you can do. We fill our lives with pointless nonsense merely because we don't personally see it as pointless or not worth our time. Sometimes, we even do recognize it has no worth, but we go for it anyways. Now, though, I fear I'm getting away from the point.

Thus, Give Me Butterflies seems to me like it's asking you this question: why do you persist? What makes you go forward? When you knew there was no happy ending to your suffering, why suffer to begin with? I have my answer, and I'm sure the creator has their answer as well, but that's not important to the game. The question is the thing, and what a perfect way to ask.

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Tagged as: Gimmick Short
[4] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 55 55
Oct 16, 2020
Loved every second of it, I really hope to see more games that aim for this much creativity and innovation through each incredibly memorable segment it has to offer. Heavily inspired by Morning Dew, but I feel it does its' job much better than the inspiration does in every aspect, while still being kept rather short for a fangame, specially compared to a collab with over 30 makers involved and each of varying difficulty and length.

This would've absolutely been among one of my favorite submissions for it and I'm pretty upset that it was removed, when you play it however you can understand exactly why. On the bright side, people got to play and appreciate Vi's best work to this day much earlier than anticipated. Overall, a stellar game with great atmosphere all throughout, and a sensible theme that strongly holds it together, there's nothing more that I could ask from something like this. Highly recommend.

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[3] Likes
Rating: 10.0 100       Difficulty: 62 62
Oct 22, 2020
Others have already done a fine job describing the gameplay and possible meanings behind it all, I don't have much to add there. Even if there was no deeper meaning to it, the mechanics, visuals, and music came together to create an effectively uneasy atmosphere and a unique experience that was intriguing and enjoyable. Wish it was much longer.

Rating based on Normal.

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Tagged as: Gimmick Short SourPls
[3] Likes
Rating: 8.8 88       Difficulty: 53 53
Oct 20, 2020
1) My antivirus tried to delete the game multiple times when I unpacked it, then notified me that I need to restart my pc to fix it
2) The game has some atmosphere, tho I don't understand how it connects to gameplay
3) Gameplay in the first segment reminded me of something like morning dew but I couldn't clear it within something like 20 minutes and stopped caring
edit: easy mode turned out a lot easier than the normal game essentially ruining one of the main gimmicks of the first minigame. I finished the game with it and I must say that the themes the game is trying to convey do not really resonate with me and just make me feel uncomfortable, preety fun gimmick game otherwise

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Tagged as: Gimmick
[3] Likes
Rating: 3.0 30       Difficulty: 60 60
Oct 16, 2020
Real, raw, art.

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[2] Likes
Rating: 9.5 95       Difficulty: 60 60
Oct 24, 2020