Filler Games · Reviews

Review of Fluttering Souls

pic4858486.pngGame: Fluttering Souls

Designer: Joel Lewis

Published: Good Games Publishing

Players: 2 Players

Playtime: 20 Minutes

Play Type: Set Collection

Synopsis:

You have been left in charge of growing and nurturing your civilization, developing a thriving future as it continues to develop. Tell the civilization’s story through this Tapestry, and try to develop the most interesting story possible.

Game Play:

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Flutter Souls is a set collection game that encourages players to think ahead. During set up, players will select a lay out card that will determine the pattern in which will create the playing field for the first round. Players will then remove the Great Eggfly from the deck of butterfly cards and shuffle the rest. Once shuffled, players will remove two cards from the deck and set them aside. These will not be used in this round. Then place the remaining cards in the formation shown on the lay out card. Make sure to pay attention to which cards overlap, and whether cards are placed face down or face up.

After deciding who will be first player, give the second player the Great Eggfly card. This card is not worth any victory points at the end of the round, but can be used to block an opponent’s immediate access to a butterfly card by replacing a card the player has chosen to take into hand.

A round is played by players alternating turns taking an open butterfly card. An open card is defined at any card that is not blocked by another overlapping card. Each card is worth a number of points depending on the number of cards in the set the player has obtained. For instance, for a player to score for a Blue Morpho, they must have possession of three Blue Morpho cards at the end of the game. Players may score multiple sets if they have multiple sets created. Some cards also encourage players to continue to add to a set, and give points for having larger sets. This forces players to think about what cards they need to complete a set, and also what cards their opponent needs to complete their sets.

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Players will take turns collecting cards until all cards have been taken for that round. They will then count their score, and the winner will take a White Butterfly Token. The board is then reset, and another round is played with the loser from the last round determining turn order. The first person to have three tokens wins the game.

Components:

Fluttering Souls is a micro game that comes with very few components, though the components it does have been well-designed.

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It has a small box size that can easily fit in a handbag or laptop case. Though I could see downsizing even further for ease of carrying. The cards themselves are beautiful and well laid out. The symbols are easy to understand without referencing the rules. The rule book is well laid out and easy to understand and follow. The butterfly tokens are beautiful and fit perfectly with the theme of the game.

Overview:

Positives:

  • Simple Concepts, Strategic Game Play
  • Quick to Play
  • Easy to Teach
  • Encourages Thinking Ahead
  • Light Elements of Luck
  • Replaybility

Negatives:

  • All Tension Comes from Player Interaction

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There is a lot to like in Fluttering Souls. It is a quick to teach and easy to play game. I love that it is easy to transport, but it does need a pretty significant amount of table space depending on the layout of cards. It can also be cumbersome to set up the game, so it is not typically a game that I play as a quick time filler while we are out and about.

That being said, I really enjoy the simple thinky game play that Fluttering Souls presents. For players who enjoy quick card games like Love Letter or Fluxx, but prefer to play with just one other person, this is a great solution. The game can be very thinky, allowing players to try to plan turns ahead. It also has direct player conflict, which can bring a lot of excitement to the game. That being said, the quality of game play relies heavily on having an opponent who does think ahead and who is somewhat competitive.

I have played games of Fluttering Souls where I just want to dive back in because the last round was so tense that a rematch is necessary. Players who pay attention to both their own cards and their opponents to try to hurt their strategy really make this game shine. On the other hand, I have played rounds of Fluttering Souls where I feel like I might as well have been playing a children’s matching game because players just passively pick up whatever is available. I wish that the game had more of an intrinsic tension within the mechanics, because this is the kind of game that if played with non-aggressive players becomes boring.

While I like that the different lay outs increase replaybility, I would love to see more variation mechanically. This is not the type of game where I want to sit down and keep playing it after the game is complete, and I think more complexity would make it more of a draw for me. However, I could see it being very enjoyable for those who do enjoy games that focus highly on take that. If you enjoy games such as 7 Wonders Duel or Love Letter, this may be something you want to keep your eye on.

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