Thanks to Flat Black Films for the review code
Title: Butterfly Animation: Inchworm Animation II
System: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: 10/27/2016
Considering how this is yet another application that I’m reviewing for the site, (and not a traditional game) this review will be shorter than normal and will not cover the story, graphics and audio… Since the latter two topics vary and the first never applies to this application.
Those who owned a 3DS and checked out the eShop during the first year of its life might remember seeing a little gem known as “Inchworm Animation” as a DSIware title. Those who made the brave decision to buy a DSiWare game in 2011 (When the service was infamous for endless shovelware) were pleased to learn how a surprisingly in-depth animation tool could be used for the low cost of $5/500 DSi Points, and despite complicated means of exporting animations the app gained a cult following from folks like myself who were able to have fun screwing around with the tools even if we couldn’t really learn how to use them that well.
Then seemingly out of nowhere did I learn that this 3DS eShop sequel to the hidden gem was coming our way next week, and being able to get a review copy to compare this to the original, here are my thoughts on this application!
Upon starting up the application, you’re dumped into the default setting animation setting. Here you start off with a very basic (but effective) setup for making a 30 frame animation. Upon changing the background color with the buttons and using the C-Stick/Circle Pad to change your pen color, you’re off to create! Its pretty simple, and while you can fiddle around with making it a 3D animation if you use a bit of difficult tools, the default setting is more than plenty to make some basic animations and get the hang of the tool. Of course, if the default preset doesn’t cut it for you, there are a few other presets to choose from, each with their own theme to it. Once you get the hang of the basics, you can also choose the blank preset and make everything by yourself!
Now in the original Inchworm Animation, this would pretty much end the review, as most things from that application return here but in an easier to learn format. Thankfully, Flat Black went above and beyond and created a brand new online gallery for you to upload your creations to in-game! (Account required) You can see my simple animations here if you’re curious, but overall this is a fantastic replacement for the clunky export method of the original, (Where you had to remove your SD card from the system and copy the video file to your computer which was quite risky on the 3DS due to saved games being stored on the same card) and you can even save creations from other users!
In conclusion, despite coming out of nowhere Butterfly Animation is a fantastic followup to the DSiWare hidden gem. Offering a few minor tweaks to make the experience simpler to learn along with the online gallery opening the way for aspiring animators, this sequel pretty much perfects the original, and makes that game even more obsolete than it was already.
The best part? This application is only $5, which is pretty much a steal for what you’re able to experiment with. At a low price like that, I can easily recommend this app to any artist/animator who wants to try their hand at complex animation skills, and to art fans who just like enjoying the creations of other users. I give Butterfly Animation: Inchworm Animation II an 8 out of 10.