In A Year Of Great Games, A Small One Called Butterfly Soup Stands Out

In A Year Of Great Games, A Small One Called Butterfly Soup Stands Out

2017 has been so relentless in the release of top-tier games that it’s hard to justify spending time with stuff that is merely “good”. Why settle for anything less than “great”? Despite the incredible competition facing it, Butterfly Soup, a game about queer Asian women who play baseball, still shot right into my top five games of the year so far.

Developed by the creator of Pom Gets Wi-Fi, Butterfly Soup is a visual novel that follows a group of high school friends living in California. The gang stumbles upon and joins a newly-formed baseball club, which is suspiciously only composed of women. Hijinks ensue. I enjoyed it while on holiday last week, and didn’t feel guilty at all about briefly playing a video game instead of exploring the entirely new country I was visiting.

The thing that Butterfly Soup gets so right is the writing. It is hilarious. Not in a “type haha when you haven’t physically emoted for hours” funny but “fuck, I literally just spat on my computer” funny. I can’t look at screenshots of the game without giggling. More alarmingly, I find myself repeating lines from the game in that annoying way people do when they really like a thing. I have become an awful stereotype of fandom and I don’t give a shit. The game is fantastic. I’m albret einstong.

More than the humour, Butterfly Soup feels real. The characters are all people I knew and hung out with in high school, back in San Francisco. I identified a little bit with each of the characters, whether the game was exploring the suffocating ways gender norms push us into uncomfortable boxes or shining a light on the intense expectations that immigrants place on their first-generation children. Butterfly Soup didn’t just make me laugh, it made me feel understood, visible, seen. Somehow, the game manages to weave seamlessly between achingly heartfelt and shamelessly meme-y, which is to say, Butterfly Soup is a perfect reflection of internet culture.

Also, Butterfly Soup features what may be my favourite character of the year:

In A Year Of Great Games, A Small One Called Butterfly Soup Stands Out

I love Akarsha because she is a garbage can and knows it.

My only complaint, if you could even call it that, is vague sadness that this didn’t exist back when I was still wrestling with my own sexuality as a teen. Alas. I’m so happy stuff like this exists now.

Butterfly Soup is available for download free on itchio, but you can buy a bonus art PDF to support the developer for $US5 ($6).


  • Fun fact: A kinetic novel is non-interactive while a visual novel is.

    I always thought it was the other way around because kinetic implied some sort of motion or dynamism and visual felt more like it was something you just look at…

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!