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Welcome to "The Butterfly Effect"

The Butterfly Effect is a free and open source game that uses realistic physics simulations to combine lots of simple mechanical elements to achieve a simple goal in the most complex way possible.

This is a fully playable game of beta quality, well on its way to a shiny 1.0 release.


  • Many different objects: cola bottles, balloons, butterflies, domino stones, springs, dynamite, seesaws, penguins
  • Many different types of puzzles
  • Works on GNU/Linux, Windows and macOS
  • Playable in English, Dutch, German, Russian, French, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian and several other languages. Note that not all languages are 100% yet
  • Using vector graphics - all images always rendered at the highest quality
  • Over 80 levels

Development status

We are working on Milestone C (also known as the '0.9.4' release).

THIS IS THE BRANCH CONTAINING THE "OLD" USER INTERFACE! We are working to replace the user interface, it is available on a different branch.

If you want to know the current status, please look at

You can download the game at its website, go to

New features and highlights planned for Milestone C

  • New UI
  • We plan to add a 'save my solution' option in Milestone C
  • More reliable level creator


If you downloaded the source archive - please refer to the file to learn how to turn the sources into a working game and on how to run the game.

If you downloaded the installer, you now have an icon on your desktop: just (double-)click it to enjoy the game.


There are over 80 levels. All levels are definitely playable, a few levels may need a bit more polish.

Alternative solutions

If you feel you found a solution to a level that is not right, please post an issue on GitHub:

Running in other languages

If you want to change language, select a language through the menu "Languages". You need to restart after doing this.

Alternatively, you can start TBE from the command line and type:

LANGUAGE="nl" ./tbe

Of course, for German you use "de", for spanish "es" and for Russian "ru".

Known bugs and issues

  • We are not happy with the current UI, this is the major item for Milestone C.
  • You will crash the level creator if you enter bogus text in the object editor.


We thank our beta players for their comments on the playability of the levels.


  • All attendees at ELCE 2009, T-Dose 2010, TkkrLab
  • Naxxatoe,
  • "ankouglio", "doe544", "e6222f5c", "jillest", "desmoinn", "eyerouge", "linuxalien", "pabs3"
  • Margo, Bart, Jelle, Thijs, Aschwin and Quinten.
  • Suzanne, Rutger and Julia
  • Alexl a.k.a. glixx
  • Wuzzy, who also contributed many new levels
  • Niels Vastenhout, Tim and Jos de Coo

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments about the game!


Peter van Ginneken, Klaas van Gend

and everyone who contributed to TBE.


This game is free software. See COPYING for the license.

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