#919 Flower

Posted: 24th June 2012 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , ,

157th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: Playstation 3
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: thatgamecompany
Publisher: Sony

I don’t like downloadable games. This may make me a hypocrite since I laughed myself silly whilst playing Pain but I am still not convinced about XBLA, WiiWare and PSN. Still when there is a sale on and the likes of this and Flow are reduced… well you’re stupid to not at least give it a whack.

Our Thoughts

It’s hard to classify the game. It’s listed in the book and our joined list as an adventure, and that certainly comes closest, but it doesn’t feel right. You’re a petal flying through the air, blown forward by the wind. You open flowers by passing them, releasing more petals to join your stream, releasing a large group that follows you. I guess that classifying this as an adventure makes sense in some way since you are exploring a once-desolate land and bringing life and colour to it.

As you open flowers and explore, the environment around you transforms – grass becomes green (or sometimes blue or purple), more flowers appear and stones move to change the landscape. The whole idea of this is that the levels that you play through are the dreams of flowers in an urban apartment. Beautiful idea really.

This gorgeous sight is complemented by wonderful music. Mostly piano based, it slowly grows as you gather more petals. At the same time, flowers you touch add to the arrangements, with a group of them you open in a line forming a short melody. It’s all wonderfully in tune and absolutely lovely. Interestingly whenever you open a flower by wafting over it the flower harmonizes with the background music and each species of flower does this in a different way.

To complement the setup, the controls are as unique. Making use of the Sixaxis controls, you move around by simply tilting the controller, touching any button to accelerate. Simple but effective, requiring some practice to get to grips with and requiring some awkward turns sometimes, but feeling surprisingly natural when controlling the wind that moves the petals, its minimalism adds to the experience. Personally I never felt any awkwardness. In many ways the tilting contols feel very intuitive, but I could have sworn that the face buttons each summoned a different kind of wind.

The whole ethos of thatgamecompany is to create a game that can evoke certain emotions to the point that their creative director refuses to let the company produce blockbuster games and instead try to create ones that are more innovative. In this case this game really does allow the gamer feel a great degree of freedom as well as a feeling of positive calm. Such is the case that this game has already become a go-to title whenever I get stressed out from lesson planning or marking. It may not have been their original idea but it more than does the trick… far more so than killing people on the streets of Stilwater in Saints Row 2.

An absolutely beautiful game and, like The Path, one of those games that qualifies for an entry in video games as art, but again while remaining a lovely (and in this case relaxing) game to play.

Final Thoughts

I am not ashamed to admit that when I first played this game I almost cried because it moved me so much… or it might have been tiredness from lesson planning all day. I don’t know,ย  I’m not a doctor. Still, I have to play Journey soon.

  1. […] is one of those games where everything seemed to have come together. We played Flowerย  some time ago, which was a great game with admirable effect. Journey had the same developers and […]

  2. […] have, as you may remember, been raving about the past two games by Thatgamecompany. Flower was a magical journey, using the simplest of controls to create an amazing world that was beautiful […]