Game Review – Flower (PS3)

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Still trying to decide if video games can be art?  Then you haven’t been playing Flower.  Fortunately I have… want to know what you’re missing?  Then read on. I will try not to give too much away but be warned there may be spoilers on the other side…The controls are simple: you tilt forward and back to go up and down, tilt side to side to turn and use one button (any button you choose) to boost your forward momentum.

This game begins in a dark rundown room with broken windows and grey laundry hanging out in front of a mostly grey city scape. A single half-wilted flower sits in a pot on the bench in front of the window.  The flower pot is your entry into the level.  As you progress through the game you gain new flower pots, and spruce up your room.

You are the wind. You begin with one petal from a flower.  As you maneuver through the game, every flower you touch blooms, a musical note sounds, and you collect another petal until you become a very impressive string of petals riding the wind.  Don’t worry that’s not ALL there is to it.

The first few levels of the game are very calm. Soothing music plays in the background while you glide through individually animated blades of grass that react realistically to your presence as you move in search of new flowers to bloom.  As you bloom flowers you revive the land from dead browns to brilliant greens. The calm leads to a false sense of security as the game takes a dark and ominous twist. Once in level four, there are dangers to your petals that will increase your heart rate while you smoke and twist in the wind.

I called this game a work of art, not just because it is visually stunning, and an incredible piece of animation,  but most importantly because this game was able to evoke emotions in me.  First calm, then anxious and fearful, then they round it out nicely with wonder and joy.  I really enjoyed playing this game.  Is it worth $10? Absolutely… it IS short, but well worth the play. I personally will be watching for expansion packs in the future.  I won’t tell you how the game ends but I will tell you  its worth playing to the end to find out.

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3 Comments

  1. That’s something I love about the PSN – getting these types of games out there that probably wouldn’t do that well at retail.

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    Check out my Killzone 2 review: http://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/killzone-2-review-ps3/

  2. This game was mesmerizing. A true work of art, a true improvement form FLOW. I love this type of games, they are so different from anything else out there. Try playing Fallout 3 and then jump into this jewel. Its such a relieve from all the killing. Its the best $10 dollars spent at the store.

  3. flower is among the meny games which the psn is amazingly populer for, its not a full game but it diserves to be out there. the psn alows for new developers to create small games and then see how things turn out. flower is a great example of that, i cant imagin Thatgamecompany will leave it here after the mass amount of fans they have, plus with the release of FlOw (another popular game) i can see them making something big in the next few years ( not to mention the fact 3 years ago they wernt even known in the gaming world) all i can say is, thanks for Sony giving everyone a chance, even the little people!!!


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