It will simply blow your mind away
Personally, writing a game review is a daunting experience in this generation of gaming. Games have followed the path of technology and have become incredibly complex and fascinating in their design. But every so often we are treated to an experience that is simple yet exhilarating. Flower is one of these experiences.
By definition Flower cannot be consider a game given its lack of objectives and challenge and for the enthusiasts and purists out there I know I have lost your vote alone in this first statement, but hear what I have to say. Flower is delightfully pretty. Flower’s simplistic art design combine with its amazing colour, scale and clarity, makes Flower’s visual presentation simply unparalleled with anything we have seen up until this point. Sure it may not be the most realistic and it is definitely not stretching any boundaries, but given the chance Flower’s artistic design will impress you on some if not every level of your appreciation for interactive art.
So what do you do in Flower? Well it is very simple. You are the wind and no I don’t mean one of the people that helps summon Captain Planet. You are simply the wind. Any button here will act as your momentum whilst the Sixaxis motion control will acts as your direction. That’s it, one button and motion control, so sit back and relax as there is no daunting button combinations that you have to remember. Your goal (if you can call it that), is to direct your wind path across the copious amount of flowers that are not quite in bloom. Doing so will allow them to blossom and from each blossomed flower you will collect one petal which will add to the trail of your wind path. It is quite invigorating seeing these trails grow and watching them mimic the every turn you make. You will sometimes find yourself wanting to chase you tail, unlike a dog though, you will catch it most of the time.
At the end of each level you will change the environment in some drastic way. These changes can be either positive or negative, but they are always a visual payoff and are amazing to watch unfold.
There is an amazing orchestral score here as well which adds to the relaxed atmosphere Flower is trying to accomplish. It is even more astounding that you get a chance to either add to it or control it, given that you set of a note with every flower you help blossom. In some cases you be blooming fields of flowers and in other levels the only music heard is from the flowers you bloom. In both of these instances you will feel like you are conducting your own symphony. Combine that with the sounds of traversing the lush grass or cruising through the thunder sky and your ears will swear that they have never heard something this rich and pleasant.
Flower though, is simply not for everybody, nor does it try to hide that. For some, the $13 AUS ($10 US) price tag may be considered steep for the short experience that it offers. However, if you can get past that and have a niggling for something different, that isn’t a challenge but is a delightful beauty to behold, then Flower will have something to offer you. For me personally coming off the back of playing MGS4, Far Cry 2, Dead Space and Killzone 2, Flower was the mindless and relaxing experience I needed to help separate my intense selection. Simply put, Flower blew my mind away.