Review by RamblingFox
Beautiful, captivating and just a little strange.
If I told you that this was a game where you play as a single petal on the wind, gradually gathering more and more petals, youd probably laugh at me for suggesting its a fantastic game. Well, go ahead and laugh at me because Flower is a fantastic game. I admit, the concept is odd, absurd even, but that doesnt detract from the fact that this is a subtly emotional, beautifully depicted piece of art with enrapturing music and a sense of majesty that is difficult to escape.
Flower is a game with no words, no written objectives and no living creatures present in the entire game, except flowers. The use of the PlayStation Move controller makes it quite hard to get used to at first because it feels so overly sensitive but, after a little practice you and the controller become one. You soar through the hilly landscapes, dipping and diving and riding on the wind with such utter freedom of movement that its a truly satisfying experience and a beautiful sight to behold. The game is slightly puzzle based but mostly an expression of freedom that is completely without restriction. You begin as a couple of petals, bumbling across the wind until you knock into a flower, the petals from that flower join onto you and you become larger, a mass of petals that are different coloured as you plummet and soar into different types of flowers. Theres very little challenge and its all reward with no frustration which is a lovely way to relax and spend some time away from traditional, heavily action or story orientated games.
There are six levels and each level has a little mystery to find within it though generally youll be spending your time finding and opening up the buds of flowers that usually form rings or patterns. By opening up all the flowers youll watch as the grass around you flutters with life and takes on a new colour, completing that area of the map. Its a little tactical; youll need to catch the wind to reach new heights and by pushing it too hard and too fast youll end up swirling out of control, well away from your objective flower. Too slow and you wont get enough speed to continue moving forward smoothly and youll spend a lot of time slowly turning on the spot. The flowers and grasses in this game are like finely shredded paper and they rustle with utter perfection as you breeze them through. Everything is very responsive to your touch and its an immense thrill to be thrown into an open world with no goals, no direction and to find things out for yourself with wondrous results.
Playing this game is an almost dreamy experience thats incredibly calming and almost therapeutic, but at the same time its enjoyable and rewarding. This is likely to be a love it or hate it type of game but the combination of stunning graphics, a deeply expressive soundtrack and the sad underlying storyline makes this game a wonderful piece of interactive artwork. Overall, you can get a good few hours of gameplay out of this if you dont rush it and its such a great source of escapism that Im sure Ill be playing it for years to come.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: flower (US, 11/15/13)
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