Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

No, I’m not talking about Cover Girl. I’m talking about Flower, the latest game to hit the PSN and a true contender for most beautiful game of the year.

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If you’ve ever had a debate with anyone about whether games are art, thatgamecompany’s latest offering should help put that arguement to rest. If you have $10 to spend on a game this weekend, spend it on Flower.

Flower is one of the latest in a slowly growing field of games often referred to as ‘chill’ games. Pixeljunk Eden, A Kingdom For Keflings and flOw are other examples of this kind of game, where the focus isn’t so much on conflict and violence as it is on relaxing and exploring a world with few boundaries.

In the case of Flower, you blow a flower petal across a variety of fields, touching other flowers which open up and add their petals to your breeze. As you collect more and more petals, your ‘tail’ grows longer and longer, which can add some interesting effects and often helps you open up new areas of the world.

Flower uses the Sixaxis controls exclusively and is one of the only games I can think of that actually uses that technology effectively. thatgamecompany should be hired out to teach other studios how to harness the Sixaxis as they’ve obviously got a handle on how it works.

While some might complain about the length of the game (it can be completed in about 3-4 hours) or that it is essentially a gussied up tech demo, for those willing to approach it in the proper frame of mind, it is an utterly rewarding and relaxing experience. There are some twists later in the game that I won’t spoil and I have to say that level 4 is probably the high point of the game, artistically. There are also loads of trophies to unlock and lots of hidden things to go back and search out.

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Enjoy!

Comments

  1. I love it. Perfect to play while sick.

    I know.

  2. @Brock – Would you agree with what Michael Abbott at the Brainy Gamer says about it?

    Flower transports me to a memory of the gamer I used to be. Before consoles, before blogs, before “gamer.” When I played only to play.

    I think he says it perfectly.

  3. I’m glad you mentioned Flower’s expert use of the Sixaxis controller. I wouldn’t want to play this game with thumbsticks, though I’m sure they could easily have designed it that way. Motion control draws you in and makes you feel connected to the world in a much deeper and more tactile way. Thank goodness they nailed the controls and made them so perfectly responsive.

  4. I think that’s one of the most perfect descriptions of the game that I’ve read. There’s a reason I’ve started backing away from the big releases in favour of these smaller games too, both for cost reasons and because they hit that crazy, obscure, untried part of gaming that has gone in decline since the advent of the current batch of consoles.

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