Game Review – Flower (PS3)
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.