Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Flower (2009)

Genre: ??? | Players1 | Developer: thatgamecompany

In flower you play as an air current that exists inside the dream of a potted flower that sits by a window in a city block. I know that sounds kind of weird.

You pick up a single flower petal and by using the PS3 controller's tilt mechanism direct the petal toward unopened flowers, steering by tilting left or right, gaining height or swooping down by tilting forward or back, and accelerating with a button... any button, they're all the same. It’s the only game I've played that’s managed to make proper use of the tilt-sensing aspect of the controller.

Once you've mastered the control system (30 seconds) it’s relatively simple to encourage your petal passenger serenely along your chosen path, and as you brush past other flowers they blossom and add more petals to your cargo.

Get enough of one colour and something wonderful will happen. Get all of every colour and the world comes alive with a vibrant picturesque response, similar to Clover’s Ōkami (2006). The sense of serene, uplifting achievement as the landscape changed because of my actions is hard to express; I felt like Van Gogh, the controller was my brush, the game world my canvas and I was an artist.

Personally, I despise FPS games. I hate the grey and brown shades that accompany the generic bald jarhead thug so popular nowadays. If you feel similarly then flower is a welcome relief and may be the game for you. At heart it’s simple, but is executed with such beauty and passion that it’s easy to lose hours in the poetic unravelling of colour and life.

It's a PSN game, so is available via download only. There’s a demo of the entire first level so it won’t cost anything to try.

5 interactive paintings out of 5

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