By: Mayur Gandhi    On: PlayStation 3
Published: Monday 16 Feb 2009 10:00 AM
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"That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic."
-Roger Ebert

Games have been arguably considered expressions of art for a long time now. But every argument for this is matched by an argument against. One man's art is another man's trash, and another man's trash is one man's man. But art is subjective isn't it? Flower is certainly not trash by any means, but it could be fairly considered to be art. Argue against at your leisure below.

Flower is thatgamecompany's second of a planned three games for the PlayStation Network - the first being flOw - and like flOw it doesn't follow conventional gaming conventions. There are no guns, no macho heroes, no babes, no gore, but when a game is called Flower you'd be a fool to expect those things.

The story for Flower is rather abstract and implicit. Each level is a different flower's dream as it sits on a windowsill in a dreary grey apartment amongst the hubbub of a depressing industrialised city (think London on a rainy day). You assume the role of a petal and fly through beautiful meadows by tilting the sixaxis controller and pressing any button for a speed boost. It's simple stuff, but this control scheme is rather engaging as you get a real sense of flight while bracing the controller with both hands.

Throughout each dream you'll find other flowers whose petals will trail along with you on your journey with the ultimate goal of finding enough to bring about small explosions of colour and life to the game world. It's very similar to how Elika cleanses the fertile lands in the recent Prince of Persia. Another game Flower has more in common with is PixelJunk Eden - if you think about it, the gameplay objectives are almost identical.

As you progress through the game the colour you bring extends to the real world too but to say more would be to wade into spoiler territory. I will say, however, that the screenshots and videos you may've seen: they're from the first two levels; the rest of the game looks very different.

Flower is a surprisingly emotional game despite its simplicity. The environmental contrasts invoke moods of freedom and escapism which is only further enhanced by the subtle, light and dynamic music you play to. It's a great game to relax to or play in-between games. At about four to five hours long for under $16 it's high value, especially since the game is so easy to get into and replay.

Flower is magical. There really isn't another word to describe it. It's fresh, it's new, it's fun and it has a whole lot of heart. Don't pass on the opportunity to pick it up.

The Score

"This is one PSN title you need to pick up. "
Rating: G   Difficulty: Easy   Learning Curve: 5 Min


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Comments (13)

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Gazza22 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 10:03 AM Posted by Gazza22
Sounds interesting.

**Goes and checks Loaded card account balance.**
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 12:11 PM Posted by Lisa3x3x3
it does sound interesting, but maybe to . . . bland?
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 1:02 PM Posted by bluntcorpse
Its far from bland.
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 4:51 PM Posted by jonohobs@hotmail.com
$15? hmmmmmm mayybe
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 5:43 PM Posted by BlackRetina
I love abstract art. It gives much for thought.
Grunt of God
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 9:40 PM Posted by Grunt of God
Hmm, I was wondering about this game when I heard about it. I'll have to get my PS3 friend to download it :p
On Tuesday 17 Feb 2009 5:34 AM Posted by Xyttik
On Tuesday 17 Feb 2009 8:34 PM Posted by ChatterboxZombie
17 February 2009, 05:34 AM Reply to Xyttik
Sure, let me just go drop 600 BUCKS ON A BLOODY CONSOLE FOR IT!

On Friday 20 Feb 2009 9:31 AM Posted by yesandy
17 February 2009, 08:34 PM Reply to ChatterboxZombie
Sure, let me just go drop 600 BUCKS ON A BLOODY CONSOLE FOR IT!

Not worth $600, but definitely worth the $15. You'll keep going back to those first few levels, they are magic!
On Sunday 22 Mar 2009 10:27 AM Posted by AndyTheNoob
looks interesting?? 0-o
On Monday 20 Apr 2009 7:48 PM Posted by dman
does anyone have this whats it like?
Gazza22 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Tuesday 19 May 2009 1:52 PM Posted by Gazza22
Just dropped my manly staunch persona and brought this.

Someone said it perfectly, "Your hands will simply melt into the control pad" That's what its exactly like. Beautiful.
Bank NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 11 Apr 2013 7:36 PM Posted by Bank
Sexy as. Playing it whenever I get spare minutes.