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PSN Review – Flower

Nearly two years ago thatgamecompany unleashed flOw upon the young PlayStation Network.  Later that same year at the Tokyo Game Show they teased a new game similar in concept but taken into an additional dimension, Flower.  Flower takes the full capabilities of the SIXAXIS and puts them to excellent use.

The first thing you will notice upon booting up Flower is the relaxing nature of the game… if you want to call it a game that is.  The music and the bright colorful assets give you that relaxed feel before ever even starting play.  Once you get into the game you’ll almost instantly get pulled in.  The soft, fluid motions of the flower floating through the air is relaxing in its own right, but the simple gameplay with utterly no threat of failure makes the game relaxing even at the most tense of moments.

The controls for Flower are nearly nonexistent, nearly the whole game from the menu to the actual gameplay is controlled utilizing the SIXAXIS.  The only time any sort of button press is utilized is when confirming level selection or to speed up the wind.  As many problems as games have suffered throughout the years with forced SIXAXIS control, Flower pulls it off without a hitch.  The controls themselves are very intuitive and responsive and show what SIXAXIS implementation is truly capable of.

There isn’t so much a story to Flower on the surface, but if you dig down a little you’ll find something.  If you notice the game refers to gameplay as dreams, a flower’s dream if you will.  The flowers sit on the windowsill of an apartment in the city, only dreaming of what it would be like to fly freely in the wind.  All starts off fine but eventually things take a turn towards a dark and rainy day all until a flower comes and saves the day.

With Flower only having six levels (seven if you count the credits), one would not think that it would have much of a replayability factor.  This isn’t the case however as you’ll still be amazed and entertained by the subtle nuances of the world.  But the most important aspect will always remain, it’s relaxing.  Every time you come back you’ll still feel that same sense of relaxation and peacefulness as the first time you started it up.

Those who are concerned about Trophies should be happy to know that the game does support Trophies.  As unique as Flower is, its use of Trophies are almost as unique in their own right.  A few are what you would expect but the truly unique ones involve just relaxing and taking a break, such as taking a ten minute break between dreams (gameplay) to taking a week off from the game.  The Trophies are fun and entertaining and encourage taking you time and exploring and truly getting what it’s all about.

Calling Flower a game is almost an insult, it’s much more an experience and a truly amazing one at that.  It isn’t for everyone though, some may consider it to be ‘boring’ or too ‘artsy’ for their liking. thatgamecompany did a wonderful job at providing another unique experience on the PlayStation Network.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

SixAxis is fluid and easy to use.

Gorgeous nearly dreamlike graphics and sound.

Gameplay is nearly mesmerizingly zen like, very hard to put this down.

10 out of 10