flOw, developed by That Game Company, has simple yet deep game play which makes this not so much a game, but more of an experience. It has no story or character; you are simply an organism eating other organisms to grow and advance through a seemingly infinite amount of levels. Now will this game reach out and pull you into the experience or will it simply flow into the deep never to be seen?
When you first start the game you will be given four basic instructions that explain how to move, how to boost, how to pause and that other players can jump in and out at any time for some co-operative play. That’s it! That’s all you will ever need to know to enjoy this game.
The SIXAXIS controls are implemented beautifully, as it actually feels like you are steering your organism instead of forcing it or pushing it around. In fact the controls are implemented so well that after spending some time playing it you will start to feel like it is an extension of your self more than a controller manipulating what you see.
Your one and only goal in the game is to eat other organisms in order to evolve your own organism. You simply use one of your forms’ abilities to destroy your enemies’ many sections and with each section you eat you will grow. You also will need to keep an eye out for some malicious organisms which will also try and destroy you. You also can eat objects that will transport you up or down to a new level making it feel like there are an infinite amount of levels to go through.
In passing through these levels you will take 6 different forms. Each form will have a different ability. Your starting form will be able to boost forward, your second form will perform some sort of spin attack, another poisons other organisms and so on. You will be able to swap back and forth between each form, but in doing so you will return to the most basic of that form. All this adds into a level of depth that at first is not truly noticed or seen, but with some playing around and switching between forms you discover that this can be a much deeper game.
When it comes to visuals and sound there isn’t a whole lot to comment on. The simplistic visuals and the soothing music help complete this experience and will make this one of the more unique and relaxing games you will ever come across.
The one and only downfall of this game would be the length. You very easily could get through this game in 2 hours, and for some there may not be a lot of replayability. But to a lot of people this will be one of those games which you can come home to after a stressful day and sit back and relax with, which in my book makes this have endless replay value.
flOw may not be for everyone as there is no “action” so to speak; no story…you cannot blow someone’s head off (because we all need that, right? ha!). It does something completely different for you. It pulls you in and soothes your mind and body in such a way that no other game at the time of its release could claim. If you want to have a truly unique gaming experience, this is the game for you.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
Could have included more content.
Great change of pace from the bullets and explosions of most games.