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Is there anything at all in Flower that actually makes it, you know, a game? Every "gameplay" video I've seen looks like a fricking screensaver, with no goal or serious interaction included...I understand the whole "games can be art" thing, but this experiment is too far into left field, IMO.

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I'm playing it now, it really is pretty awesome. Ambient music, ambient story, and ambient gameplay - it never actually tells you what to do, you just kinda do things at your own pace. Some people like the goal-oriented videogamey style of doing things, others (like me) are spending more time just taking in the world and flying about. Which, I have to say, is actually pretty awesome with the sixaxis controls - in a way it's the first game I've played where it feels like *I* am flying.

And JC yes, there are levels and there are goals, and there is a story. Puzzles too, even trophies. But it's all very very subtle.

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You control the wind. The gameplay involves moving your flower pedals you collect into other areas to get more pedals. You can usually tell the ones you need to collect because their surroundings are visibly void of life (and this depiction varies by level). By getting all the pedals from individual flowers in these areas you bring life back to that surroundings area.

That's the gameplay, it's fun but basically it's collecting things.... but the experience is just... wow. Playing this game is a total joy after blowing through games like Call of Duty and the Killzone 2 demo. It's a breath of fresh air... I really loved the experience.

It really reminded me of that feeling I got when I played Ico. It's one of those kinds of games, where the emotion and presentation of it all just really captivating. And there is a subtle story going on that you can only understand after playing it since it is in fact so subtle. You see things while you play in the levels and very gracefully the levels progress into a natural climax that makes sense. It's abstract, but .... damn, it's good, and you feel good once you finished it.

That said, it's pretty short as you can blaze through it in 2 hours... but if you take your time and enjoy the sights (which you will, the game is beautiful), you'll add more time to that.

It's one of the most emotional and fun experiences I've had in a long time. And there are some really cool sequences when you get the wind to gain a lot of speed and you're going REALLY fast. There's a lot of cool high quality things going on in this simple downloadable title that they didn't really advertise.

... and the credits are pretty damn awesome too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked this up Monday, along with Noby Noby Boy, and I've gotta say it's just great. Haven't played games much as of late, but I had only heard good things of this so had to give it a shot.

The $10 price tag seemed a little high at first, but after playing the first few levels I gotta say I don't regret it. It's just relaxing to play, and as you progress it feels rewarding IMO. Too bad I don't have the same positivity for Noby Noby Boy (camera control just ruins the...odd experience IMO).

Btw, is PS3 thread dead now or what? Searched and it didn't come up.

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  • 1 year later...

Thread-creation stopped in favor of bump.

Flower was released about a year ago, and it has garnered acclaim from critics and gamers alike. This thread was created about a year ago. Time to renew the discussion?

All I want to know is, who all is making games like this and where can I buy them? (and who's coming with me?)

To the uninitiated:

--Strike911's post was a good description. However, words fall short of experience, so...

--Here's a youtube video of the intro and first level:

. I encourage you to watch the first six minutes to appreciate the gradual changes, especially in the music. However, if you desire to skip, do watch the first minute for the artistic backdrop and a half-minute for gameplay, with definite musical changes starting incrementally with advancements that begin at 3:25ish.


--A mini-interview/article in gamasutra on the centrality of emotions: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/24442/Develop_2009_Thatgamecompanys_Chen_On_How_Emotion_Can_Evolve_Games.php.

--Or, how about this... remember Forrest Gump? Remember the leaf? Can you recall its symbolism and the poignancy of the music? Imagine playing that leaf.

This is a beautiful game that, I suppose, is not for everyone. 'Blow a flower petal around; oh that sounds engaging.' Especially non-starting are things like the official trailer, where - with the music replaced with a commercial track - the impact of the game is almost entirely lost. So I don't blame folks for being skeptical or, even when they watch a few minutes of that youtube, thinking little of this. If it ain't your bag, I won't try to pack it.

However, if you are as taken with this as I am - or even if you're just mildly interested - I'd like to start (ahem, restart) a discussion on both this game and on the ideas behind it. By the ideas behind it, I mean the centrality of emotion, the simplicity of controls, and the ease of playing. Captured as eloquently as I can manage: the near-immediate immersiveness into virtual zen.

And for only $10! Koans, eat your awareness out!

So. Flower for PS3 (PSN) and the use of emotion and simplicity in gaming. Discuss (anew).

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