Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
The premise of Flower is simple. Players assume the role of a gust of wind frolicking through various environments, picking up musical flower petals. There's no story ( at least not in the usual sense ), there aren't any particularly action-packed or cinematic sequences and there are definitely no bald space marines. If all this sounds pretty "homo," well, Flower probably isn't a game for you.
Now, with all that out of the way, we can discuss Flower in earnest. As mentioned earlier, players actually play as the wind. The controls are simple: pressing any button ( except the Playstation, start and select buttons ) causes the wind to blow ( accelerate ) and tilting the controller steers. That's it. That's all there is. This intuitive implementation of Sixaxis motion controls is as effective as it is fitting.
Players initially traverse gloomy, sometimes hostile, desaturated environments collecting colourful flower petals, each flower petal gathered generating a pleasant chiming sound and added to a brilliant, ever swirling trail of flower petals caught in the player's momentum. The environments themselves contain thousands upon thousands of individually rendered blades of grass and flower petals, and collecting certain flower petals will return vibrant colour to an entire region. A pleasant soundtrack completes Flower's artfully mesmerizing presentation.
Flower abandons the usual staccato of automatic fire, instead inviting players to relax and immerse themselves in a soothing harmony of music and colour.
Though technically, Flower does not have a story, the player's actions of restoring nature's warm, vibrant colours by banishing man's stark, hostile industrial grays bear obvious environmentalist overtones.
Verdict: Flower is a radical departure from standard gaming conventions that gracefully succeeds in delivering an exquisite experience for mature gamers. Less game than Nirvana inducing experience, Flower's soothing, breezy gameplay and harmonious mixture of colour and music make a strong argument for games as art. Moreover, Flower represents the best implementation of Sixaxis motion controls to date. Gamers can be proud to add Flower to their collection. Flower proves that sometimes, the best things in life are simple. Just be prepared for the sudden, overwhelming urge to buy a bigger, better HDTV after playing Flower.
Purchased: USD10 @ PSN.
Game Traits applied to Flower (PS3) by Celestine