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What do you think: Flower

Tim Spaeth's picture

Please post your thoughts and impressions on Flower here and we will discuss your comments in an upcoming episode of our podcast. Thanks!

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3  
Developer(s): thatgamecompany  
Genre(s): Weird  
Articles: Podcasts  

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Fun game

This game reminds me of Portal in a lot of ways.

Aside from being a just fun game to play around in, I really like how open-ended the narrative is. There was someone on another podcast somewhere who saw the game as christian allegory, and i've heard other interpretations around the net.


There is no doubt that Flower is a good game that anyone can enjoy at some level. Its simple controls allow just about anyone to experience the joy of flying around as flower petal. And this is indeed a sublime experience.

However, I found some startling design choices a bit odd. Hopefully I'll get to elaborate on these further in a future review over at the message boards. But for now let me just outline some of the issue that I found a tad underwhelming and certainly worth critiquing:

1) For game that tries to emphasize the experience and sensatio0n of flying, isn't it a bit odd that the things you collect (namely flowers) are attached to the ground? At times the game made me feel like I was hovering from flower to flower as opposed to flying.

2) The environmentalist theme is presented with a spectacular lack of subtlety. Seriously, the gigantic, sky-scraper-detroying tree at the end is somewhat embarrassing. I know these are supposed to be "dreams," but I don't think anyone who dreams in such amateurish and cliched metaphors would be willing to admit it in public.

3) The enviromentalist theme also fails because the "nature" segments of the game often feel so dead to begin with. There is hardly a living thing outside of flowers and glass throughout the entire game. As a result, it is somewhat difficult to see what exactly is being destroyed by the "dead" urban landscape. If anything, one might feel relieved when coming across signs of civilization towards the end of the game; however gloomy and sad these scenarios might seem, at least they are not empty and plain.

It is tempting to gush over a game like flower because it is undoubtedly a breath of fresh amidst in a medium that is too often constrained by suffocating conventions. But it is the job of critics to nevertheless point out the many areas in which the game remains surprisingly incoherent and naive.

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