Monday, March 12, 2012

flower: the most beautiful ungame

so pretty
I just bought myself a PS3 this last Christmas. Which means I have six years of games to catch up. I'm slowly working my way through the highlights, including Assassin's Creed and inFamous, but the game that has struck me the most has been the PSN exclusive flower.

Before I continue, I'd like to say that I hesitate to even call this a game; its an experience. And I say that in the least pretentious way possible. It has no score, no time limit, no enemies and no way to die. There's not even an option menu.

In flower you control a gust of wind. You start each level by blowing a single petal off a single flower in a field. As you proceed through the level, you blow by more flowers, causing them to bloom and taking more petals with you, forming a gorgeous string of flower petals that follow your every movement. The game is controlled using the PS3's six-axis controls, allowing you to gracefully guide your way by simply moving your controller. A single button is used to accelerate your speed; releasing the button slows you back down.

Every detail about this game is meant to be serene and comforting. The visual are beautifully rendered, the music is calm and relaxing and dynamically changes as you pluck more and more petals. Each level is followed by a montage of scenes from the field you've just blossomed.

As I'm sure you can tell by now, I'm a fan of this game. Its a wonderful piece of art and a great experience. However, I need to finish off this article with a quick story with some background.

My wife is awesome and supportive of my geeky hobbies. She enjoys playing board games with me and I can convince her to join me in the occasional game of Mario Kart. But when I first downloaded the demo of this game and I started playing she did something she's never done in the five years I've known her; she asked to have a turn. Needless to say, we bought the game that night.

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