Review by Echo738
"A game that's impossible to get angry at"
Flower, while not necessarily an outstanding or mind-blowing game, is quite an experience for a relatively low price - $9.99 for the full game. You play as a flower petal, blowing across fields and through canyons to collect the petals from other flowers, which eventually form a giant trail of petals and leaves blowing in the wind. It puts you to sleep in the best way possible.
The story is never really presented in the game itself, and comes mostly from developer interviews. In short, you have a wilted flower sitting on a windowsill that overlooks a crowded, noisy city. The flower dreams of sunny, windy fields and hopes to eventually turn the city from a cloudy, dismal setting to a bright and shiny one. That's where all the gameplay takes place - inside the dreams of a dying flower.
The controls are equally simple. Without pressing anything, your petals just kind of float there. They drift forward very slowly, but you can't really play the game that way. By pressing any button on the controller except Start, a wind starts up and carries your stream of petals forward, and tilting the controller steers it. Sharp turns are the only tricky thing to manage; otherwise, the controls are sharp, responsive, and easy to learn.
Music and Sound: 9/10
Each stage comes with its own calm, ambient music. Although they don't really rival the masterpiece orchestra themes from high-budget titles, the music is very relaxing and ambient - fits perfectly, in other words. In addition, flying through a flower to collect its petal creates a little sound effect that varies depending on the type of flower. Yellow ones produce a little "ping", pink ones make a short burst of vocal noise, and so on.
Graphics and Visual Effects: 9/10
No fancy explosions or perfectly detailed faces here, just lots and lots of grass. But if you weren't aware, every single blade of grass is independently rendered and animated. And each stage has thousands of blades of grass all over the stage, each one flowing with the wind and without causing slowdown - an impressive feat on its own. Add to that the breathtaking visual of several hundred petals all glowing and floating in unison, plus the outstanding lighting effects, and you have a sight to behold.
Even though it won't be setting any sales records or making news headlines, Flower deserves every ounce of praise possible. If you ever needed a game to just settle in and calm down with, this was made for you. Well worth the cost of download.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/25/09
Game Release: flower (US, 02/12/09)
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