GDC '08: flOw Hands-On

We check out a work-in-progress PSP version of thatgamecompany's stylish evolution game.


SAN FRANCISCO--Originally an MFA thesis project that took the form of a downloadable PC game, flOw was brought to the attention of console gamers when Sony made the PlayStation 3 version something of a showpiece for its console at various conventions. At last year's Tokyo Game Show, an expansion pack for the PS3 game with a new playable creature was unveiled and, at the Game Developers' Conference today, we were able to get our hands on the upcoming PSP version for the first time.

If you've played the PS3 version of flow, you'll know that it made good use of the Sixaxis controller's motion controls, which obviously isn't possible on the PSP. You'll play the handheld version using the analog stick (the D pad doesn't appear to be supported) in conjunction with the X button, which affords your aquatic creature a brief speed boost when pursuing other organisms.

As far as we could tell during the 10 minutes or so that we spent with the game, the PSP version of flOw is identical to the PS3 game in almost every regard. The only difference we noticed is that the areas you're swimming around in while on your quest to eat other organisms and evolve are smaller. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, given that after feasting on most of any particular level's organisms on the PS3, it could sometimes take a long time to find the special red and blue creatures you need to swim toward so that you can descend a level deeper or ascend toward the surface, respectively.

The PSP version of flOw will be released on the PlayStation Store for the PC on March 6. No pricing for the game has been announced at this time. We'll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.


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The ps3 version of this game is amazing!


Actually, I heard the game looks "a little rough." The resolution is a little weak and it's easier than the PS3 version. Still fun to play, though, and I'm still buying it. I need me some portable fl0w.