Flower is an emotional and philosophical experience which can't be explained by delving into the mechanics or design.

User Rating: 7 | flower PS3
Flower is a game that so effortlessly defies classification and as such is a proud testament of the untapped possibilities of this medium. Contrary to popular belief, gaming has not come to a point where we've already seen everything and Flower is a shining example.

The concept is simple, you guide a single petal by controlling the wind through wonderful dream-like fields and meadows. As you reach other flowers, they bloom and their petals join your own whirlwind of petals. It is such a simple yet inexplicably joyous concept. There are only six levels and each is extremely short, but they are varied and each offers something distinct. The first few are variations of fields and meadows during different weather patterns and time of day, there's also a night-time level and even something that could be construed as a horror level. The apex comes during the final level in which you enter a dreary grey city. Transforming the city into a sea of life and color is just an incredibly moving experience.

The art-styIe and the music are absolutely beautiful and intricately interwoven, like all aspects of the game they are minimalistic yet they perfectly convey the intended mood. The way that the grass gives way to the breeze, the way that each flower has its own distinct sound (be it a piano, acoustic guitar or glockenspiel), the color and the melodies always melt together to create a soulful fusion which never ceases to delight the senses.

Flower is almost entirely controlled by moving or tilting the controller in a certain direction. I wouldn't brand the controls as clunky or unintuitive, but they do clash with the serene nature of the game. The game itself instructs you to relax, but that is not entirely possible since you have to move your hands around quite a bit. This could have been resolved with traditional twin-stick controls and it's a blunder that it at least isn't offered as an alternative.

The game is also much too short. It is entirely possible that they thought that the concept is too simple for a longer experience, but that just isn't the case. In fact, I already replayed all of the levels several times and I still want more. They could've easily added double the content with even varied scenarios and locations.

In the end, Flower is an emotional and philosophical experience which can't be explained solely by delving into the mechanics or design. It is a work of art that whispers something different to each player. Softly.