I’ve had some mixed responses to supposedly “medatative” games in the past. Some games I’ve found can really support a relaxed atmosphere for the player, while others seem to make being calm as a challenge that must be acquired competitively.
Well Flower, a indie title from ThatGameCompany, is simultaneously both of these and somehow neither. It’s one of a very small collection of games that manages to be more about the experience than the goal, and probably a member of an even smaller group of games that can make a convincing argument for the “games as art” debate. Flower carries itself with a relaxed sense of style, and is capable of conjuring up some of the most beautiful imagery to grace gaming in a long time.
It’s even got me talking wishy-washy.
As the title suggests players take the role of a flower. Or, perhaps more accurately, a flower petal. From the moment it is plucked from it’s home, this petal simply wafts on an invisible breeze until the player gives it a direction to move in. From here, your petal must collect petals from surrounding flowers, which open and begin to shape the landscape around them. Opening a whole collection of certain flowers is greeted with an explosion of colour, as brown grass turns green and more and more petals fly up into the air.