Story image


01 Mar 2009

Who would have thought that the world’s most powerful console would eventually house a game where you watch grass grow (or flourish, as it were)? Even more surprisingly, who would have thought that said game was actually rather fun, and one of the most interesting titles in recent months?

Flower is an intriguing game like none I’ve experienced. The player controls the wind, navigating a flower petal through a dull and colourless landscape. You do so by simply holding a button to blow/accelerate the petal and move it around by tilting the Sixaxis controller in the appropriate direction. In collecting other flower petals by flying into them, you begin to revitalise the environment, returning vibrant colour to the landscape. Returning colour triggers events (like activating a windmill), and once you revitalise an entire area, you move on to the next level.

I almost feel like Flower shouldn’t be treated as a “game” as such, and those expecting a challenge should look elsewhere. It almost feels like a relaxation tool. There are no time limits or point systems; everything is done at the player’s own pace to the sound of ever-so-soothing music. With its pick-up-and-play qualities requiring little intellectual investment from the player, it’s a relaxing and genuinely refreshing change from tried-and-true video game formulas. Developer ThatGameCompany has taken a real creative punt here, and it’s good to see.

However, there are times when you may find yourself spending perhaps too much time searching a vast meadow for an isolated flower that you may have missed. And as relaxing as the game can be, such a situation can be frustrating, making you want to switch to a game that allows you to shoot something. But all in all, I was impressed with this relatively simple concept that pushes the envelope of what a game can constitute in this generation. I eagerly await an inspired developer’s stab at a paint-drying game.

Apple launches revamped iPad Air & iPad mini
Apple loves tinkering with its existing product lines and coming up with new ways to make things more powerful – and both the iPad Air and iPad mini seem to be no exception.
Epson innovations and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
The world’s greatest motorsport event, the Formula One Grand Prix World Championship, descended on Melbourne’s Albert Park over the weekend for the first race of the 2019 season.
Tesla unveils the Model Y SUV
After much anticipation, Tesla unveiled the Model Y last week – a vehicle that is described as an all-electric, mid-size SUV that can seat seven adults – and the vehicle has a glass roof.
Preparation for Tokyo 2020 Olympics begins - with robots
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are quickly approaching, but it won’t just be a sea of athletes and sports fans – now robots will make up a significant part of the fan experience.
NZ ISPs block internet footage of Christchurch shootings
2degrees, Spark, Vodafone and Vocus are now blocking any website that shows footage of the mosque shootings.
How AI could warn civilians before a volcanic eruption
Advance monitoring could lead to better disaster planning and evacuation warnings in the event of an eruption.
Facebook launches dedicated home for its Gaming
"All of our work on the Facebook Gaming team adds up to helping build the world's gaming community."
Spotify calls out Apple's anti-competitive behaviour
Apple's App Store rules "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience—essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers".