I have never been able to keep a single plant alive in my apartment. Expect maybe a basil plant for a week or so, then I ate it. I have never really thought of what a plants life is like. Except maybe for a brief period when I was obsessing with Alpha Centauri.
Enter Flower. The second game from thatgamecompany who made the relaxing and unique flOw. A sad flower sits on the sill and dreams of greener pastures. The gameplay mechanics are simple, you control the wind or a single petal and tilt the controller to pick your direction and hold down any button to speed up. As you fly next to a flower it will bloom and the field will blossom in wonderful colors. It's simple, relaxing and has a weird meditative quality. Slightly hypnotic even.
There are six flowers, six dreams to complete, six worlds to transform. While in the later dreams your petals can get electrified in certain places there is hardly any challenge. There are secrets to explore, but in terms of longevity, it is all down to whether you enjoy the mechanics and visuals enough to return once in a while. I know I'm going to return if for no other reason than to show it off to people who are struggling to see gaming as anything but something for kids or extreme violence.
Flower is more of a game than flOw, but it is hard to compare it to any other game as it is devoid of challenge and pressures. Perhaps it should be described as an interactive experience or work of art. But perhaps we should not label it at all and just enjoy the beauty.
Flower is not quite as cheap as flOw, but ten dollars or seven euros is hardly expensive. It is a short game from start to finish, though unlocking all the trophies will take a bit of effort. It feels a bit strange with trophies in a game like Flower, and chasing after them goes against what Flower, in my opinion, is all about. To my eyes it's an effortless, beautiful journey... that tells us something about ourselves and about our environment. Perhaps I should make the leap, buy a plant for my apartment, and try my hardest to keep it alive...