ThatGameCompany has slowly become a well known name in the community. Mostly due to their popular title Journey. Before Journey, there was Flower, and even way before that, there was a small PS3 game called flOw. It was a rather unique title that introduced us to ThatGameCompany. Now it makes its way to the PS4.
flOw is a difficult game to explain. I took control of a small organism swimming around in water. After observing some other cells and organisms I saw that I would have to devour small creatures to grow larger. After eating everything on the plane, I would eat either a blue or red cell that would either move me deeper in the water, or raise me higher to the surface. After reaching the lowest part of the pool, I would find an egg that, when eaten, would send my creature back to the beginning and allow me to control a different organism and go through the pool again.
That is the main mechanic of flOw. Of course, there are a few things to remember while traversing the pool. I’m not the only organism out there trying to get big and strong. Others fought against me in the battle for top amoeba. When taking on stronger creatures, I would have to use strategy and positioning to eat certain parts of their bodies while stunning them and avoiding their own attacks.
Movement is all handled through SIXAXIS controls on the DualShock 4. I was tasked with tilting my controller either up down left or right in order to steer my organism. This does take a while to get used to and even when I thought I had the controls all figured out, there would always be a time when they wouldn’t allow me to do what I needed it to do. It wasn’t a game breaker, but it did get annoying after a while. If I ever needed a boost of speed when trying to chase down a cell or when an enemy was after me, I could hold down a button. The controls are that simple.
flOw is one of those games that feels like an experiment. Sure, I could go through each level eating everything in sight, but I never had to. In fact, I could have easily avoided enemies and made my way down to the egg without eating a single thing. This is shown nicely through the trophies that are available. There are multiple ways to play the game, but they all lead to the same ending.
The visuals look about the same from the PS3 version, although, I do like the art style. I really like the way the sounds and minimal music play into the actions and movement. It really adds to the overall experience.
It may not be a game for everyone, and granted it is a little short, but for $5.99 the experience of flOw is a rather relaxing one that people who enjoy a more art style game with minimalist controls may want to look into it. It has a little trouble with the controls, but it’s still a rather enjoyable ride.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.