Flow & Flower – The video games


Flow is a lovely indie video game by thatgamecompany. In Flow, the player navigates a series of two-dimensional (2D) planes with an aquatic microorganism that evolves by consuming other microorganisms. You can also de-evolve  if you happen to hit an enemy microorganism.

This game is really relaxing, and quite beautiful in its simplicity. There isn’t much to say besides that!! 🙂
My rating? 4 out of 5 stars.


Flower is the third indie game made by thatgamecompany, same company that created Journey, which I love. This came in my Journey collection.

According to Wikipedia….

In Flower, the player controls the wind, blowing a flower petal through the air using the movement of the game controller. Flying close to flowers results in the player’s petal being followed by other flower petals. Approaching flowers may also have side-effects on the game world, such as bringing vibrant color to previously dead fields or activating stationary windmills. The game features no text or dialogue, forming a narrative arc primarily through visual representation and emotional cues.

Of the three games, this is my least favorite. I laboured through it, and I’m glad it was only a few hours long. The neat thing is that the game is controlled with a playstation controller that allows motion. Using the controller you move it in the direction you want the wind to move.

If you think you might be into this, then go for it. 🙂

My rating? 3 out of 5

All in all, if you want to play these games, I suggest buying the Journey collection. You’ll get all 3 games for one great price.

Journey – The most beautiful indie game I’ve ever played.


Journey is by far the most beautiful indie game that I’ve ever played. Journey is exactly what the title says. It’s a journey. Ok, this isn’t going to work. I will paint you a picture.

You pop in the disk, and the game does a little installing on your Playstation. You choose to Start a new Journey. When the title has loaded, you are this little character in a red robe sitting in a desert. The game quietly mentions to take your motion detecting controller and move it from side to side. When doing so, you see the game moves with you. So clean, so simple. Ahead of you you see a large sand dune with stones and a flag blowing in the wind. By now you’ve made your character move 360º and you see there’s nowhere else to go but there. When you get to the top, there you are, this little character all dressed in red, in front of a foreboding mountain. Your task is simple. Explore on your way to the mountain. Soon you’re seeing that there are floating flags around and if you get near them, a little musical sound is heard and whoa! You have a little scarf. Soon you’re prompted that if you push a button on your controller, you can add a little oomph to your next jump. But you see that your scarf which was once highlighted with white is all red again. Time to collect more flags. The controls are simple as is the game. Journey’s story is told wordlessy though in-game and cinematics. Even the soundtrack is beautiful.

For your very first journey, I recommend disconnecting from the Playstation network and playing one game by yourself. I’m sure it’s fun to have someone with you, but when you’re alone you can really take in the beauty, and the struggles this character goes through to get to the mountain. This game also has a co-op option although I have yet to try it. It requires a network connection to the Playstation. You start the game and some anonymous person may (or will?) join your in your journey. There is no communication or competition except for the musical sounds the characters make. I’ve heard from friends that playing the online version of Journey is one to try.

I thought after a long while that I’d play Journey again. Since I already played it, all the levels were unlocked. I chose the one that I thought was next, and ended up on some pink sand. I started toward to the first building I could see and some flying carpet “animals” came out to accompany me / lead me to the next area. The dunes were so high I was glad they were there. When I got there I released more of these creatures. By the time I got to the third building I was joined by an online player! They weren’t with me for very long because I missed my highest jump, and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill, they were gone. But that was my first co-op experience with Journey. 😀

I don’t know too much about the musical score in Journey, but here is some information according to Wikipedia:

Unlike many games, where different songs have different themes for each character or area, Wintory chose to base all of the pieces on one theme which stood for the player and their journey, with cello solos especially representing the player. Wintory describes the music as “like a big cello concerto where you are the soloist and all the rest of the instruments represent the world around you”, though he describes it as not necessarily orchestral due to the inclusion of electronic aspects.[22][24] The cello begins the game as “immersed in a sea of electronic sound”, before first emerging on its own and then merging into a full orchestra, mirroring the player’s journey to the mountain.[25] While the game’s art style is based on several different cultures, Wintory tried to remove any overt cultural influences from the music to make it “as universal and culture-less as possible.”

If you haven’t played this game yet, I think you should. It’s got the highest metacritic rating that I’ve ever seen. The story will evoke some emotions and make you feel things you didn’t think would be possible.

Thinks I like about this game:

  • Visuals, graphics, musical soundtrack
  • Characters do not speak, but communicate by musical notes
  • A co-op journey where two characters can help each other.
  • You will want to replay this game over and over. It never gets old.

Things I dislike about this game:

  • When I wanted to play Journey a second time, I  didn’t go far and saw that every section of the game was open, and walking into any one of the ‘rooms’ would immediately transport me to that section. What I really wanted was to play it like I did the first time, and I have to figure out how to do that without deleting my save file.

My rating? 10 out of 5 stars.

Cheers

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl