In Flower, from celebrated designer Jenova Chen and developer thatgamecompany, there’s no way to lose – a truth that stands in opposition to the video game norm. It’s a meditative, serene experience in which you control the wind as it sweeps up blossoming petals amidst vast hills of swaying grass. Through a marriage of finely-tuned control and unparalleled presentational detail, Flower is mesmerising in ways that few titles rival.
Since its console debut, Flower has become such an important landmark in video game history that it was inducted as a permanent fixture in the game collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Now, through a partnership with Annapurna Interactive, it’s finally come to your iPad and iPhone alongside a number of welcomed improvements, including more responsive motion control, haptic feedback, enhanced resolution, and a rock solid fluidity of 60 frames per second. Yes, please.
Chen, like Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, has become a video game icon. The thirty-five year-old China native is the creative force behind some of Sony’s most acclaimed games. He’s unconcerned with the latest gaming trends, which are often violent, and far more interested in celebrating beauty and togetherness.
Chen moved from Shanghai to California and found himself floored by the state’s stretches of vibrant green. "I felt like a man growing up in the desert, who travelled to the sea for the first time,” he says.
I felt like a man growing up in the desert, who traveled to the sea for the first time.
He wanted to share his nature-inspired revelation with friends and family back home, and he knew panoramic photos wouldn't do it justice. He needed something interactive.
The result is an experimental game with boundless, lush landscapes, a beautiful soundtrack and a premise that anybody can understand.
“When we designed Flower, our hope was for it to be immediately accessible and for players to feel new emotional moments that are relevant to them,” explains Chen. “Audiences should be able to relax and check out Flower without worrying if they are capable of the challenge. I feel this is an important choice when inviting non-gamers to try something new.”
“Over the past few years, we have been humbled by the fan response to Flower on PlayStation. We have received letters where they communicate the game has helped them push through illness, or come to peace with an emotional time such as bereavement,” says Chen. “Flower on iOS will make it accessible for more users to share and play with loved ones. Our hope is that players will encounter the sense of awe of the vast fields of nature that originally inspired the game.”