Flow is what can only be defined as the pac man for the 20th century. Next generation machines need next geneneration titles, ones that are not just based on pretty interfaces or first person shooters, but games that brings us back to why we love gaming in the first place.
FLOW does this gracefully. There are no points to be won, no time trials to complete and no questing involved. The game has 4 simple rules in the beginning and the concept itself is very basic, eat other creatures bodies to grow and evolve.
flOw’s controls are extremely straightforward in setup – the Sixaxis’ tilt controls are used for movement while any one of the buttons acts as an action button. Movement is controlled in more of a steering fashion rather than “pushing” your character, and the direction you input is based on the angle of the Sixaxis, not how you turn it. This sounds confusing, and there is a bit of a learning curve involved in getting used to the controls, but after a bit with the game movement becomes second-nature.
Completing each level grants you new life forms that you can use and play with. By the time you’ve “finished” the game you’ll have come across six different forms of evolution, each of which you can swap back into at any point. Swapping forms resets your evolutionary phase and starts you at the beginning of their level, so you’re not able to perform some sort of combo-attacks on helpless amoeba, but it’s cool that you can go back and play with whatever creature you’d like.
One thing that will just keep you playing forever is that each time you play your creature will continually morph as you eat creatures, the display is lit with stunning strobelights as you engulf more and more. Another strength is there is n oloading screens at all, gameplay itself is smooth and to advance to the next level you simply enter a red sphere to go down a level or a blue sphere to go back up a level. If you do happen to lose all you health you retain your form and are forced up a level to regain your health.
The only downside is that though it’s an extremely peaceful and fluid experience, there isn’t a whole lot to do. You’re simply eating things to evolve, and in a very linear fashion to boot. Whereas something like Spore promises all sorts of variety and choice in how you play the game, flOw is about as straightforward a game as they come. You don’t have a choice in how your creature will evolve, so once you’ve played through each form once you’ll have seen just about everything there is to see in the game.
The low price and high quality presentation and sound are really more than enough to warrent the purchase, add in the fact that you will pretty much zone out and relax to this game verus twitch every second is all just another bonus.