Flower (video Game) - Reception


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87%
Metacritic 87/100
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A
Eurogamer 8/10
IGN 9/10
PALGN 9/10

Flower was well received by critics. Alice Liang of 1UP.com applauded the game, saying that "the freedom of movement makes the game feel as relaxing as a gently wafting breeze". She felt that "fun" did not fully describe the game experience, saying that it had a "well-constructed movie's emotional arc" and that the game's music, visuals, and gameplay all drew the player into a compelling emotional experience. She also felt that it was very replayable, which offset its brevity. Ryan Clements of IGN agreed with Liang's opinion, saying that it provided "more enjoyment, emotion and enlightenment than any game" he had played in years. Though he noted that the game would not appeal to everyone, he described it as "something very unique and very powerful", referring to it as a "must-play". Michael Kontoudis of PALGN called it an "utterly unique, brave and moving game brimming with personality and intent", though he noted that as it was closer to a work of art than a game, many players would not be interested in it. Gerard Campbell of The Press similarly described it as something more than a game, calling it a "perfect foil" to "ultra-violent shoot-'em-up" games and summarizing it as "one of the most refreshing and relaxing games around".

Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell had similar praise, describing it as "pleasantly innocent and uplifting", though he awarded it a lower score than other reviewers as he felt the US$9.99 price was too high for the game's length. This criticism was not universal, as reviewers such as Jason Hill of The Age called the A$13 Australian price "reasonable" and described the length as not "overstay its welcome". Critics such as GamePro's Terry Terrones and GameTrailers echoed the same praises as other reviewers for the game; GameTrailers said that it was "less a game and more an experience. You don't necessarily "play" Flower; you interact with it," while Terrones noted the music as the best part of the game's presentation. Tom Hoggins of The Daily Telegraph felt that Flower would "reignite the 'video games as art' debate" and was of the opinion that it was a "wonderful work of art" in addition to a game. The positive reception surprised the developers, as they had expected a mixed reaction.

Flower received the "Best Independent Game Fueled by Dew" award in the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards. It was similarly named the "Best Indie Game" of 2009 by Playboy. It was nominated for the 2009 "Outstanding Innovation in Gaming", "Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design", "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition", and "Outstanding Innovation Achievement in Game Direction" awards, and won the "Casual Game of the Year" award by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. It was nominated for the "Use of Audio" video game awards by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and won the "Artistic Achievement" award. Its soundtrack was awarded the 2009 "Best Original Soundtrack" prize from G4. The music was also nominated for the Game Audio Network Guild's "Music of the Year" award and won the "Best Interactive Score" award. Its gameplay debut at the 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo resulted in multiple awards, including "Best E3 Download Game" from 1UP.com, "Best Original Game" from UGO, and "Special Achievement for Innovation" from IGN. In 2011 it was chosen through a public vote out of an initial selection of 240 to be one of 80 games showcased in a 2012 exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled "The Art of Video Games".

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