Hidden Gems: flOw

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The PSN game flOw has been around for a while now. A long while. It was actually released on the 30th of March 2007 (UK date) and made a good impression on those who were excited about Sony’s venture into the next-gen gaming scene. So were all the glorious things written about it just Sony excitement or a true summation of it as a game? Well, maybe a bit of both in those days to be fair. Recently we noticed that flOw has had a trophy update and decided that although it’s an old game, it’s one that deserves another mention. We’re sure some of you trophy addicts who want to give yourselves a little booster to improve your PSN ID ‘level’ will be glad we brought this up.

flOw 2That Game Company (no we haven’t forgotten their name, that is the developer’s name) used flOw as their début on the PSN, which was met with applause, and rightly so. As the game starts up and the orchestral music begins, it immediately puts the player into a relaxed state of mind. As you take control of one of the creatures it becomes immediately apparent that the Sixaxis you use to control the creature has been refined to be not just well implemented but intuitive. Starting off as a small and vulnerable ‘little fish’ in a big pond, you begin to munch your way through schools of smaller amoeba sized organisms. As the music takes hold and begins to chime along with your on-screen actions you’ll find yourself sinking into your chair and just letting the visuals and audio suck you into its deep, colourful world.

flOw 3There is something subconsciously blissful about playing flOw that makes you forget about the time and your surroundings, and an enchanting vacancy will enter your mind, if you let it. As you swim gracefully through this primordial pond this organism you puppeteer will grow and evolve into something much more foreboding to the other things that inhabit its space and the deeper you delve, you’ll find your confidence grow with it. It’s at this point a strange thing happens; an obsession for consuming everything on-screen will take hold of you and in an entranced state, you’ll start to systematically eat your way through the food-chain until there’s nothing left to consume. This is the totality of flOw; Swim, eat, grow and evolve. That might sound a little tedious, but that’s actually the beauty of it as a game, it is simplicity wrapped in radiance.

flOw 1On the other hand, one could argue that flOw is nothing more than a tech-demo of Sony’s “me too” Sixaxis motion controls and while this assumption would be a fair point there’s no argument that flOw, as a game in its own right, has every reason to be praised for what it is. Even on the PSP without the Sixaxis, the charm of flOw has not been lost. Although it is easier to lose yourself in a 42 inch HD TV hooked up to a surround sound system, the PSP does a good job of re-creating it for the small screen. Simple in design and strangely compelling in its nature, flOw will deliver on its promise of sumptuously bright and beautiful visuals and seductive, soothing melodies. If you haven’t already, we urge you to download this for one of the most soothing and charming experiences on the PSN.


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Written by R.Furie

Ross has been playing games since he can remember and has had games machines around him all his life. He's what we now refer to as "Old Skool" because he grew up playing games with a hand carved wooden joystick on a TV forged from rope and stone. Nourished on a diet of Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Joust, Gauntlet, Bomber Jack and other various wholesome arcades he has grown to become a versatile and open minded gamer. Favouring the style of open-world games he's sure VR can't be far away, and looks forward to attaching himself to a colostomy bag and slipping into a deep VR coma so he need never have to deal with real life again.

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