2 Minute Guide: Flower PS3, PS4, Vita

2 minute guide about Flower. 10 things parents should know about Flower.

1. Genre and story:

Flower has been called an “art game”, both because of its visual style and apparent lack of challenge. Players control the wind with a single button, blowing a flower petal through the air by tilting the PS3 controller. Approaching other flowers can cause things to happen in the world, like brightening fields or turning on wind turbines. The plot is minimal but there is a sense of progress and narrative as you play through each level in turn.

2. Developer:

Flower is the second of three games that indie developer thatgamecompany was contracted to make for the PlayStation 3, the first being Flow and the third being Journey.

3. Format:

Though Flower was originally only available on PS3, there are now versions for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 has been criticised for overly fast animations relating to the higher frame rate on that console.

4. Cost:

Thanks to Sony’s Cross Buy, you can purchase all three versions of Flower – PS4, PS3, and Vita – for £6.49/$6.99 on the PlayStation Store.

5. Length:

Getting to the end of Flower will only take a couple of hours, though collecting all of the trophies will take a little longer. Dedicated players will play through the game a number of times discovering new elements each time.

6. PEGI/ESRB rating:

PEGI (http://www.pegi.info/en/index/global_id/505/?searchString=flower) rates Flower a 3+, stating that “the content of this game is suitable for all persons”.

The ESRB (http://www.esrb.org/ratings/synopsis.jsp?Certificate=26328&Title=Flower&searchkeyword=flower) rates Flower E for Everyone, with no content descriptors. It describes the game as one “in which players guide flower petals through a tunnel of air across natural landscapes, caves, and city environments. Players’ goal is to add petals to a growing ‘swarm,’ while solving puzzles along the way.”

Although this is a game that people of any ability can enjoy, to progress through the game’s later stages players need to be at least 7. There are scenes of mild peril in some stages towards the middle of the game where touching electricity pylons creates a shocking sound and loses the player’s petals.

7. GRA consumer information:

N/A.

8. Common Sense Media:

Common Sense Media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews/flower) rates the game as age 7, with parents agreeing and kids saying the game should be rated age 6. Common Sense Media calls Flower “probably one of the most mild and inoffensive games ever made”, as well as “an amazingly easy game to learn how to play, regardless of age”, and highlights its “subtle environmental themes” that “leave players thinking a bit more about the world in which they live and the plants with which they share it”.

9. Themes:

While Flower doesn’t feature any real violence, the flower can be damaged by electrical poles in the later stages, which some young children may find an unpleasant shock. The later levels also take place in darker, more industrial settings, which some small children may not like after the light, colourful early stages.

10. Why people play:

While Flower does have a narrative in its progression from blue skies and green fields to dark cityscapes, the draw of the game is probably more to do with its aesthetic and the floaty feel of directing a loose bundle of flower petals through these abstracted environments. As such, Flower has a meditative feel, making it an experience people return to when they want to relax.

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