This game is way less intense than the previous few, and propagates the well-popularized message of preserving the environment.
Flower is a short downloadable game for the PlayStation 3 in which the player controls the wind that is blowing a flower petal through the air. The goal is to collect other flower petals by flying past flowers in the landscape, that will then follow you on the breeze as you progress through the level. Often times collecting these petals causes changes in the landscape itself, adding color by revitalizing other plants or turning on windmills.
The controls are extremely simple. The game utilizes the gyroscopic mechanism of the PS3 controller, and the player controls the direction of the wind simply by tilting the controller in the direction they want the wind to go. Any button increases the speed of the wind, but no actual buttons need to be pressed to proceed throughout the game.
Throughout the game’s six levels (which are loosely connected into narrative without words), its environmentalist message becomes ever more apparent. The first two levels focus on the player increasing the beauty of the landscape by revitalizing grasses, trees, and flowers. The focus in the third and fourth levels then shifts to activating windmills, which then turn on lights as night approaches. In the fifth level, night falls and the flower approaches a city during a storm. The music becomes noticeably more ominous and the landscape fills with power lines that can shock the flower petal (though there is no way to die or lose). This urban landscape is noticeably darker, more dangerous, and finding the flowers required to progress through the level becomes more difficult. Finally in the sixth level the player reaches the city, which looks abandoned. Here the flower petal gains the ability to destroy metal obstructions and as it does so, it revitalizes the city. At the culmination of the level, the flower destroys the metal girders in a large crumbling skyscraper, and transforms it into a giant tree.
Through this narrative arc, the message of preserving nature, and revitalizing society through nature are obvious. The flower petal both revives the natural landscape and the city, demonstrating the essential connection of nature and society. While environmentalism is not an issue lacking in public awareness, it is not the actual message, but the way it is delivered that is interesting. The “natural” style of the controls (simply directing the wind with the position of the controller) helps connect the player directly with the game, while also underscoring the importance of nature in harmony with technology. This message is be easily understood, but is not overbearing. No words are ever used in the game, and no specific actions are ever forced upon the player. The player is free to explore the world on his or her own, and to draw their own conclusions from what they discover. Flower manages to make its argument purely through visual (including audio) and procedural rhetoric.