7.5 Overall Score
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 7/10

An experience type of game that is about the art


Game Info

Game Name:   Flow

Developer(s):   Thatgamecompany/SuperVillain Studios

Publisher(s):   Sony Computer Entertainment

Platform(s):   PS3/PSP/PS4/PS Vita

Genre(s):   Simulation

Release Date(s):   April 14, 2006

ESRB Rating:  E

flow video game gameplay screenshot

I’m just a little organism trying to make it in this crazy life…

You are alive!  Making your way through the primordial ooze, you eat survive and survive by eating.  Growing and expanding, you go deeper and deeper…reaching for the light and the next step in life!

Flow (or stylistically presented as flOw is an art video game developed by Thatgamecompany and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.  The game was released to critical acclaim and won multiple gaming awards.  The game was released for download but also was made available for the PS3 packaged with Journey and Flower.

Flow isn’t really a video game by definition.  Yes, you play with a controller, there are winnable trophies, and there is an ending, but the game really isn’t about winning or losing.  Flow (like Journey and Flower) is about the art of video gaming and the attempts to make gaming not only about the game but about the experience.

flow video game screenshots review gameplay

Gotta hustle and flow…

You are thrust into Flow with no explanation.  You find yourself floating in a fluid (presumably) and if you’ve ever looked through a microscope, you assume that you’re a small organism in something like a Petri dish.  With general other organism floating around you, you quickly learn that you must eat them (or not eat them if you are attempting for one of the trophies) to grow and become more of a survivor.  Going to specific red and white floating creatures, you can move up and down the levels of the dish where you encounter bigger and often more aggressive organisms until you reach a light ball which moves you on to the next organism.  This goes on through a number of different organism until you reach the “end” and the credits.

Flow is aided by a nice soundtrack that continues the mellow feel of the game.  As the title implies the game just flows and the soundtrack flows with it.  Soothing and relaxing, the soundtrack works well with the game (unless you start to get frustrated by organisms pushing you back to higher levels of the ooze).

flow video game gameplay screenshots

You can be a winner at the game of Life!

Flow relies heavily on the motion sensors of the PlayStation controllers.  While the organism often (not always) has a propulsion method using any of the keys, the main movement is through tilting and angling the control.  This can sometimes be frustrating because not all of the organism move the same and sometimes you feel like you’re at the mercy of the fluid in which you are swimming.

Flow is one of those experience games.  It won’t take you long to play, but it is memorable and different.  Boiled down, it kind of reminds me of the old Snake game with no danger or death.  You want to get bigger; you eat.  You eat and you can eat bigger and creatures (they even use this as a creative way to encourage you to watch the credits).  It may not be worth the purchase price, but if you can get your hands on Flow, you’ll want to check it out.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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