With beautifully spread dust-like particles flowing smoothly throughout the screen, Flow is an indie video game that is not only mesmerizing to look at, but also holds an innovative element to it. It is based on Jenova Chen’s research into dynamic difficulty adjustment and Mihal Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of mental immersion. Flow’s video and audio appeal are worth-praising, but it does tilt towards being more of an art piece than a game. Nevertheless, it is an experience that is rare to find, and we break down what goes into it below.
Story: The game showcases little story as it is only based on a small, multi-segmented worm-like creature that flows through an aquatic setting. It eats cells that surround it that increase its own length. The worm can go up and down the depth of the aquatic environment to find food and keep increasing its size. In the Flash version, a defeatable aggressive creature lies on the bottom-most plane. If defeated, there is the original worm-like creature, identical to the one at the start, and defeating it starts the game all over again.
Play Style: There are no menus or guidelines, nor texts. The game begins immediately with the environment set in a top-down perspective. Two-dimensional planes are stacked upon each other and the player controls a segmented worm-like creature. The creature automatically attempts to consume organisms of varying sizes when they are nearby in each plane. Most of the creatures are not hostile, though some might be and must be consumed with some technical skill. These aggressive creatures perish when all of their segments are eaten by the player’s creature, but they might might eat the player’s creature to regrow their own. Being defeated by them does not lead to death, but the player is simply shifted to a higher plane. The objective of the game lies in reaching the bottom-most plane and making your own creature as large as possible.
Audience: Gamers who are in it for the excitement, thrill, and split-second decisions will be bored to death by this game, so we do not recommend it if you are one of those. However, if you are one to appreciate the art that goes into a game and enjoy the soothing effect pleasant colors and visuals have, Flow might just be for you.
Platforms: Flow is available on Adobe Flash, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.
Verdict: It may not be a game that you get addicted to playing or one that gets your emotions going on a roller-coaster, but Flow is still certainly an experience that every true gamer must have. Maverick IGS recommends you to try it and see for yourself whether it is your cup of tea or not. Nevertheless, we commend thatgamecompany for their continual efforts to stick to their agenda of bringing innovative, out-of-the-box ideas to life.