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The Final Cut: flOw

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

Original Review — 500 Words

The works of thatgamecompany have always been more like relaxation tools than games. Their unconventional gameplay, soothing melodies, and gorgeous imagery all work together to make a calm atmosphere that puts the player in a relaxed state as they explore the majestic beauty of the game world without worry of death, time limits, or anything else that presents a challenge.

This is especially true with flOw. Originally a flash game, flOw is a game about aquatic organisms that casts players as one of six organisms as they make it evolve by eating other similar organisms. The premise is simple, and surprisingly addictive.

Similar to last year's Flower, the game is played by tilting the sixaxis controller in the direction you wish to move. Tilting it forward makes the organism move up, tilting it to the sides moves you left or right, and tilting it back toward yourself makes it move down. This takes awhile to get used to (took me 'til the third campaign to get it down), but it works well, and feels natural.

The game is split into multiple stages that comprise each campaign (there are five in all, each starring a different organism). They all contain aquatic organisms like yourself, with advanced ones that are identical to the playable ones, and smaller ones that serve as food for you and your fellow organisms.

The goal is to eat the other organisms to make yours grow, but you can completely skip that if you wish. Since the game doesn't force you into doing anything, you can move through each campaign quickly by simply moving toward the red organism that moves you to the next level. This allows you to go at your own pace, but also makes it much shorter since you can just rush through it.

However, by doing so, you become more vulnerable when attacked by hostile life forms. The punishment for being attacked isn't very severe, though. All that happens is that you retreat to the previous level, but it's enough to cause some annoyance when dealing with more agile life forms.

FlOw's not a hard game by any means — death is virtually nonexistent, and battling your fellow organisms is as simple as swimming over them — but, nevertheless, it's still entertaining. Drifting about the serene, misty, water-like backdrop is a very relaxing experience because of its soothing music, and simplistic, almost ethereal look.

FlOw's biggest problem is the limited amount of content. With only five campaigns that can each be completed in under two minutes, there isn't much to do. There are trophies, but unless you're crazy about 'em, they won't add much to the game's longevity. It also has co-op play for up to four players, but that doesn't add much either.

That said, it's still an interesting, and unique experience that's well worth playing, especially at the low price of $7.99. It won't last long, but the experience will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Screenshot from flOw

First Cut — 250 Words

The works of thatgamecompany have always been more like relaxation tools than games. Their unconventional gameplay, soothing melodies, and gorgeous imagery create a calm atmosphere whose purpose is to relax the player as they explore the majestic beauty of the game world.

This is especially true with flOw, a game about aquatic organisms that casts players as one of six organisms as they make it evolve by eating other similar organisms across five campaigns, each starring a different organism.

However, you don't have to eat them, as you can move through each campaign quickly by getting to the red organism that moves you to the next level. But doing so makes for a much shorter game.

It's not a hard game by any means — death is virtually nonexistent, and battling your fellow organisms is as simple as swimming over them — but it's still entertaining. Drifting about the colorful, misty, water-like backdrop is relaxing because of its small, simple, calming music that adds an element of wonder as you explore the depths of this ethereal aquatic world.

The biggest problem with it is the amount of content. With only five campaigns that can be completed in under two minutes each, there isn't much to do. There are trophies, but unless you're crazy about 'em, they won't add much longevity.

That said, if you've got an open mind, it's worth playing. It won't last long, but it's a unique experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Second Cut — 87 Words

FlOw is a game that casts players as one of six aquatic organisms where the goal is to make them evolve by eating other organisms across five campaigns. Each campaign can be finished in under two minutes, and don't provide any replay value. There are trophies, but they don't provide enough incentive to keep playing. That said, flOw is still worth playing. It's unique gameplay, and beautiful aesthetic create a gorgeous, relaxing environment that — provided you have an open mind — make it well worth experiencing.

Final Cut — 24 Words

FlOw's a unique, relaxing aquatic experience that, while marred by a severe lack of content, can be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind.


Hope you all enjoyed. It was the best I could do on my very, very busy schedule.


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