Developer thatgamecompany's well-regarded ambient gust-'em-up, Flower, is now available on PC, a little over a decade after its PlayStation debut.
Flower, a spiritual successor to thatgamecompany's equally atmospheric underwater oddity Flow, first launched on PS3 in February 2009, and has made the leap to PlayStation 4, Vita, and even iOS in the years since.
For those unfamiliar, it's very much a mood piece, casting players as a sentient parp of wind. At the start of the adventure, you're little more than a gentle breeze, with a single flower petal in your grip - but as you continue over vibrant, undulating fields, picking up strength, you'll rapidly gather more petals into a hypnotic, tumbling swell of colour.
This calmingly carefree opening is, to my mind at least, where Flower's at its best. Later levels, which attempt to complicate the simple, meandering pleasures of airborne exploration, somewhat lose sight of that early magic, but it's still a richly evocative experience, with striking art and sublime music, nonetheless. And it's fascinating to see the evolution of thatgamecompany's craft, given that, three years later, it would release the masterful Journey.
"It is, simply, a game where you want to see what happens next, because whatever does happen next will be delicate, beautiful and pleasurable, and never so hurried as to overburden the spectacle and sense of immersion," said Eurogamer of Flower back in the day. "Even viewed warily through the haughtily lyrical prism of thatgamecompany's artistic mission statement, these are the characteristics of a well-designed video game".