Viewing Review: The perfection of minimalism - AVS Forum
The perfection of minimalism Edit
by _Michaelangelo_ Combined Rating: 5.0
I enjoy trying out "indie" games -- while professional games may look beautiful they tend to have all the fun sucked out of them -- the perfect example being Diablo 3. Indie or fan made games...
Pros Cons
  • Beautiful artistic experiences
  • Exploration puzzle toys are not for everyone
I enjoy trying out "indie" games -- while professional games may look beautiful they tend to have all the fun sucked out of them -- the perfect example being Diablo 3. Indie or fan made games whilst not looking as pretty tend to focus on what is important:

Fun gameplay.

It doesn't always work of course -- because sometimes what works on paper doesn't translate into a fun experience.

And then sometimes you have works of true Art. Flow, Flower, and Journey are all modern masterpieces.

I was fortunate enough to visit ThatGameCompany back when Journey was in development. I was curious to see how they were going to keep their exploration of minimalism fun after their previous seminal work of art "Flower."

I wouldn't call Journey a game due to that there is no winning condition; by definition it is a toy. A fun toy however. One that doesn't penalize you for exploring. It is impossible to die which means there is no pressure. You go where you want, when you want, where you find interesting. Of course the game directs you but in a subtle way. All the same things holds for "Flower" as well.

The cartoon graphics are beautiful drawn and draw you into the world. The PS3's SPUs are put to good use with the cloth deformation and particle effects.

I could discuss the gameplay of Flow, Flower or Journey but it would be pointless. How do you describe the essence of the experience of seeing a beautiful natural picturesque rest stop?

Dare I say it, Flower and Journey are almost ineffable. And that is why I say they are true digital art forms. There is no UI to distract you. Just you and the world. You won't be able to get far without solving puzzles but that is the beauty. You explore, you solve, you experience.

Not everyone will enjoy exploration puzzles -- but if you want a meditative puzzle -- these two "games" have the soul of perfection woven in them.

Graphics: 4/5
Gameplay: 5/5
Music: 4/5

Overall: 5/5

Similar puzzle games: Limbo
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