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Flight in games: giving us a false sense of freedom


The game
Flower is one of the headlining "zen games" that encourage the player to just kick back, relax, and go with the flow. Players control the wind itself, making flower petals flutter along with it.

The gift of flight...
You are the wind. You do what you want.

...and the lack of freedom
Other gusts of wind. While it is certainly more elegant than a blatant invisible wall, the game blows the player in the opposite direction should he try to fly anywhere he isn't supposed to. The lack of freedom is especially frustrating in Flower (and indeed, Flower is what inspired this whole topic), because the player can see grassy fields stretching far into the distance, and the whole point of the game is to relax and fly, but the player is forced to stay in bounds, by other asshole gusts of wind.

Have you noticed that flight in games tricks the player into thinking he can go everywhere, when he is actually still extremely limited? Or better yet, have I missed a game that actually gives the player limitless freedom to explore?
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About Darren Nakamuraone of us since 2:29 AM on 11.06.2006

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011.

While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Darren Nakamura knows several people in the video game industry, most of whom are Destructoid alumni. These include:

Anthony Burch, former writer for Gearbox Software
Ashly Burch, notable voice actor
Nick Chester, publicist for Harmonix Music Systems
Chad Concelmo, writer for Golin Harris
Aaron Linde, writer for Gearbox Software
Jayson Napolitano, publicist for Scarlet Moon Productions
Brad Nicholson, former publicist for Uber Entertainment
Alex Ryan, publicist for Kalypso Media
Jim Sterling, notable voice actor

Darren backs a lot of Kickstarter campaigns! If you want to see what he has backed, you can go here. If he ever reviews a game that he backed, that will be explicitly disclosed in the review.

Darren invested in Psychonauts 2 on Fig.
Xbox LIVE:Dexter345
PSN ID:Dexter345
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