Flower, Sun and Rain
Sumio Mondo is a Searcher by trade, meaning if you've lost something, Mondo is the man that can find it
- Absolutely bizarre, clever script, great soundtrack
- Absolutely bizarre to a fault, too much backtracking, muddy visuals
While I salute Flower, Sun and Rain for its innovation and uniqueness, its mind-boggling puzzles met with surreal gameplay makes for one hell of a trip in every sense of the word. One moment a modern masterpiece and the next an absolute chore, Flower, Sun and Rain is an intriguing adventure that you should only think about embarking on if you're in it for the long haul.
I was always convinced that the hardest review I'd ever have to do write would be for Noby Noby Boy, in the case that — while the game was fun — I was pretty confident that reality would come crashing down around me if I tried to put it into words. I passed on that assignment and, for the moment, avoided any space/time paradoxes. Still, a fan of the bizarre and always looking for a challenge, I happily accepted the task of taking on Suda 51's Flower, Sun and Rain. One week later, here I am: red-eyed, confused, and still reeling from the game's closing cinematic. Forecast is cloudy, with a chance of a reality-crushing apocalypse.
Time stood still
All right — let's give this a shot: Sumio Mondo is a Searcher by trade, meaning if you've lost something, Mondo is the man that can find it. It's these impeccable detective skills that find Mondo summoned to the tropical paradise of Lospass Island, hired by the ever-smiling proprietor of the mysterious Flower, Sun and Rain Hotel. With the entire island under threat of a deadly terrorist plot, Mondo has been tasked with tracking down and disarming an airplane filled with explosives. And he'll get to it, eventually — right after he makes drinks for an alcoholic angel, helps a depressed luchador re-discover his passion for wrestling, and babysits a loud-mouthed, reality altering brat.
Whenever someone asks me to describe Flower, Sun and Rain to them, I usually sum it up in one sentence: "Groundhog Day meets Twin Peaks." Every morning, Mondo wakes up to the phone in his hotel room, collapses out of bed (literally), helps a bizarre character with an even more bizarre task, then watches the sky burst into flames as a 747 explodes in the skyline. Fade to black, cue the music, and the day starts again from square one. From creating a makeshift afro wig for a pair of action stars turned comedians to re-uniting an engaged couple by tuning a busted church organ, the puzzles only get more and more insane as each day passes - or reboots, as the case may be. While its mind-boggling presentation is sure to alienate more traditional gamers, there's no denying that Flower, Sun and Rain is an experiment that absolutely thrives in its bizarre environment. When it works, it really works. When it doesn't... well, be sure to buy a protective case for your DS.
A mystery steeped in mystery
The bulk of Flower, Sun and Rain is spent navigating the blocky, polygonal world of Lospass Island. Various objectives get in your way, and using your trusty briefcase computer (named Catherine, nonetheless), you "jack-in" to anything and everything via an assortment of cables. After jacking-in to, say, a martini shaker, you're presented with a number of empty black boxes. Via Catherine, you spin a combination lock and decipher a code to solve the puzzle based on a series of obscure hints. Input the correct numbers in a puzzle, you get a "Hit" and proceed to the next task. You get a "Blank", you start over. Make sense? That's what I thought.
Most of the game's puzzles are presented to you via the Losspass Island guide book — a tourist brochure featuring everything there is to see and do on the island that time forgot. Each puzzle is suspiciously related to the guide book, but figuring out the answer to a specific query can range from simply scanning the page for a number that fits the designated blanks to spending the next hour writing out math equations via the DS' touch screen. While the "Aha!" moment you get for solving many of FSR's puzzles is incredibly satisfactory, the frustration that comes with the territory is sure to wear on even the most patient gamer. While FSR's puzzles are intriguing, the game runs the risk of sometimes feeling more like homework than fun.
Waiting with a smile
There's also quite a bit of frustrating backtracking throughout the title. One particular quest had me running down five flights of stairs to talk to character A, back up to the fifth story roof to talk to character B, then back down to the lobby to talk to A again just so I could trigger an event back up on the fourth floor. Throw in the fact that you're tasked with traversing the entirety of Lospass on foot, and you've got a game best played in increments.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Xbox One X
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPBusiness Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCTechnical Lead - DigitalNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPTechnical WriterACT
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- FTSolution DesignerOther
- CCDataPower AdministratorACT
- TPIT Team Leader - Service DeskQLD
- TPProject Manager - IaaSQLD
- FTNetwork Data AnalystOther
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java Developer - BrisbaneNSW
- FTDomain Architect - AWS / AzureOther
- FTPreSales / Offerings Solution Architect - BPS or BPONSW
- TPLearning SpecialistQLD
- CCCRM Solutions/ Technical ArchitectVIC
- FTFull Stack Developer - ASP.NETVIC
- FTEnterprise Architect - ApplicationsOther
- FTPortfolio Management & Governance ConsultantOther
- FTInfrastructure Design Engineer, DC Power, CommunicationsOther
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCPega ArchitectVIC
- CCTransition Manger - Infrastructure ServicesVIC