Florence is a short, yet breathtaking experience, leaving players with a lasting impression.
Florence is developed by indie favorite Annapurna Interactive and was released in 2018. Florence is an interactive storybook with heartfelt emotions surrounding first love and heartbreak. Join 25 year old Florence as she navigates her adult life and falls in love with a cello player. Florence is one of those games that you can either relate to or will learn something from. As a result of this, Florence creates a positive and unique experience for all who play. The game is exceedingly short and takes less than an hour to complete, but this indie story does not need a long game time to make it a great experience.
Masterpiece Of A Story
The story follows 25 year old Florence Yeoh as she navigates being an adult. Eventually, she meets her first love Krish and becomes infatuated. The plot then develops showing aspects of dating such as first dates, moving in, arguments, and grocery shopping. The first part of the game spans over the course of a year and shows the couple in their honeymoon period. The game presents with bright music and colors, and it shows them enjoying each others company, public displays of affection, and continuously supporting each other to follow their goals. Florence aspires to be an artist and Krish a famous cello player. However, as time passes it shows the deterioration of a once flourishing relationship. The arguments begin, the colors change from bright to grey, and the music becomes dull. The relationship ends and Florence is left heartbroken. Therefore, Florence does well to highlight the realistic aspects of relationships.
Personally, I didn’t expect much from the game and felt it would be more like a visual novel. However, it turned out to be more of an interactive storybook. The player is met with several mini games where they must paint, brush teeth, eat food, and even argue with their partner. The inclusion of mini games was great to keep the player interested instead of monotonously clicking. One of my favorite mini games is shown above. The player was tasked with painting several pictures. I don’t think I should quit my day job, but it was really fun to choose the colors and the design. Furthermore, there were dialogue choices when speaking with Florence’s mother on the phone. Overall, it felt inclusive to the player and made it seem like they were actively involved instead of watching from the sidelines.
The game takes under an hour to complete. However, this was the right length for the game. Florence puts more into the story, art style, and game play and leaves players feeling accomplished afterwards. I spent the morning playing this game and felt that was enough time. Often visual novels or interactive storybook games try to drag it out as much as possible. Florence excels in giving the player just the right amount of everything and telling an outstanding story at the same time.
Positive Messages About Healing
The positive message that comes from Florence is that yes breakups are hard, love is hard, but you can always find a way to be happy. Florence reconnects with herself after the break up and takes the time to follow her own goals. At the end of the game, we see her happy and settled staring whimsically out the window. It’s an inspiring message to those who are going through something similar or who are yet to experience it.
The art style is something players will instantly fall in love with. The change in the color palettes are something to be celebrated. When Florence is on her own after the breakup the colours reflect how she is feeling and are primarily grey and colorless. The color flooding back into Florence’s life reflect a new beginning and helps enhance the story. The artist for Florence is definitely to be praised.
The soundtrack was extremely emotive throughout the experience. The moments Krish was playing on his cello were enchanting and magical. It makes the player feel like they are a part of the experience. Kevin Penkin is the composer who has also done work in the anime field.
Florence is a magical short, interactive storybook about true love and healing. Anyone wishing for a quick, one shot game that will have emotional turns and twists this is your jam. The music, the art, the characters, and the story all combine to make a great experience. Florence can be purchased on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1102130/Florence/ Mobile game: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mountains.feathertop&hl=en_GB&gl=US & Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/store/products/florence-switch/ If you’re unsure of the game check out the trailer below for the Switch.
26, Indie Game connoisseur. Also a hamster mum, fiancée & working in the addiction field. Gaming and writing are my escape and comfort for when the world gets too much!