How to play Florence the award winning game that showcases love and life full of emotions?
Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and heartbreaking lows of a young woman’s very first love. Part puzzle and part graphic novel, Florence charts the budding relationship, courtship and eventual break-up between Malaysian-Chinese-Australian protagonist Florence Yeoh and Indian-Australian love interest Krish Hemrajani.
So how the game story begins is that Florence Yeoh, a 25-year-old woman who lives alone and is settled into a monotonous routine of working at her job and mindlessly interacting with social media on her commute.
One morning, her phone dies and she follows the sound of a cello and sees Krish, a street performer, for the first time. Krish befriends her and they go out on some dates. They kiss for the first time and begin to take their relationship more seriously. Krish moves in with Florence and is pushed by her to follow his dreams of being a great cellist. As a thank you, Krish gives Florence a painting set and Florence fantasizes about following her passion of being an artist.
The couple have their first fight six months later at a grocery store. After a year, the two have fallen into a routine and begin to drift apart. After another fight, Krish moves out. Florence decides to quit her job and follow her painting passion, where she finds success.
You will experience every beat of Florence and Krish’s relationship through a series of mini-game vignettes – from flirting to fighting, from helping each other grow, to growing apart. Drawing inspiration from ‘slice of life’ graphic novels and webcomics, Florence is an intimate and unforgettable story.
What is this game about?
Florence is divided into 20 chapters, each featuring a different portion of Florence Yeoh’s life. The chapters are separated into six acts, which represent different portions of Florence’s growth and change. The game plays out linearly, requiring input from the player in the form of short minigames which help mimic or reveal Florence’s thoughts and actions. These games include: Florence brushing her teeth, Florence following the sound of a cello to find Krish, Krish cleaning his room before Florence visits, and Florence packing up her things when Krish moves in—and giving Krish’s things back to him when he moves out—among others. A single play-through of Florence takes approximately 30 minutes.
The game play
Florence is an emotional experience told through interactive elements such as moving a toothbrush back and forth, matching numbers to express the banality of an unchallenging and uncreative job, or shaking a Polaroid photo to develop it. Many of the actions involve simply tapping on items. You will be taken through Florence Yeoh’s daily mundane routine, then see how meeting her first love changes everything. Suddenly, the daily routine is not so mundane and her life is full of activities she and Krish do together. He inspires her to try new things like skateboarding and to go outside her comfort zone. Also she convinces him to chase his dreams.
Other than chapter titles like Adult Life, Memories, Music, and Exploration, the story is mostly told without text. But it does a great job depicting the ups and downs of being in a relationship. An especially potent theme is the difficulty and ease at which they speak to each other during different moments in their relationship. It’s shown in a very clever way without any words and is definitely a highlight of the game.
The art style is similar to that of a graphic novel, with the animations and interactive elements bringing it to life. But it’s the music that stands out the most. Krish is a musician, so it makes sense that it would play a big part in the game.
You can see the intimacy of touch in a world in which glass and electronics have become the repository for emotional connection and relationships. In one scene in Florence, you see the protagonist ‘like’ or ‘share’ social posts to pass the time during her commute, as part of her daily ritual.
Why people love this game?
Unlike video game consoles, such as the Xbox and Playstation, or hand-held devices, like the Nintendo Switch, mobile games are exceptionally inclusive: they require no specialty controller or convoluted button combinations to play, and they don’t require hundreds of hours of gameplay to achieve any semblance of progress.
In Florence, which looks and functions like an interactive graphic novel, players tap, swipe, ‘colour-in’ and drop-and-drag together the moments that make up the heroine’s life — scrubbing sideways to brush her teeth, for example, or drag-and-dropping a rice cooker from a kitchen shelf into a storage box to make room when Krish moves in.
Not only is Florence easy to play, but a single playthrough takes approximately 30-40 minutes. You could finish the entire game on your lunch break.
Florence as video game was developed by the Australian studio Mountains and published by Annapurna Interactive. The game was released on February 14, 2018 for iOS and on March 14, 2018 for Android. The game received favorable reviews and has rating of 4.7 at app stores being praised for the game’s art-style, music, and narrative structure.