Florence ($2.99) by Annapurna Interactive is an interactive storybook that details the highs and lows of a young woman's first love. If you like games that are more about the storytelling and experience, such as Life Is Strange, then you will be charmed by Florence.
Ah, first love — we've all had one, or are still in a relationship with one. I remember when I had my first boyfriend at the age of 16, and I thought that it would last forever. Nope. It's a learning experience, and one that I'm quite thankful for. So when I saw Florence on the App Store, I was drawn in by how relatable this experience seemed to be. I had to check it out for myself, and this is definitely one that pulls at your heartstrings.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually speaking, Florence is beautiful, though I suppose that's to be expected from the lead designer of Monument Valley. The game is entirely hand drawn in a simple art style that evokes the "slice of life" aesthetic. The color palette in Florence features a nice mix of soft pastels and brighter hues, along with darker, gloomier shades. Each kind of color conveys a different meaning and emotion in Florence, so the variety that it offers is nice. Animations are smooth and fluid, so I had no issues on my iPhone 8 Plus. The soundtrack to Florence is also pretty whimsical and emotional, as it helps convey the sentiment that you're supposed to feel during particular scenes.
Since Florence is an interactive storybook experience, the "game" is broken up into a handful of different acts, and there could be one to three chapters per act. The chapters are simply titled with one or two words, but they're enough to tell you what scenario is going to happen next. The titles are also relatable to our real lives as well, which is what I love about the game.
The story of Florence goes like this: Florence is a 25-year-old woman who has a daily routine, like we all do. Get up, get ready for work, commute and check social media, work, talk to mom on the phone, go home, eat dinner, sleep, rinse and repeat. It's a rut that we all feel stuck in sometimes. Then Florence meets a cello player named Krish, and they begin dating. Krish is responsible for changing how Florence sees the world and herself.
Like any relationship, there are the ups and the downs. Each chapter represents a different experience in Florence and Krish's relationship. As you explore their connection to each other, you'll get to play various mini-games vignettes. You'll be there when they flirt with each other on their first date, to witnessing their first heated argument, and then helping each other follow their dreams and passions. But eventually they grow apart, like most of us do with our first love.
One thing that I love about the mini-games is the fact that they resemble actual, real-life experiences when it comes to dating someone.
For example, as Florence and Krish first start talking to each other, the puzzle pieces that resemble their chat bubbles are six pieces. It symbolizes how hard it can be to come up with conversation topics on the first date. As they grow closer with one another and know more about each other, their chat bubble puzzles only have three pieces.
There are only 20 chapters total in Florence, and it's easy to get through them all rather quickly. Still, it's a roller coaster of emotion, and by the end of it, you feel closer to Florence than you ever did, and you may even know exactly what she's been through.
An interactive storybook that is filled with mini games, and follows the story for a first love.
Florence is an excellent storytelling experience with the slice of life plot. It's the story of your first love, which we've all been through at some point, and it hits close to home. It highlights all of the good and the bad of a relationship, and provides valuable life lessons. Plus, the visual style and music evoke even more emotion from you. It's hard to not tear up just a bit while playing this.
The only negative to Florence is the length. Again, it's only 20 chapters long, and it's easy to get through them all (or at least most) in less than an hour. For the amount of money, some may not think it's worth it. However, if you appreciate a good story, then Florence's tale is worth it.
Once I started Florence, it was hard to stop. I went from knowing nothing about Florence to knowing everything about her daily life and then about her and Krish. It reminded me of my relationships, and I'll admit it — I got quite emotional. I love slice of life experiences, and Florence is definitely one you don't want to miss.