Florence is a game that employs emotion as a mechanic. Now, how is that possible you might ask? It does so by letting you step in with both feet into the shoes of Florence Yeoh, a 25-year-old girl living in Melbourne, Australia. Her life is boring and filled with routine, she is obsessed with social media and struggling to have a great work-life balance. As fate would have it, Florence falls in love with a cellist called Krish, and then the rest of the game explores their love story. This is an emotional game as most of us can relate to the story of heartbreak and finding oneself in the midst of so much confusion.
Features and Functions
The game is quite simple and has a lot of realism and connection to it despite its drawn-like presentation. As Florence Yeoh you are stuck in the race, trying to figure out what’s important. Your mum is overly intrusive, and you have no life outside of social media, your work and sleep. All that changes when one day you are attracted by divine cello music that you fall in love with. After you meet the person playing the music (named Krish) you start to connect, get closer and fall in love. Mini-games form a core part of the experience and are all in tune with the overarching storyline.
The ability of Florence to capture real human emotion as it is experienced is a great step in the right direction, like most games, today don’t quite reach that level. The game offers few features outside of the pre-written storyline, and it would have been apt to add some element of decision-making to the story. In Florence, the gameplay is entirely in sync with the underlying story. With little content to add to what already works, it might be difficult to play this game twice, but it still is a memorable experience.
One of the best elements about the game is the artistic visual design which really captures the essence of the game. It’s not just about cartoon images here. The graphics and uniquely chosen color palettes help tell the story. Here color is also a gameplay mechanic, and you can see how allegorically color, which was missing from Florence’s life before she met Krish, starts to come back into her life bringing joy with it. The illustrations are minimal, yet they manage to capture the gist of the game and ensure that focus remains on the story and not on superfluity. Besides that, you can interact with the interface at times, for example when balancing out Florence’s workbooks.
Florence is a game that works perfectly. It has a clear vision of what it wants to tell and beautifully manages to capture the real truth about life in a way that most people live their lives. The game will leave you thinking in hindsight about your own life and the decisions that you are making. The game does lack in content, and you might blitz through it rapidly, but suffice to say that it is not the way to play Florence. It has a unique concept in which emotion is introduced as a gameplay mechanic, setting it apart from other titles on mobile game stores.