Disclaimer: This is an independent game review. The developer did not commission it, and it is here for the benefit of public interest.
A little while ago, I played an excellent game, Florence, and I would like to share with you my thoughts about it.
Florence is not a game played with lots of words. Instead, we play with emotion. There are actions and choices here and there, some text in dialogs, but they are part of the flow of the game.
You begin with Florence’s normal day-to-day. She’s 25 years old. Then, you go back in time and watch her grow. Someday, when she goes to work, she meets someone special, and from there it takes off. You experience the highs and lows of her first love.
It is a fantastic story. I was struck speechless at the compelling storytelling done with virtually anything but words. The music in this game is captivating. It is not some pop culture music. Instead, you mostly hear cellos and pianos.
I was first captivated by this genre of mini-story games with the Lifeline series, which were well written and incredibly creative. This game is something else, though. It isn’t fantasy with superpowers. Florence’s daily life is very relatable. She drives on the bus; she’s on Social Media; she’s working. Everyone can relate to marking hearts on Instagram. Relationships, breakups. We’ve all been there. But not one of us suffered it precisely the same as Florence. That’s why her story is so captivating.
No matter how much we talk about love and relationships, we will always listen when someone tells us about a breakup. We will never say something like, ‘oh wow, your breakup is so similar to how they broke up with their significant other.’ It just wouldn’t cross our minds.
I loved playing Florence. At some point in the story, I shed some tears. It made some memories resurface in my brain. I’m incredibly grateful for any experience that evokes powerful emotion. We’re in a time where everything is so instant. A story like Florence is so pure and puts a dent in our shield of indifference.
A story like Florence is a welcome, refreshing change.
Thank you so much, Mountains Studio, for making this game. I highly recommend story-based games in general, and this one in particular.
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