Florence — a short (yet lovely) little game
Some time ago I had an opportunity to play Florence. It is a short but interesting game about life, happiness and discovering your true self. The game presents the story of Florence Yeoh, a woman in her mid-twenties, who follows her daily routine and works in an office job. The job, as well as her whole life, is monotonous and does not make her happy. However, one day when walking down the street she hears a street performer playing a cello. She decides to listen to his music, and that’s how she meets Krish.
The rest of the game depicts their dates and relationship. While the story is linear (one can only follow a planned path, and there are no decisions that change the final outcome), Florence feels very refreshing in a way. The player slowly discovers Florence’s relationship with Krish, from the initial honeymoon phase to the first fight and later conflicts. Most of one’s actions comes in a form of various mini games, and completing puzzles moves the story forward. I was playing Florence on Nintendo Switch and mini games utilised console’s controls in a proper way, although sometimes were a tiny bit annoying (i.e. when one had to be fairly precise while solving a jigsaw puzzle).
Florence is a short game — it took me about an hour to complete, although I was not in a hurry. One could probably finish the whole story in about twenty minutes, although I do not recommend that approach. The pleasure of Florence comes from exploring the game and its story, and rushing it would ruin the experience. I played Florence on Nintendo Switch and it looks like a perfect game to play on the go. It is beautifully immersive and makes morning commute go faster. Unfortunately it does not have big replay value, since the plot, mini games and ending are always the same. I wish developers had thought about adding some new content or ending unlocked once a player finishes the game for the first time.
Speaking of the ending, the final message of the game is bittersweet, although optimistic. I personally believe Florence would have benefited from a different approach. Nevertheless, I understand why developers chose what they did.
- lovely aesthetics
- interesting story
- positive vibes
- the ending
- no player-dependent choices
Overall summary in three words
immersive, refreshing, short