Florence is an interactive story/novel developed by the Australian studio Mountains and published by Annapurna Interactive. It tells the story of Florence as she hopes to make her dreams of being artist a reality. She’s coasting through life alone until one day she meets Krish and they fall in love.
The game is split into 20 chapters which in turn are separated into six acts. Each one represents a different section of Florence’s life. We see her daily routine, meeting Krish, the pair’s relationship grow, them settling into a routine, seeing their dreams slowly disappear and the eventual failing of their love.
A linear style of story, gameplay comes in the form of short mini-games. Simple stuff like brushing Florence’s teeth, cleaning a room, packing up stuff to make room for more and matching up pieces to take part in an argument. It’s in no way taxing but offers some interactivity in a story-heavy game. Often these moments are just to reinforce the big moments in Florence’s life.
The story is very effective thanks to the lack of written dialogue. Instead the gorgeous art-style, music and structure giving you every bit of detail you need. This is a tale of love and happiness, failure and rejection, sadness and eventual redemption.
Florence can be finished in around 30-45 minutes. Short but effective although many might find the ending a tad disappointing. The lack of choices for the gamer might not be to everyone’s taste but it forces players to experience the moral of the story. One that avoids the cliché expectation of everything turning out alright in the end for Florence and Krish’s relationship.
It might leave you with a pessimistic view on love in general but it is one that is based in a little more reality. Sometimes love doesn’t win out. Sometimes relationships end and sometimes people are better for it.