It’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all grown through the ups and downs of a relationship. I know I have. But outside of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, I can’t really recall a video game featuring a conflict between lovers in such a meaningful or impactful way. Because of that, I was really interested in seeing what Florence was all about.
Florence is an interactive story focusing around 25 year old Florence Yeoh and a pretty major period in her life, specifically falling in and out of love and the effects it has on her life. There isn’t really much of a game here. Yes, you’ll use your mobile device (I played this on Android, but it’s available just about everywhere) to help her brush her teeth, match numbers on her work ‘s spreadsheet and piece together talk bubbles, but the majority of the game is you sliding the screen as she moves through her life.
The key here is her meeting Krish, a cellist, then going through the motions of their relationship. Of course things start off strong but as the game progresses, their love starts to lose its initial spark and they ultimately break up.
It’s tough not spoiling this game because it is so short. You can finish this in less than an hour and there is no way to really screw things up. The little challenges thrown your way are incredibly easy and there is no way to get lost in what you need to do for the story to progress.
While I enjoyed the overall plot of Florence’s life for these 12 or so months of what we saw, I still felt wanting a bit more. The relationship between Florence and Krist goes by so quickly, I didn’t really feel much of a connection between the two. As Florence, I wanted more of the good then more of the bad so I could really feel the grasp of falling in and out of love.
I felt like the end of their relationship just sort of happened. I’ve been in relationships which have just ended but those typically were short lived. Krist and Florence move in together and the way things just stop didn’t feel right.
Maybe that’s what the developers wanted. They want the player to feel the uncertainty that is a relationship. When the game’s credits began to roll, I was left empty but also with questions. Do Krist and Florence get back together? Does Florence find someone else? Does it even matter?
I was honestly expecting with Florence’s own success as an artist beginning to rise for the pair to ‘bump’ into each other. Since Florence made such an effort for Krist to pursue his music career, I was hoping/expecting he’d be at her art show. Even if they weren’t together, they were so much into each other’s lives that he’d still make an effort to be there in support.
I can’t really think of other games like this that made me think like this. As I write this, I started to look back at my past relationships and even my current one. I am remembering the good and the bad and thinking about where things went wrong (or where they went right). If that was the intention of the game, then it definitely worked.