Why Everyone Needs to Play Florence
Why you need to experience this game
Over the last decade, the stigma toward mobile games has nearly vanished. As phones get more powerful and developer knowledge grows, we continue to see new and fascinating games being released on the platform.
Because I’m practically a caveman, I’ve largely missed this. I’ve had cheap phones for too long. As I get ready to move to the UK, I decided I wanted to treat myself a bit. My wife and I both picked up IPhone 11s, and I couldn’t be more excited. As long as I’ve been following game writing, I’ve been aware of ground-breaking titles being released on phones. There is a lot of crap as well (Gatcha and micro-transactions), but that’s not my focus today. Now that I have a device that can handle the strain, it’s time for me to step up. And I can’t think of a better place to start than Florence.
I don’t want to mislead you: Florence is not a game with crazy tech or graphics. Quite the opposite. It’s a simple game that has a simple story. But those two simples contain multitudes. At under an hour of playtime, this game runs through a very human and very relatable story.
Let’s start with our lead: Florence Yeoh. Here’s the relatable part. Florence is stuck at a dead end job with no direction and no where to look. She mindlessly scrolls social media and hates her job. For many of us, parts of that sound about right. Florence is in her 20’s and is untethered. Then she meets Krish.
This is the heavy focus of Florence, and it serves as the inciting incident for this brief story. Before we get to Krish and his music, let’s talk about how special the gameplay is. It consists of what are essentially click and slide mini-games, but they are all constructed to show different aspects of life. When Florence is at work, it’s clicking slow boxes of numbers. When she scrolls social media on the bus, it’s two selections. All click and slide.
Krish and Florence hit it off immediately. From there, you watch their relationship play out in beautiful colors and one of the best scores I’ve heard in a game in a long time. As the two of them date, you build their conversations out of blocks. As they bond, these simple puzzles get easier. And easier. It’s a joyous example of story through game play. Everything is slight, but it is beyond purposeful.
Endings and Beginnings
I’m going to stay as far away from spoilers as humanly possible. This game is special because of the way it tells its story. No dialogue. Simple mini-games with beautiful music. It’s eventual through-line is devastating and heart-breaking all at once.
Sometimes things don’t work out. But these drop-offs and failures are not the end. If your phone can handle it (if you’re not an animal like me) Florence is worth your time and money.