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Florenceinvitesyouintoaninteractivegraphicnovelaboutfindinglov
2018/03/08 11:56
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You’llbrushteeth,organizerecords,andpopulateconversationbubbles,andthoseeventsjustleadtothenextchapterofthestory,liketurningapage.Florencedoesn’tofferwhimsicalpuzzles,newworldsawashincolororangular,ambiguouslybenevolentcrows,butit’sanentirelydifferentcategoryofapp,sowhywouldit?(Mildspoilersfromhereonout.)


Florenceisbite-sized,lovelyandnotparticularlyprofound.Inthegame,you’llplayasayoungwomanmovingintoadulthood.Youmomwillcallandbadgeryouaboutgettingaboyfriendperiodically,andlo,onedayyouliterallyrunintoone.Theseeventsallplayoutwithswipesandtouch-basedinteractionsthatmakethemfeelmorelikeaninnocentadultstorybookthananythingasdeepandinteractiveasthematerialthecreatorisknownfor.

Florence’sstorytellingisquietandreflective,capturingthearcofarelationshipinallofitsacts.You’llgoonsomedates,fallinlove,andmoveintogether(thatwasfast),transitioningtothemundaneroutineofcohabitatingbeforethingsstarttogrowstale.SinceIwashopingthatthegamewouldoffermoreinthewayofchoosingmyownadventure,itwasdisappointingwhenmyin-gamerelationshipwithKrishsuddenlyfellapartwhenitstillfeltsalvageable.Thestorymarchedon,butIreallythoughtwehadashotifabranchingpathmightleadusofftocouple’stherapyorevenaneroticthirdtospicethingsup.Maybeapuppy?Alas,therewasnosuchpath.



Ugh,momanddadarefightingagain.


It’snotclearthatmycharactereverhadsexwithherKrish(thewholethingisveryPG),soIworriedaboutthattoo.Maybeifyouguyshadspentmoretimemakingoutand lesstimereorganizingyourshelves,thiscouldhaveworkedout!Krishalsodidn’tseemtofosterthemaincharacter’sartisticinclinationswhilefixatingonhisownmusiccareer,soIcouldn’tfigureoutifhewassupposedtobeajerkornot.Menareconfusing,butatleasthewascute.Idigress.

Themoralofthestoryworksouttosomethinglike“youdon’tneedanotherpersontobehappy,butyouprobablydoneedacat.”Florencemightbeanicesuggestionforfriendsgoingthroughabreakup,akindofthoughtfulsalvethatremindsthemthatthehardpartswon’tlastforeverandattheendyou’llbepaintingwithwatercolorsinyourcutestudiowithacatnamedLoaf.Loaf!


ThescopeofFlorenceissosmallthatit’strulynotfairtocompareittoWong’sbestknownwork,thoughasaMonumentValleyfan,Itoocouldplayendlessvariationsofthatgamefortherestoftimeandbehappyaboutit.WhatFlorencedoessharewithMonumentValleyareitsbestqualities:thoughtfuldesign,beautifulartandaserenegamingexperience.Florenceisn’tarevelation,butit’sverylovelywhenjudgedonitsownmerits,justadjustyourexpectationsaccordingly.

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