Florence is a simple game that tells a simple story, but it does so beautifully. It's a minimalistic adventure game where you take control of a young woman named Florence as she is trying to figure out her next step in life. Although it may not do anything completely revolutionary, the short time you'll spend with the game will surely stir up some emotions in you.
Florence is essentially a love story that plays out through a series of scenes that you must interact with. You don't have and direct control over Florence in the traditional sense, but you move certain things around below the scene or drag things into and out of view to push the story forward.
A simple example of this is at the game's start where you have to brush Florence's teeth by tapping and dragging a toothbrush around the screen. Once she's fully brushed, an arrow appears to take you over to the next scene.
Over the course of the game, you follow Florence just as she starts to enter a relationship with someone. This transforms her life from one of tedium and routine to something a lot more exciting and dynamic.
The story that unfolds across the course of the game's short runtime is a pretty predictable one about young love, but the way you interact with the game to tell this story is what makes it unique. As you solve puzzles, things transform and mold themselves so that they emulate the mood and tone of the scene. Although this trick gets a little too heavy-handed in some parts, it largely enhances the experience and makes it easy to get wrapped up in the plot.
Short, sweet, and beautiful
None of Florence's puzzles are particularly complicated, and it's really easy to finish the game in one sitting, but don't let a lack of length keep you from playing this game. Florence is an utterly beautiful experience that tells its story so beautifully and brilliantly that you don't feel wanting at the end of the game.
Florence's hand-drawn style is largely responsible for making it so eye-catching, but literally everything, from the music, animation, to even puzzle UI make for a game that is just amazing to take in. The brevity of Florence allows for all of its elements work together harmoniously, which is more of a mark in its favor than a point of criticsm.
The bottom line
Florence takes a pretty familiar plot line and adds more life to it through clever gameplay mechanics and a bright aesthetic. It's not the most involved game out there, but the relatively small amount of stuff Florence does have to offer is dang near close to perfectly executed.