Mobile Game Florence Is About So Much More Than First Love

We've been obsessed with a little mobile game called Florence since before it was released on Valentine's Day, and we fall for it even harder every time we play.

Before the game's official release, we wrote about how beautifully a preview of the game conveyed all the emotions related to first loveFlorence publisher Annapurna Interactive also gave us a code to play the full game, and our appreciation for it has grown even further.

In fact, Florence is about much more than what it means to fall in love and have your heart broken. It's also about dreams, creativity and the weird little events of life that push you toward the person you're meant to be.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

Florence's opening chapter introduces us to its title character. Her life has fallen into a routine, and though she's a little bored with it, she manages. She works in an office crunching numbers and spends her commute on social media before heading home to eat dinner on the couch in front of the TV.

What mixes things up isn't her introduction to her dream boy (that comes later) but a moment of spring cleaning. Florence is digging around in her closet when its contents come crashing down on her. Among those belongings is a pink box filled with mementos of her childhood, and, inside, she finds a piece of folded paper unseen to the player's eye.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Here, the game jumps to the past, putting the player in 7-year-old Florence's shoes. Using paper cutouts, you help Florence channel her creativity to craft sailboat and butterfly art by picking out color schemes and carefully placing your favorite shapes.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Depending on your own ambition for artistic endeavors, you might spend quite a bit of time on this segment perfecting your designs. So when Florence is interrupted by her mom, who'd prefer that she focus on her studies, it feels heartbreaking.

When Florence's mother makes her do her homework, the game makes you do actual math problems. Though they're all simple arithmetic and you only have to solve a handful of them, it feels like a real chore compared to the imaginative artsy moments you just experienced.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

The game cuts back to the present, where, 18 years later, Florence is staring at the butterfly that she (you!) created all those years ago and thinks about the life she didn't pursue. Even all this time later, she's stuck in a math-based job that pays the bills but doesn't fulfill her, and your personal butterfly creation will show up time and time again to remind you of that.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Maybe the notion of her old art is still in the back of her mind the next day, when she hears gorgeous cello music while on a city stroll. The player taps music notes to follow the sound to the source, and Florence completely loses herself in the music until she feels like she's soaring.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

When she sees the responsible cellist, she's immediately smitten. Maybe it's because he's cute and the music is captivating, and maybe it's because he's willing to put himself out there, playing as a street musician to pursue his own creative dream. Either way, she thinks about him long after the music has stopped.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

After a chance bicycle crash, Florence and the cellist, Krish, meet and exchange numbers. Sparks fly on their first date, and they immediately form a strong and long-lasting connection. As they continue to date and grow closer, Krish shares his dreams with Florence. He basically wants to become a cello-playing rock star. Florence doesn't reveal her own dream because she doesn't know what her dream is.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Krish's goals make Florence take stock of her own. After some consideration, she returns to the little pink box and her butterfly art and rediscovers a long lost dream—she wants to be an artist.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Later, at Krish's place, Florence discovers an application to study at a local music academy poking out from under his bed. Initially, he's embarrassed and unsure, but Florence believes in him. As Florence physically pushes Krish to submit his application, the player repeatedly taps the screen to give him the literal push he needs.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Florence is inspired by Krish's pursuit of his creativity. Once she gets home, she unleashes her own artistry for the first time in years by sketching him.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Six months pass. Florence and Krish move in together, and Krish nails his music academy audition. As a gift for encouraging him, Krish brings Florence a small watercolor paint set and pad to unlock her own artistic potential.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

After a beautiful day of breakfast, cute texts and cooking together, Florence paints her first lovely watercolor portrait of Krish with her new tools.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

It also happens to be her last. Another year passes, and a dreary routine has set in. Krish trudges to the academy and struggles to be as happy with his practice as he once was. Florence's work was effortless when she was newly in love, but calculating the numbers has become a tedious grind. Instead of a homecooked dinner, they share a delivery pizza.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

As Krish becomes a disillusioned by his life as a musician, Florence also completely loses touch with the artistic side of her life. Her watercolors go completely unused, and as time goes on they get lost under a pile of junk mail and receipts. Their creative lives are reflective of their happiness as a whole, and as they lose touch with the magic of creativity, they also lose touch with one another.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Over the course of a few heart-breaking chapters, their relationship ends. After nearly two years together, Florence must learn to live on her own again. For a while, the game frames Florence to one side of the screen so it feels like someone is missing from her life.

Life moves on, and after a reflective period, she rediscovers her watercolors by chance and takes up painting again.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

This time around, her efforts are more fruitful. She doesn't paint one thing before giving up. As the player twirls the clock hands to make time progress, she paints through all four seasons until the color reenters her greyscale life and her walls are covered in cute watercolors.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

And she doesn't stop there. She starts to share. She competes in small contests and joins art clubs, and she opens an online shop for her floral watercolors. They go viral on social media, and she even manages to make some money selling her popular artwork.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Eventually, she decides her artistic career is stable enough to quit her boring spreadsheet-driven job and become a full-time artist. Even Florence's mother, who once pushed her away from art to pursue her academics, is incredibly proud of what Florence has been able to achieve.



(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

The game ends with Florence's first big gallery showing, with Florence chatting with fans and prospective buyers before heading to her art workshop apartment to think about the charmed life she's come to lead.


(Florence via Annapurna Interactive)

Though Florence and Krish's relationship has come to an end, she looks back on it with fondness, and she might never have pursued art had it not been for the relationship. His music pushed Florence to see her butterfly art not as a symbol of her past, but a symbol of her future, and would she have ever made the leap if she didn't have those watercolors in the first place? Even though she doesn't fully embrace art again until Krish is out of her life, his influence may have made that career possible. She even keeps a Polaroid of the two together and smiles at all the memories they made.

Florence is definitely about love, but it's also about inspiration, creation and the fact that sometimes the circumstances have to be just right before everything can go according to plan. Sometimes you gain as much from loss as you lose. It's a lesson we won't soon forget.


If you adore the game as much as we do, click HERE to read our thoughts on the more lovey-dovey aspects of Florence.