Florence is Better Than Ever on Switch
Florence has finally made its way over to the Nintendo Switch and it's the best way to play the game so far.
No matter how many times it happens in life, change is always around the corner. Sometimes it comes to us at the perfect moment, while other times it’ll come at the worst time. One game that tackles the concept of change is Florence, published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by first-time developer Mountains. The game released on mobile devices back in 2018 and garnered rave reviews. Just two years after its release, it has now made its way to PC and Nintendo Switch. After playing the hour-long game, it’s safe to say Florence is better than ever on the Nintendo Switch.
Florence tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a cello player named Krish. Told through 20 chapters, you see Florence’s life change for better and for worse, all while taking time out to check social media and getting phone calls from her mom. Without giving anything away, the game puts you through a rollercoaster of emotions while also being breathtaking to look at. The graphics have an illustrated look to them, with some sequences having you scroll down the screen to show comic panels playing out. For a game with no voice acting, Florence delivers its story well while still leaving an emotional impact that you’ll think about after finishing.
Like the mobile versions, the Switch version of the game lets you play the game through the touchscreen. Additionally, you can play it with the analog sticks, but some parts of the game feel better than others if you use the touchscreen. An example of this is during one moment when Florence is reliving a memory of her doing arts and crafts at a younger age. The analog stick never feels bad, but sometimes using the touchscreen feels better and more natural.
Besides being able to play the game through the touchscreen or with analog sticks, the Switch version obviously provides the game with a bigger screen than the mobile iteration. Florence’s art style is oozing with charm and personality, with colors popping off the screen. The game looks amazing and vibrant on the Switch’s screen and no parts of it look bad or stretched out. The illustrated art style adds to the game’s charm and its layers of emotions.
This emotion comes about during both the cutscenes and the moments of gameplay you experience. Some moments have you filling in a speech bubble with puzzle pieces during a conversation while others have you drawing Krish. Each moment of gameplay pushes the story forward while also showing Florence and Krish growing both as a couple and as individuals. As the story progresses, you see Florence’s mundane life as she repeats the same routine every day. She wakes up, turns the alarm off, brushes her teeth, goes to work, and it repeats day-by-day. Through the game’s early moments, you see this take a toll on her and learn that it’s time for a change.
One of the main things that struck me about the game is its message of accepting change and following your passion. What helps Florence come to this conclusion is Krish’s love of music. His passion for it is a part of what helps Florence pursue her drawing ability and to let creativity into her repetitious lifestyle. As a college student in their final semester, a message like this resonates with me a lot. Leaving the safety of college is gonna be weird for me, but it’s a change that has to happen at some point. Additionally, it makes me think about the future, dedicating time to writing, and doing what I love. Some stories told through other entertainment mediums have attempted this message in a cliche way, but Florence does so effortlessly.
If you couldn’t tell, Florence is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. In addition to the hour-long story, you gain access to concept art and other behind the scenes goodies once you finish the game. While it would’ve been nice to spend more time with Florence, the story never feels dull and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. No matter what stage of life you’re in, you’ll get something meaningful out of Florence and its message of accepting change, falling in love, and picking up the pieces when life steers you in the wrong direction.