Florence is an emotional game about relationships by Monument Valley’s lead designer, and now it’s out for Android

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When it landed on iOS last month, Annapurna Interactive’s Florence was a hit, almost immediately making the App Store’s Editors’ Choice list. The game is simple, a so-called “interactive storyboard” that follows our protagonist Florence as her first relationship breaks up the mundane tedium of her life. Now those of us on greener (#A4C639) pastures can enjoy the game as well, and it’s just been released for Android on the Play Store

Aesthetically, the game’s art style resembles a comic or graphic novel, accompanied by an orchestrated soundtrack.

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Florence is an emotional game about relationships by Monument Valley’s lead designer, and now it’s out for Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The best games like Florence

Florence is a great little game about relationships that we absolutely adored. The only problem with it is it’s over a little too soon. If you want some other games with some emotional range like Florence, check out these suggestions:

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Florence, Sodes, and other awesome apps of the week

A poignant, beautiful, story-driven game that’s bound to go down as one of the year’s best iOS titles is just one of this week’s “Awesome Apps.” In addition, we’ve got a great update of a top navigation app, a minimalist podcasting app, and a challengingly entertaining puzzle game. Check out our picks below. Sodes Sodes […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Florence’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…



I’m going to admit that I don’t even know where to begin with Florence [$ 2.99], the debut title from Mountains Games. It’s difficult to put into words. Florence is a game, sure, but it’s also more of an interactive story. It tells the tale of Florence Yeoh, a twenty-something young woman dealing with the doldrums of everyday life until she meets her first love, which changes everything. The thing about first loves though is that they’re rarely the last. And so it goes as you follow Florence on her journey experiencing life and discovering who she is.

So, ok. But so what? So is this a game or not? That’s what’s so fascinating to me. Florence could be a short animated movie, where you passively just sit back and watch it play out, and it would be great. The brilliance here is that it’s NOT a passive experience on iOS, and that takes it from great to, well, brilliant. There’s a lot of interaction happening throughout Florence, and it’s almost entirely the simple, “micro game” variety but I can’t overstate just how much that adds to the impact of the experience.

For example, when you’re on your first date with your first love, the game represents the back and forth of each person’s conversation as piecing together fragments of a speech bubble. In the early part of the date nerves are running high and Florence is feeling a little awkward, and the speech bubble pieces are more complex to put together. As the night goes on and both people become more comfortable with each other, the pieces become larger and much simpler shapes, until they’re not pieces at all and instead are just one giant speech bubble.

This is such a fun way of mimicking what it’s like to click with another person on a romantic (or even a non-romantic) level. Things can be tricky at first as you try to force words together to make a sentence and carry on a conversation and hopefully not embarrass yourself in the process. But as you grow closer to that person the words just sort of come out naturally. This is really just one example of how “gameplay” helps capture a feeling and flesh out the characters in Florence in such an interesting way that’s just not always possible in books or film.

I should also add that there’s almost NO text throughout the entire game. Amazingly, Florence is able to create real emotional connections and perfectly convey everything that’s happening just by using the visuals, the tiny micro games you play, and by the absolutely phenomenal soundtrack. Seriously, don’t even DARE play this without headphones or at least with your device’s sound turned on. Just don’t. It doesn’t work without the full audio and visual experience. Florence is a very short ride too, clocking in between 30 minutes and an hour depending on how much you soak in each scene, so do yourself a favor and set aside some free time to fully absorb yourself into the game in one sitting. It’s worth it.

Florence certainly won’t be for everyone, but as someone who enjoys artsy games like this I can safely say that that 30 minutes or so will be sticking with me forever, and three bucks for the feelings it gave me while playing feels like I committed a robbery. When people talk about using video games as a medium to tell stories like books or films do, Florence feels like the perfect example of what can be possible. It reminded me in many ways of Simogo’s amazing Device 6 [$ 3.99] in that it wouldn’t be possible to tell the same story or provide the same type of experience in a book or a film, and the interactions with the touchscreen and the way the visuals move with your own movements and guide you through the game provide an experience unlike any other.

Know what you’re going into with Florence, and our review is a good place to start for a little more info, but if this type of thing is up your alley then by all means dive in and enjoy this short but ultimately impactful interactive story.

Link to Forum Discussion: Florence (by Annapurna Interactive)


Out Now: ‘Death Squared’, ‘Florence’, ‘Purrfect Date’, ‘Nitro Racing GO’, ‘FLO Game’, Flippy, ‘Evil Cogs’, ‘Cubor’, ‘Hostage Negotiator’, ‘Hit n’ Run!’ and More

It’s that time of week once again where we round up all the best new games of the past seven days. It’s a relatively “light” week this week, insomuch that in the world of mobile that still means a dozen and a half games. Some of this week’s earlier arrivals we were able to put through their paces already so be sure to check out our review of Florence as well as our review of Death Squared, both of which we enjoyed a lot. And then check out the full list of all the rest of this week’s new games below and let us know which ones you’ve got your eye on.


Bolt Riley – A Reggae Adventure

iTunes Description

Become a Jamaican Reggae legend in an adventure game co-designed by Corey and Lori Cole (Creators of Quest for Glory series).

Bolt Riley is a a classic 2D point and click Jamaican Reggae adventure game where you play as Bolt Riley, a poor boy from Trenchtown, Jamaica, on his pathway to stardom. Bolt is struggling to survive and has to deal with a gang of Rude Boys.

Forum Thread: Bolt Riley: A Reggae Adventure (by Adventure Mob)


iTunes Description

Fire through a pixel art universe to a retro soundtrack and sound effects that are inspired by the old-school arcade game era. Players can cycle through multiple game modes and choose between ten unique ships with varying fire rates and bullet speeds, meaning no one game will ever be the same!

Forum Thread: cmnd/ctrl (by Sebastian Barrotta)


iTunes Description

Cubical puzzle game with simple beginnings and complex ends.

Move the cubes to their corresponding goals, sometimes the orientation must be just right. Sometimes several cubes move at the same time. Sometimes things gets really tricky.

Replay levels and take your time to come up with the optimal solution or dive into the 16 daily levels fresh from the level generator.

Don’t be a square, be a cube.

Forum Thread: Cubor (by Devm Games)

Death Squared

iTunes Description

Death Squared is a puzzle game for 1 or 2 people about coordination, cooperation, and robot explosions.

SMG Studio’s first console game is now available to play on your phone.

Forum Thread: Death Squared (by SMG Studio)

Defend the Cake Tower Defense

iTunes Description

From a team of former Blizzard & Riot developers comes the most delicious tower defense game! Help Eggperor Shellemane and the Eggbirds keep their cakes safe from an onslaught of persistent insects. The game begins when you place your tasty cake castle on the map. Choose carefully; there are armies of ants on their way to steal a slice! After that, it’s time to plan your strategy. Build your maze to outsmart the mischievous ants and protect your prized cake. Use watermelon slingshots and frosting guns to thwart the onslaught of bees, rocket snails, and ants on scooters!

Forum Thread: Defend the Cake Tower Defense (by Defend the Cake LLC)

Digger Machine 2

iTunes Description

Digger Machine 2 is the new version of the famous arcade game, in which you dig for precious minerals, diaments and gold. You can build a base and improve your machines.

In this version you will be able to choose even more machines, dig more minerals and discover new worlds. New traps, monsters and more digging awaits!

If you liked the first version of Digger or games like Motherload just don’t wait, this is the perfect game for you!

Forum Thread: Digger Machine 2 (by Rapid Games Studio)

Evil Cogs

iTunes Description

Your fantasies come true!
Explore that strange, fantastic, mystic world.
Soak up the atmosphere of the dark fairy-tale.
Little light beam needs your help.
So become a light – fight with darkness.
Your way will be hard, but don’t be afraid of anything.
Till your light shines – you can make it!

Forum Thread: Evil Cogs (by Ivan Murzak)


iTunes Description

Run, flip and speed up! Avoid spikes and try to overtake as many runners as possible.

Complete missions, unlock new runners and challenge your friends.

Running is fun – enjoy your run!

Forum Thread: Flippy (by Ketchapp)

FLO Game

iTunes Description

Have you got the lightning reflexes needed to master FLO? A fast action, one-tap game where you harness gravity to gain speed.

– Travel above the horizon to pick up speed as you roll down.
– Travel below the horizon to pick up speed as you roll up.
– Dodge the mines and splash through the horizon by tapping on impact.
– Tap and hold to glide past obstacles.
– Smash through score walls set by your Facebook friends.
– Losing momentum brings the Wall of Death ever closer. If it engulfs you, it’s game over.
– FLO is a beautiful game experience with music tracks by UK Hardcore act Fracus & Darwin.

Forum Thread: FLO Game (by Rogue Games)


iTunes Description

Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and heartbreaking lows of a young woman’s very first love.

Florence Yeoh feels a little… stuck. Her life is an endless routine of work, sleep, and spending too much time on social media. Then one day, she meets a cello player named Krish who changes everything about how she sees the world and herself.

Experience every beat of Florence and Krish’s relationship through a series of mini-game vignettes – from flirting to fighting, from helping each other grow… to growing apart. Drawing inspiration from ‘slice of life’ graphic novels and webcomics, Florence is an intimate and unforgettable story.

Forum Thread: Florence (by Annapurna Interactive)

Hardest Game Evar

iTunes Description

The world’s hardest game ever! Only 1% can beat this game! Some say it is impossible! You will rage a lot … and probably never be good enough to complete the game.

Game features:
– Rage inducing troll tactics
– Difficult platforming
– Hardest boss ever
– Surprisingly amazing and touching story!

Forum Thread: Hardest Game Evar (By KasSanity)

Hit n’ Run!

iTunes Description

What our players say?
“Crazy Taxi meets grand theft auto.”
“A fun innovative driving game.”
“Really fun, like GTA. Can unlock cars!”

Anyone can drive, but only one can dominate the road.
Destroy traffic and crush the police on your way to the top of mafia drivers.

Forum Thread: Hit n’ Run! (by Appsolute Games)

Hostage Negotiator

iTunes Description

Official app of the board game by AJ Porfirio and Van Ryder Games. In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of a law enforcement agent responsible for negotiating the release of hostages taken by an unscrupulous figure hell-bent on having his or her demands met.

Each turn in the game represents a conversation between you and the hostage taker. You’ll play cards and roll dice to increase conversation points, decrease the threat level, and release hostages. Hostage Negotiator uses a unique “hand-building” mechanism that puts cards you purchase directly in your hand for next turn rather than leaving you wondering when the cards will show up like in deck-building games.

In Hostage Negotiator there are multiple paths to victory, but the hostage taker has other plans. Will you try to calm him and get him to surrender? Will you stall and bide your time before sending in the team for a major extraction? How many hostages will you save? These are many of the exciting decisions you will make in a game of Hostage Negotiator!

Forum Thread: Hostage Negotiator (by Peter Kossits)

Kinoko Bird

iTunes Description

Meet Yoshiro and Mary Kokeshi. And their spirited 7 year old daughter Zoey Jade Kokeshi. They live in a place called Thunder Village in the eastern part of Japan.



Forum Thread: Kinoko Bird (by Daniel Michaels)

Neko Jump

iTunes Description

Side scroll jump Cat action game.Let’s not get out of the screen while manipulating the cat while avoiding the enemy!
let’s collect coins and power up. Let’s gather treasure of the world by opening a treasure box.
Tap to jump. Swipe left or right to move in that direction!
Be huge and counterattack!

Forum Thread: Neko Jump (by Tasary)

Nitro Racing GO

iTunes Description

Arghhh! Speed up, racer! Tap as fast as you can in this racing clicker if you want to compete in one of the most luxurious cities in the world! Find yourself among the best drivers and enjoy the amazing view of Dubai. Gorgeous skyscrapers, the newest achievements of modern arabic architecture, loudly riverside, challenging highways and roads with cliffs, on which YOU SIMPLY can’t make any mistakes. It’s time to race out!

Forum Thread: Nitro Racing GO: Idle Clicker (by T-Bull Sp. z o.o.)

Purrfect Date

iTunes Description

Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone categorically LOVES cats. Case closed. *Pounds hammer* Next!

…but what would it be like to date one?

Find out in ‘Purrfect Date’ – a new breed of dating sim, and the latest ‘critically acclaimed’ release from the BAFTA-winning Bossa Studios, brains behind ‘I am Bread’ and ‘Surgeon Simulator’.

Forum Thread: Purrfect Date (by Bossa Studios)

Rocket Soccer Derby

iTunes Description

This futuristic racing sports game, equips players with demolition derby like boosted vehicles that can be smashed into the soccer ball for amazing action-packed goals. Breathtaking graphics and ultra realistic car physics will test your racing soccer skills to the max!

Forum Thread: Rocket Soccer Derby (by Destruction Crew)

Simple Trivia

iTunes Description

Play trivia with your friends and family via iMessage! Choose between 6 categories! Win by getting more questions correct than your friend. Each question has three possible answers, but only one of them is correct. Be careful, you only have 10 seconds to correctly answer each question!

Forum Thread: Simple Trivia – iMessage Game (by eDevGames, Inc.)

Tappy Wok

iTunes Description

Can you become a master of Chinese Cooking?

Play Tappy Wok and find out! Arcade cooking just as addictive as eating orange chicken!

Master classic Chinese dishes! Six dishes are available to start! Another 30 dishes are unlockable via in-app purchase.

Are your fingers fast enough? Can you handle the heat? Then prove it and go for the highest score!

Forum Thread: Tappy Wok (by Christopher Dixon)


Best New iPhone Games on Our Forums: ‘Death Squared’, ‘Florence’, ‘Dice Brawl: Captain’s League’, ‘Purrfect Date’, and More

Hey it’s International Book Giving Day, which is a great way to unload all those old books you move from apartment to apartment while looking super generous at the same time! Once you’ve finished doing that, you can relax and play some of the new iOS games that have hit our forums this week. The biggest two releases are probably Death Squared and Florence (which we already reviewed). These initial roundup posts are getting a little weird because of the whole preorder thing, so make sure you check out full listing later in the evening where we catch all that stuff as it hits the App Store.

Here’s the latest new games that have hit our forums:


‘Florence’ Review – A Brief Fling

Mountains has been an interesting studio to watch as their team has some serious industry street cred- Particularly with their involvement in both Monument Valley [$ 3.99] and Cuphead. Backed by Annapurna, it seemed like Mountains had the luxury to release anything they wanted. What they decided on was an interactive love story and after waiting what feels like an eternity, Florence [$ 2.99] is finally here. Florence is a tricky game to review, as it’s the sort of project that invokes all those annoying arguments surrounding what is and isn’t a game. (I’m not sure it’s possible to lose, it’s fairly difficult to not progress, and you can “beat” it in 30 minutes.) I think a better lens to examine Florence through is not as a game, but rather, as a really clever evolution of a visual novel. In that respect, Florence succeeds on a level that’s really just sort of absurd.

The game, or visual novel, or interactive experience, or whatever we want to call Florence starts off with a day in the life of Florence, who lives a pretty boring adult life. It’s fascinating what a good job Florence does at driving home monotony, in fact, that’s really the magic of the whole thing- Through these individual micro-games Florence manages to flawlessly convey that emotion. For instance, one of the first things you do is wake up and brush your teeth.

To wake up, you tap your alarm clock, snooze a bit, tap it again, then the game transitions to the bathroom where you’re rubbing the screen back and forth to fill up a bar for how long you need to brush your teeth. Not long after that you’re riding public transit on the way to work, and the game has you mindlessly liking and retweeting a faux-Instagram sort of thing. Then, at work, you play a number matching game as Florence does her accounting work. It seems intentionally dull, and does a great job of mirroring what it feels like when your days just sort of melt away doing the same monotonous things over and over.

Eventually, Florence’s phone runs out of batteries, her music cuts out, and she hears something playing in the distance. It turns out to be Krish, who quickly becomes Florence’s new love interest. From there, it’s straight up weird how good of a job Florence does at capturing exactly what a new relationship feels like. You go out on your first date with Krish, and to have your first conversation you’re putting together jigsaw puzzle pieces to form full speech bubbles. Initially these puzzles are complicated, with a bunch of pieces that you need to put together. As the date progresses, they get easier and easier until they’re not even a puzzle at all- Really mimicking what a great first date feels like, when by the end of the night everything is just easy and comfortable.

Florence is a short experience. As mentioned, it took me about 30 minutes to play through it, so I really don’t want to spoil many more of the things you’ll do as interacting with these different set pieces is a big part of the whole thing. I’ll share my favorite moment though: When you eventually move in together, the game has you deciding where your stuff is going to go. The micro-game couldn’t be more basic, but the feelings it conjures of deciding what stuff comes out, what stuff gets put away, what might be important, what might not be, and whose things get put into storage to make room was so unbelievably spot on it’s eerie.

That’s just sort of how Florence goes.

I really like to avoid wishy washy conclusions in reviews, but Florence is a hard one. If you were waiting for Mountains to release the next Monument Valley gamer-y game, you should probably steer clear of Florence. You’ll blow through the game quickly, and likely be left with a “That’s it?” sort of reaction. Different strokes for different folks and all, but for me, Florence is going in the same mental folder as games like Reigns [$ 2.99] which I seem to just be constantly recommending to non-gamer friends of mine.

Experience-centric games like That Dragon, Cancer [$ 4.99], Gone Home and others have found massive audiences of people who love the experimental side of gaming that focuses more on conveying emotions than they do high scores. If those are the sorts of things you’re into, chances are you’re going to wish Florence didn’t end so soon.


Take a Look at the New Launch Trailer for ‘Florence’

Earlier this morning we posted about Annapurna’s Florence being available to pre-order on the App Store, but it turns out there’s one more Florence snippet to be had today: A launch trailer and a set of screenshots that give us a fantastic (although brief) look into this upcoming interactive love story. Take a look:

Take a look at the screenshots:

…Aaand that’s it for new things when it comes to Florence. I’m curious how many different types of mini-games there are going to be in the game, as it seems like the trailer and screenshots are teasing a few. Either way, we don’t have long to wait to find out, as Florence launches on Valentine’s Day and is available for preorder on the App Store right now.


‘Florence’ from Annapurna Interactive Releases on February 14th, Pre-Order Available Now

Annapurna Interactive has become quite the boutique publisher on mobile in recent times. They surprised everyone with Flower [$ 4.99] and have gone on to put out great stuff like Gorogoa [$ 4.99]. Florence is their latest mobile game and it comes from developer Mountains. Florence tells the tale of a young woman’s first love through ups and downs. It plays like an interactive storybook with a series of vignettes. Florence has been inspired by slice of life graphic novels. I’m already on board with that art style.

Florence Yeoh is a young woman who spends a bit too much time on social media and is in quite the rut of a routine. She ends up meeting a cello player named Krish who changes how she sees the world. This game is about their relationship and all aspects of it. The gameplay will vary based on what’s actually happening in the scene be it fighting or flirting. The story even promises to showcase how things change when they grow apart.

Florence comes from the mind of the lead designer of Monument Valley, Ken Wong, who started his own studio called Mountains. It was initially announced late last year for a release in 2018 and we now have the release date. Florence will release on iOS on February 14th. It is even up for pre-order on the App Store right now for $ 2.99. I’m quite excited to check this out when it releases. Check out the offiical website for Florence here.