It’ll be impossible for me to express my admiration for Florence as eloquently as Emma Wilder did in her charming critique, but I’ll shoot for the stars nonetheless. The debut release from Mountains, a new studio headed up by Monument Valley‘s Ken Wong, is a beautiful visual novel that encapsulates the rollercoaster ride that is young love, breaking free of routine and the pursuit of happiness.
The game’s opening chapter has us wrestling with the banalities of everyday life — the daily grind. It all rings true. Hitting snooze, the sleepy-eyed brushing of teeth and the morning commute. Through a series of mind-numbing prompts, Florence perfectly captures a life without love. It’s bleak with a distinct absence of colour. It’s only thanks to a flat phone battery that protagonist Florence Yeoh disconnects from this rut she’s caught in and takes in the life that has, until now, been passing her by. On cue, a busking cellist, Krish, whisks Florence off of her feet in a fantastical scene that is one of the game’s most pleasing.
It’s love at first sight, that old cliché. This love is characterised by the welcome wash of the colour yellow which is symbolic of hope and happiness, it creates a sense that everything is okay.