art

All posts tagged art

Florence is a game that possesses a level of elegance that is rare in a mobile game. This is of course not the first mobile game to have high artistic aspirations, but it is not often that a project is created with such a pure and simple execution.

Florence is a beautiful mobile game developed by Mountains Studios, and published by Annapurna Interactive.

Equal parts digital comic, and interactive game, Florence tells a story of love that is relatably human, and beautifully artistic. Paired with an incredible soundtrack (which is done by Kevin Penkin) Florence is a truly beautiful piece of art. Deep and moving melodies sweep over the player and transport them into a world where the music takes the place of words, and communicates the experiences and events to the player absent of dialogue. The story is presented to the player through digital comic like frames that feature numerous opportunities for players to interact with the story.For instance when Florence wakes up, and you are able to move a toothbrush around the screen to help her brush her teeth. In one frame she is commuting to work on a bus and the player is able to interact with her social media app on her phone. Little puzzles and interactions like this make the experience of playing Florence fun and whimsical. It should be noted that there is no “losing” in Florence as the story will come to the same conclusion no matter what the player chooses to do. There are a few short puzzles that the player will need to complete in order to move forward, but nothing prohibitively difficult.

My only complaint about Florence is it’s short length. At the end of the game I found myself desperately wanting more of the great experience that I had just walked through. I enjoyed the whole game in one sitting with my wife, which took about 30 minutes or so. Brevity in itself is perhaps not a mark against it, but rather an indication of it’s well executed presentation. It is a short game that wastes no time, and every image and song is a rare form of simple magic. Florence is not one noted as it might seem to be at first glance. Florence explores many aspects of love, self discovery, and the emotions around real decisions that people must make as they grow up. The tone of Florence could be compared somewhat films such as Begin Again, or La La Land, featuring both happy and melancholy moments backed by an exceptional and moving cello soundtrack. Florence is an exceptional example of what great storytelling can be in a digital experience. The specifics of the story are not particularly important as much as the settings and emotions surrounding them.

Because the experience is relatively short it’s hard to talk about the game without giving away too much of the story or showing all the game mechanics. The best thing I can say about it is go get the game, and enjoy it for yourself. I personally really hope that Mountains Studios decides to make more short stories in a similar style but with different settings. Whatever else we get from them in the future, short story or otherwise, I’m sure it will be great.

Florence is currently available on IOS for $3 and coming soon to Android. Next time you want to get lost in a great soundtrack and story, drop a couple bucks and get this great game! The soundtrack is available on Spotify, though I would wait until after you’ve played the game as the songs are listed as all the chapter titles and contain minor spoilers. I’ve been listening for a few days now and thoroughly been enjoying it (seriously, it’s so good!).

Have an awesome day, and Happy Gaming Friends!

– AN ILLUSORY ADVENTURE OF
IMPOSSIBLE ARCHITECTURE AND FORGIVENESS –

Monument Valley is more than a game, it is Art. It is both abstract, as well as purposeful, it is relaxing and thought provoking, narrative and emotion, symbolic and literal, curiously real and simply impossible.

To truly experience the creative power of this game, you really just need to play through it for yourself. (If you can’t tell, I’m a huge fan). You need to get a cup of coffee, ice cream, or popcorn, (or one of each), put on your noise canceling headphones, and immerse yourself in the subtle and inviting world of Monument Valley.

Story/Setting – Subtle and unexpected. Though the game a puzzle game first, you will begin to see that themes and motifs related to the characters in the game will start to form a quiet but enchanting narrative. You do not need to know this storyline to play the game (storyline is even possibly too strong or conventional a word to describe), and all the levels can be played again individually and independently of the others. The setting it amazing and every level looks great.

Gameplay – Simplistic, but Inventive. The basic controls are intuitive and interactive; you simply tap where you want your character (Ida) to go. You can also drag, spin, and slide interactive objects in the world to solve puzzles. While there are obstacles and difficulties, the game features no direct conflict or fighting, which suits it quite well actually. Everything you interact with either builds or dismantles the world around you to help you reach your goals, which also adds to the immersive geometric setting of MV.

Difficulty – casual, while occasionally puzzling. I felt that the first collection of levels to be released were generally easy with a couple mind stretching moments. I felt I got through all the levels relatively quickly. The only real trouble for me was the last 2 levels, and very specifically, the final stage will give you some grief. But if your experience is like mine, by this time you love the game and are determined to play through to it’s conclusion. It seems that most people say they finished the original 10 levels in about 2 hours or so. (Also USTWO has since MV’s original release developed a second series of levels under the title Forgotten Shores, which I will explore in a future game review.)

Monument Valley is available on IOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. It’s something like $4, and I would say it is well worth it’s price. The game is beautiful to watch and it sounds great too.

Plus, here is a link to some great fan art the people are making from Monument Valley, most of it makes way more sense after you play through the game first. Enjoy!

http://monumentfriends.tumblr.com/

– Jacob Tillson