Are you a fan of classical music? Do you miss high school? Are you a teenager? Do you feel like saving the day? If you answered one or more of these questions with anything from "Maybe" to "You betcha!", then Florence by Rebekah Smith is the right RPG exploration game for you. Our young heroine is a promising flautist who has to make sure that the biggest night of her career doesn't turn into a disaster.
Florence is getting ready to play at a concert given by her school in a few hours. She has worked hard and has a lot riding on this performance. Which is why the last thing she needs is her friend running into her room shouting about sabotage and cancelling... and that's exactly what happens. Florence, like your regular self-sacrificing superhero, volunteers to fix everything in time for the show, while her fellow students stand around and panic. There is much to be done and many places to do it in; use the [arrow] keys to move and [enter] to interact with people and objects. Talk to your friends to find out what the damage is and how it can be reversed, then launch into your noble tasks which, at the beginning, mostly consist of finding missing items.
Florence plays out like a good teenage movie. All the elements are there: a pretty, likable girl in the main role, love interests, intrigue, strained relationships with parents, drama and a teddy-bear. The story is driven by dialogues, which are well-written and amusing. There are no puzzles per se, but you will be expected to put two and two together at times, though this comes intuitively enough. The layout is complex without being frustrating; there is a good number of rooms, but it's fairly easy to remember where they are and what is in them. The game can be finished in less than an hour, but it will feel longer, because it is full of developments that change its course. You'll get the most out of it if you really put yourself in Florence's shoes — as she doesn't have much time to save the show, there will be a real sense of urgency which will make your achievements more rewarding, and in the end it does feel like a well-rounded experience. Florence is not a groundbreaking game in any way, but it is definitely pleasant and endearing and worth your time.
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