GAMES ARE ART
Falling in love? Sounds glorious.
A new series celebrating great game soundtracks. This week: Florence.
A story about love and life
Florence is one of our 2018 Apple Design Award winners. These awards celebrate the creative artistry and technical achievement of developers who set the standard for app design and innovation on Apple platforms.
The 20-song instrumental soundtrack to Florence, the latest game from the lead designer of Monument Valley, tells you as much about a young couple’s doomed romance as playing the game does. Each character is represented by an instrument, and their melodies are as integral to their story as the Peanuts theme is to Charlie Brown.
Each song is just a minute or two long, and rich with feeling. The main theme—the first track on the album—begins as a simple piano line. It’s sweet and melancholy, like Florence herself. Soon a cello enters, just as it does in the game when Florence falls for a cellist named Krish after hearing him play.
To finesse these subtleties, upstart development studio Mountains turned to composer Kevin Penkin, known for his work on Deemo and other games. It was his idea to assign each character an instrument and then build the soundtrack around them.
“Instruments such as flutes, clarinets, violins, and electronics accompany the leading instruments,” he explains, “all to provide context to how they’d interact with each other.”
The music tracks the couple’s relationship to the end, moving from song to song, all with simple titles like “Happy Together,” “Fight,” and “Drifting.”