For this critical play session, I ended up playing Florence! Florence is a short, 30 minute interactive story where the player engages in short narrative vignettes of the like of Florence Yeoh as she goes through her relationship with Krish.
In each short chapter, the player with a series of short minigames that advance the story and are simple completion tasks. Each minigame is flavored to match the action in the story. For example, the player may move their mouse back and forward to brush their teeth or puzzle together dialogue.
Personally, I loved the story of the game as it felt artistic, simple, and pure. However, I have mixed feelings about playing it as a piece of interactive fiction. In a lot of instances, the small minigames worked well. The moments when the dialogue had the puzzles become quicker and easier due to the flow of the dialogue felt great. Other times when the player was drawing or erasing to show new findings in Florence’s life were similarly amazing. It felt like the mechanic was used to advance the story rather than being tacked on as a way to engage the player.
However, in a lot of other instances, it just felt like a hassle. In places where I was asked to assemble a picture, it was annoying since I knew what the picture was. I just needed to put it together in the right order so the game got in its own way. That being said, the minigames were very easy, it was just a minor gripe that it felt tacked on. I felt like I was just doing it to advance the story rather than to learn something. As music, it sometimes flowed well together but other times it was just taxing.