Video games have a lot of growing up to do when it comes to the subject of love. Decades of catering to the taste of young boys has left the content a bit…emotionally-stunted. As such, those looking for a love-related content fix will heavily gravitate towards other mediums such as film, music, and literature instead.
To gaming’s credit, steps are being taken in the right direction. Gaming is starting to take on the subject in more thoughtful ways and I’m here for it! As we head towards Valentine’s Day, maybe a few of these games can get you in the spirit of the season, whether you’re madly in love or wrestling with heartbreak.
Though I tend to be the type to ride from one hot new release to the next, 2020’s lineup was…subpar for me as a whole. Sure, there were a couple of games that made an impact on me, with one in particular that is likely to be crowned my personal Game of the Year. But for the most part, my year was defined by catching up on older games that slipped by me during their hey day. Here are some of the more notable titles I caught up on in 2020!
I’m not crying. You’re crying! Playing Florence always hits me right in the feels and I’m glad to have shared this experience with you.
Click through for the full stream, highlights, and shoutouts!
The story of two hearts colliding is one that’s explored to great effect in virtually every medium. Except gaming. For numerous reasons, the medium has been slow to create experiences around the themes of love and romance beyond more juvenile dating simulators or bolting on elements of romantic relationships into established genres. As much as I love headshots, juggle combos, and stacking blocks, I’ve always felt like there was a whole world of possibilities that could arise when combining the interactive elements of gaming with the themes of love and romance.
Originally released on mobile in 2018, Florence takes a clever approach to bringing a love story to life within the boundaries of gaming. Though I meant to play it at the time, I didn’t get around to it until it was released on the Nintendo Switch in February 2020. The experience of playing through it has weighed heavily on my heart ever since.