Love's Cadence


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Rating: 4.4/5 (294 votes)
| Comments (26) | Views (87)

elleelle_lovescadence_image1.pngLife's direction depends on choice and, in Love's Cadence, an exploratory game from 4urentertainment, decisions become turning points after two basic choices: evolve or destroy? By evolving, there is growth and the opportunity for continuance. Destroying, on the other hand, ends and aids closure. Join Cadence, the title character of this puzzling tale, in a brief hallucination about the outcomes of her decisions.

Love's Cadence is a platform game in that you use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move, yet it also plays like a point-and-click adventure as you use your mouse to trigger several interactive spots to engage with a sparse population of secondary characters or alter the objects in Cadence's path. What you do at these spots develops the story and also determines how or whether you progress. There are two potential outcomes based on your choices: a grim ending or a more positive one. Since it's possible to reach the final room without discovering every area, be sure to explore all possibilities using [R] to reset and reconsider your choices.

The exploration aspect of Love's Cadence contains some fun-to-discover puzzles which also involve choices. This adds to an underlying theme about life's direction making the story much more immersive for the player. Increasing this effect is the enjoyably atmospheric soundtrack; it is so much a part of the experience that music is a key component at one stage of the game.

Analysis: This is a beautiful game that plays like poetry: actions, story and eye-pleasing graphics fit together cohesively. A "To be or not to be?" existentialism is evoked and, however you look at it, Love's Cadence has the potential to elicit a variety of polemic responses from its audience. An affect like that is a laudable accomplishment in any game/poem/artistic piece.

Created in only 96 hours for Newgrounds Game Jam 6, Love's Cadence is not long and it does have some shortcomings. For example, jump is especially bouncy and surfaces are slippery, causing unwanted sliding. A few items appear as if they could be interactive but, regrettably, are not. An overly critical eye might consider an abundance of melodramatics and motif to also be flaws. Yet the talented young team behind Love's Cadence—programmer Omar Shehata (who also brought us Concerned Joe), artists Chad Lewis and Miha Petrisic, and musician Deniz Akbulut—demonstrate a harmonic collaboration that is better experienced in game than over-analyzed here. Besides, if rough edges exist, they are easily overlooked because this lyrical game works so well as a whole and any imperfections fit right into the theme.

In poetry, "cadence" refers to a balanced rhythm. In dance, it is the measure of movement. Both these definitions connect to the experience of playing Love's Cadence because of its poetic sense and ballet-like unfolding of the story. Yet the musical meaning of cadence describes the game and defines its quest perfectly: "A progression of chords moving to a harmonic close, point of rest, or sense of resolution." With that in mind, Love's Cadence is easily appreciated for how its graphics, narrative elements and gameplay coalesce into a beautiful, conversation-stirring composition. It's good to question life's choices this way; perhaps all the world's a game and we are just its players.

Play Love's Cadence

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)


Love's Cadence Walkthrough

  1. At the "Jump" sign...

  2. Click it and select "evolve." Then, ignore its instructions.

    • ...Jump.

    • There, you'll see Dirk. Click him then select "interact" and he'll talk to you.

  3. Keep going right, jumping across the snowy pillars, until you come to a shrine- or pantheon-like place.

  4. You'll see a little glass jar on top a pedestal...

  5. First, "destroy" the jar...
    Then evolve the flower.

  6. Go right again, then pause at the base of the hill to talk to Dirk.

    • Then climb up the hill toward Dirk...

    • ...and fall through the floor.

  7. When you land, go left...

  8. Use the "evolve" button to climb up the vines (one at a time so you don't bump your head) and view a clue for the upcoming "puzzle" then jump back down.

    Use the evolve button again, using the tree to get out

  9. Go right until you reach three paths--one high, one middle and one low. Use your clue to get past this part:

  10. 3,1,2.

    1=top, 2=middle, 3=bottom.

    First go right through the scene, staying on the bottom level.

    Then climb up to the top level and go right.

    Finally, jump to the middle level and continue right to the next scene.

  11. You'll come to a brown mound on the ground:

  12. You have three choices...Try all three!

    • Evolve:

    • Climb on the mound -then- click evolve. It will change into a bird that flies you up to a new area.

      While there, destroy the statue of Cadence.

      Then, drop back down to the original mound.

    • Do nothing:

    • Keep going past the mound and explore...

    • Destroy:

    • Destroy the mound then drop through the hole that's left behind.

  13. After that last choice, you'll end up at a multi-limbed white column.

    • If you go left, you'll find another platform with a brown mound and two choices:

    • Stand on the mound and choose evolve to fly up to another area.

      While there, destroy the statue of Dirk.

      Move right to fall back to the platform. Go back to the column.

  14. Moving on, go right, past the column.

    • There's Dirk again...see what he has to say this time.

    • Then, jump over the gap and continue past Dirk to the right.

  15. Go across the bridge and exit stage right to the next scene.

  16. You'll find yourself trapped with a guy who "seems to be lost..."

    • This is a sound puzzle. Make sure your computer's speakers are on and turned loud up enough that the flute music is clear to distinquish fluctuations in volume.

    • Move in the direction where the flute music becomes loudest...it will be loudest next to the correct exit.

    • Move from left to right slowly until you can tell if it's loud at the middle hole (in which case you drop down), on the left edge (thus go left), or on the right side (meaning go right).

    • You'll know you made a mistake if the trench coat guy appears on the ledge again.

    • Once you've gone through six correct exits in a row, you will move on.

    • (The maze is randomly generated -- where the exits are changes on each play though.)

  17. You'll arrive outside a church...

    • If you destroyed the statues earlier, they'll appear outside the church.

    • Go inside.

    • There you'll see Dirk; click on him to interact.

    • Now you have a couple more choices:

    • If you destroy Dirk, the more positive ending will be triggered.

      If keep going right, "walking into the light," that triggers the, um, other ending.

  18. When you're done, to see the other ending, click "begin" and make a different choice.

If you want to play through again from the beginning, "refresh" your browser.

26 Comments

It is possible to get trapped by a Christmas tree and therefore not possible to progress further. I think this is a bug?

[ If you'd like a redo because a choice didn't turn out the way you wanted (or just to see "what if I..."), then use the [R] button to Reset, leave the room, and try again. ~elle ]

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CookieCommando December 23, 2011 10:49 AM

A game with many unexpected aspects.The sound room was very unique to me. One of the endings explains the rating.

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Once you bring up the interaction icons, finding their hotspots is frustrating.

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I really want to play this game but I've given up out of frustration. The hotspots are a nightmare to find for interactions. I've tried in FF and IE and it's the same for both. If that could get fixed I'd love to play.

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Horrible, horrible controls, rendered this game unplayable for me. There's no fun of exploration when each jump and every move is laggy and slidy. The mouse control is even worse - dozens of clicks before the items and buttons actually respond, and when they finally do, they quickly disappear with the next click.
Got frustrated and lost interest quite instantly, this is the worst GUI ever.
The creators should learn a lesson from Knytt Stories, now THAT's real game-play!

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I'm not having any issues with clicking the interaction icons at all on Mac OS and Windows 7, Chrome, and the latest Flash Player (11.1.102.55).

Make sure your browser and Flash Player are updated, and make sure your browser is at 100% actual size and not zoomed in or out at all.

And the controls are responsive and quite playable. Sure, the character is a bit slippery to control, but she's walking on snow and ice for crying out loud! What do you expect?! ;)

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Carny Asada Author Profile Page December 23, 2011 8:55 PM

Dirk seems very passive-aggressive. I would have really liked a "punch Dirk in the nose" option.

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OK, so if I don't zoom in at all, the hot spots line up just fine, but then I can't see a darn thing. May be a great game on a smaller screen with a small resolution and better eyesight, but for me it's not happening. Sorry.

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On this computer the controls are proving unresponsive (up-to-date Chrome and not zoomed at all), which has meant falling through holes that I was trying to jump over very often. So, even if I could hear the sound for that annoyingly generated puzzle room, chances are I would fall through the bottom when I didn't need to numerous times.

The aforementioned sound room should have a visual clue - for instance, the direction the snow is blowing.

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My platforming skills aren't what they used to be, but even I can recognize unresponsive controls when I press right and then hold up with no effect for over a second. I suspect that this game just doesn't like the computer I was using (which is why I prefaced my prior statement with "on this computer").

And I know what the premise for that room's solution is, because I read the walkthrough after being stuck there. But the sound was inaudible at max volume on the machine I was on. And I often turn sound off in flash games because I'm doing other things at the time anyway, thus visual clues are always preferable. And I will always knock points off a rating for pure audio clues/solutions, and for not having built-in music/sound OFF buttons.

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For the jumping controls, I found it better if I held down the jump and direction keys at the same time, the let go once I was on the surface. Though sometimes she will jump again when she lands, so you have to be careful to make sure she comes back down in the same place. And it was annoying to have to try sooooo many times to get back up somewhere.

Another trick for the scene where you have to evolve the branches is to only evolve the next branch you need to jump on. That way you won't keep hitting your head on the one above you.

The music room was hard--I never would have figured that out without the walkthrough. But the game music was the best I've heard in a long time :)

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About clicking the buttons, I had trouble with this too, until I zoomed out with Firefox.

When I first started the game I zoomed in (with Ctrl-scroll up) to see a larger game screen, and had lots of trouble clicking the buttons. Eventually I zoomed out (Ctrl-scroll down) and found no trouble clicking the buttons.

Anyway, too bad

there isn't actually a happy ending. I thought it would have been nice to see Dirk and Cadence together, but evidently Dirk is already dead when the game begins, and it's all about whether Cadence is going to follow. No happy ending. So many stories seem to end that way, but I guess they're just imitating reality.

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Everything worked fine for me until

I reached Dirk at the end and tried the interaction button. Now matter how many times I try to press it and how much I zoom in, it refuses to work :( so I probably missed an important dialogue in the story

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@Iconian

Actually I think a broken relationship caused by irresponsibility is many times worse than the situation of this game as one half will be left to pick up his/her life while the other will suffer nothing.

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Axyraandas Author Profile Page December 29, 2011 3:29 PM

@secret

Death leaves no chance for recovery on both sides, just the one. A broken relationship can be fixed as each side matures, realizes the corrupted part of their relationship, and attempts to fix it. The degree and manner in which it heals dictates the nature of future experiences between each side, producing more varied endings than just moving on or dying. Of course, making one side dead makes for a practical game within their time frame, so what they did is pretty amazing.

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I don't know about you guys, but I am beyond confused. I don't understand who/what was up with the crazy guy muttering "312 312 312" I mean, I looked at the walkthrough, and got that it was a hint for the next puzzle, but did they have to drop it so morbidly? and it took me a read through the comments to realize Dirk was dead, which cleared up how the floating black spirit by the balcony fits in to the story, but I still don't get why Dirk had a complete personality change. He didn't want Cadence to commit suicide until the very end. So confused. And what about "I gave it to him. He just didn't tell you. None of this would've happened if he did."?? PLEASE, someone respond and help me understand this baffling game.

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Glitch: if you fall into the hole under the bird before

destroying the Cadence statue

, getting back up to that spot and riding the bird will only take you to the Death screen. Coming back from that screen will flash the missing room, but at first I thought that was part of the hallucination, especially after talking to Death.

Also, I thought I was stuck and had to do something to get rid of the giant rock Dirk was standing on before the last maze.

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robotpeach Author Profile Page February 6, 2012 11:11 PM

@Lucy-- spoiler tags please! Some people haven't finished the game...

I was enjoying this game, having a blast turning flowers into Christmas trees and whatnot, but I can't get past the puzzle with the lost guy! I'm finding it really hard

to tell when the music is getting louder as it sort of seems to contain natural crescendos. Do I have broken ears? Is anyone else trying this with headphones and finding it difficult?

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Oooh, that was interesting. The uh, negative ending, now that was... chilling. I'm a teensy weensy confused by it. In fact, I can't help but wonder...

...did Dirk murder Cadence? Or did she commit suicide?

I didn't have any problems with the controls. The story itself was interesting. I didn't have much trouble with the hotspots, either. It was awfully short though - I wonder if there will be a sequel?

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@Liz

The other ending provides much more information on the storyline. Once you finish the game, you'll be taken to the start screen. Pressing begin will put you right before you have to make a choice:

whether to pass through the door or destroy Dirk

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jennykim610 Author Profile Page December 7, 2013 6:59 PM

What is going on.....

can't click anything after the sign with don't jump

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