Life'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.
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Love's Cadence Walkthrough
At the "Jump" sign...
Click it and select "evolve." Then, ignore its instructions.
There, you'll see Dirk. Click him then select "interact" and he'll talk to you.
Keep going right, jumping across the snowy pillars, until you come to a shrine- or pantheon-like place.
You'll see a little glass jar on top a pedestal...
First, "destroy" the jar...
Then evolve the flower.
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.
When you land, go left...
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
Go right until you reach three paths--one high, one middle and one low. Use your clue to get past this part:
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.
You'll come to a brown mound on the ground:
You have three choices...Try all three!
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.
Keep going past the mound and explore...
Destroy the mound then drop through the hole that's left behind.
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.
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.
Go across the bridge and exit stage right to the next scene.
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.)
You'll arrive outside a church...
If you destroyed the statues earlier, they'll appear outside the church.
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.
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.
Posted by: elle | December 23, 2011 11:18 AM