Set in a fantasy world where being perfect is a matter of life and death, One Hand Clapping stands out from other cookie-cutter 2D platformer games in that this time it’s not all about your jumping prowess. Knowing exactly how to calculate the distance you need to jump in the air won’t save you when the squeeze hits – this is all about your vocal chops, and no, you don’t have to be a winner. a Grammy to get the perfect score.
Bad Dream Games’ vocal platformer is laudable in its attempt to do something a little different with a tired old genre, but is this gimmick enough to really make this title shine?
THE STORY OF ONE HAND APPLY
Right off the bat, the game plunges you into a dark and gloomy place where everything is dark. You will need to find the strength within yourself to express yourself and “sing your song” within yourself, for the notes you sing will light the way. The very first step is mainly that – you walk along dreary ruins and light your way up singing – or rather, humming at an acceptable volume.
Silent City – as the first chapter is called – doesn’t really require you to bring out that singing voice that you only unleashed in the shower. You’ll mostly get away with a few constant buzzes that you’ll hold out for long enough to get through some platforms. Sometimes staying silent saves you from the creepy shadows lurking around the corner; at other times the song drives them away. They’re chasing you for some reason, and you’ll have to do everything you can to escape.
Now I’m not saying “for some reason” lightly here, as there really isn’t any explanation as to where you are, who you are and why there are gooey things like black drops. with eyes that follow your every move. This is one of my biggest issues with the game, to be honest, because I always connect to a game through its story first and foremost.
The absence of a narrative here takes away my commitment, because I don’t even know what my motivation is, or why I am even trudging. Countless other games can tell a story beautifully despite the lack of spoken words, and it’s a shame One Hand Clapping couldn’t achieve the same.
GAMEPLAY AND VISUALS APPLY WITH ONE HAND
Obviously, with such a unique gameplay mechanic, I guess I can forgive the narrative that fell apart here. The highlight really is the unique movement controlled by the character’s voice, in that you’ll have to sing different pitches to create your own platforms, break down barriers, and even turn on and off switches.
When you leave Silent City, the game really starts to open. Now you can’t just rely on random buzzes anymore – you’ll really need to find the confidence to overcome your inhibitions and sing along to match certain tones, even though you may sound absolutely ridiculous (this game is not to be played). in public ).
True to its genre, there is a wide variety of puzzles that you will need to solve – but unlike other platform games, you will have to sing high or sing low to progress through the levels. Sometimes you will also need to match the beat of the beats according to the prompts on the screen, as well as memorizing a sequence of songs to get by.
Now, while things seem intuitive at first, the difficulty level increases mainly because you’ll often wonder what you’re supposed to do next. I feel like there is a lack of instruction here as it’s easy to get stuck in one place just because you didn’t know you could actually walk through a certain wall that would open up a new stage.
The movement is also not linear, so you may think you have to go right when you actually have to go left. These seemingly little annoyances add up and it can be frustrating, especially when you have a hoarse voice and all you want is a level to end so you can let your vocal cords rest.
Fortunately, One Hand Clapping’s visuals help ease the temptation to rage. The artwork is simply pleasing to the eye, and the ambient soundtrack is even more pleasing to the ear. The landscapes are breathtaking and the colors are masterfully executed to complement the ambiance of certain levels. Honestly, if it weren’t for the visuals for the game, I would have DNF-ed this game from the start.
WHAT’S THE CALL?
One-handed applause, I think, is a bit of a missed opportunity. I love how unique the idea is and the visuals are just top notch. I also really like the way you are encouraged to let go of your inhibitions in order to be successful here.
Having said that, I have mixed feelings with this track precisely because singing through each level is so tiring. It doesn’t sound like a casual game that will relax you, although the visuals say otherwise. You can adjust the pitch and calibrate your mic’s sensitivity in the settings, but that’s not enough to help you get out of a pinch when you just can’t hit the right note.
Add to that the lack of any true story and emotional investment in the character and it’s a little hard to fall in love with the game. It also doesn’t help that running a jump on the touchscreen either. absolute pain. You will also likely be out of breath trying to hold notes for too long – if you can even hit the right note.
Still, it’s a great game to try if you’re looking for a new twist on your average platformer, so it’s always worth trying a session or two a day. On the contrary, it’s a creative way to help you gain confidence in your voice, which isn’t something you can easily find in video games like this.
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