Edited to replace previous review with one written after completing the game.
Best & Most Innovative!*****
BASED ON COMPLETED GAME
They’re the awards I’d be issuing to this breathtakingly new and original game. Not only are the production values of Cadenza utterly top quality, but the features and action are also new or so cleverly revamped you’ll think it’s new.
You are an African American woman (the first of an impressive list of firsts!) come home from school at Mardi Gras. Your cabbie is not only the most helpful in the US of A, (so my American fishie friends tell me – you will find out the reason if you are very, very sharp, about 2/3 into the game), but he is also brought to life by the most amazing animation and lip synching I’ve seen. He’s darn close to real.
The other characters are the same. Every character has his/her own accent, interests and obsessions. His own background and motivations. The band members’ story is made involving with a series of original mini-games that reveal new info in an interactive way. The who-dun-it really does require the collection of information and character analysis before the truth is revealed.
BEST SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics are exceptional, and capture the feel of the era, if not a strictly accurate depiction. There is so much to look at! Particularly for a person such as I, who can only imagine the beat and vitality of such an event as Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And the music supplies that beat perfectly. It is so beautifully done, even I started feeling like a jazz fan. With “Minnie The Moocher” running through my head, I felt as though I was really transported to another time and place. And there are actually songs! Sung well!
MOST UNUSUAL STORY
A true mystery – how are the members of Daddy’s old band being targeted and killed? And why? Is Papa not the saint we always thought he was? What’s with Aunt Adele? HOW are these victims being killed exactly? What is the strange music that has sent our father and so many others into a trance. Some of the answers will shock you!
MOST INNOVATIVE GAMEPLAY
In an environment in which players are demanding more and more that’s ‘new’, this game has more than answers the demands. Within an almost-familiar structure of HOPs, puzzles, mini-games and adventure, this game delivers the most innovative gameplay you could ask for. The HOPs in particular are “outside the box”. The first one you meet with involves a standard word list, delivered in a unique way with a silhouette ‘replace the object’ list and all of it allowing you to move, not “disappear” the items, to reveal the actual ‘hidden objects’. And it all runs so smoothly, and requires but a little head scratching at the beginning.
That is just the start of a delightful visual experience. There are oodles of mini-HOPs that pop up everywhere, that might require, say finding 5 saxophones in a newspaper article. Or the replacing one out-of-place item in a grey-scale sketch, which in turn reveals one more, and all the time we are learning the history to this drama, and of our father’s band. There is a type of matching pairs game like no other, in which you must move items to reveal the parts of matching pairs, and if the pairs don’t match, the items return to covering the required items till you match them up. You are given no list or set of silhouettes, you must find out what you need by trial and error, and memory.
The map is fun. You can jump from location to location, and you are given indications (at the least difficulty levels, there are 4 plus custom) of where action is required. But you give your preferred location to the cabbie, or other modes of transport as the game progresses. The hint is directional within each cluster of locations, and very useful in the complex HOPs.
The puzzles tend towards the visual. I liked them very much. They were innovations of familiar concepts, for the most part, breathing new life into ideas we’ve come across before, without ever looking or feeling old. The adventure component is very easy because it is broken easily into chapters and the action is generally limited to a few locations at a time. But what a nice change to have things make sense! lol
This game is outstanding. Original, involving and with top flight production values. I finished it in one sitting of approximately 3.5 – 4 hours, and the ending was deeply satisfying. The whole swath of CE bonuses, while fun are totally unnecessary to the enjoyment of this game.
I recommend this game!
Last edited by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:53 am; edited 1 time in total