SING YOUR WAY TO VICTORY
- Developer: University of Southern California
- Publisher: Itch.io
- Genre: Puzzle Platformer
- Release Date: June 13, 2018
- Platforms: Windows, Mac
- Reviewed on: Titan Bayonet PC & Blue Yeti Microphone
In 2018 the gaming world has been full of dark and depressing post-apocalyptic games with mysterious undertones and moody music. So in a world of dark and moody it’s been a breath of fresh air to find a game with beautifully simplistic graphics and a storyline surrounding bringing light into the world through music.
The game starts off with moody music panning down into the dark backstreets of some unknown city. From the depths of the inner city come the hoard, which can only be described as what I experience on a Friday at 5pm when everyone is rushing to get home for the weekend. After taking a moment to process what has just happened the Northern Lights appear in the night sky and bless us with a beautiful shining blob of a being. After calibrating your microphone you are let loose on this story driven platformer bringing light into the darkest of alleyways through the power of song!
This game was found on itch.io where indie games are distributed to PC gamers to trial their games or demos. With one hand clapping being a 30 minute demo it’s great to see and feel such a fleshed out game concept within a demo that I have happily paid £5 for. Itch.io allows gamers to pay however much they feel the game is worth and support indie developers in their industry. Thanks to them we have the blessing that is the One Hand Clapping demo.
The controls are like no others I have used before, use your keyboard or controller to move around your environment, but to change the environment around you (raise platforms, create walkways etc.) you use your voice. Simply calibrate your microphone when first being introduced to your singing blob by singing, humming or whistling your lowest note and then sing your way to victory. To raise platforms you have to raise the pitch of your voice, for example to make the platform go higher you have to sing a higher note, and to make it lower you have to sing a lower note. Amazingly simple and yet so much fun.
The graphics are adorable in their simplistic nature. The colors go from a dark and gloomy navy and black to a deep pastel palette of pinks, oranges, yellows and reds. Character design is simple enough, a lovely little purple fella is the main playable character and every time you speak into your microphone his actions reflect this. So when you’re speaking his mouth is opening and closing along with your words. I had way too much fun with this mechanic making my character scream at the top of his lungs and then sing the Macarena. Halfway through the game you’re introduced to a tall green broccoli looking fella who could do with a little more love. As a character model he seems a little too 2D for my liking, needs a bit more shading to feel warmer and more loveable.
For a game centred on audio input, the music and sound design could do with a bit of tweaking. It all seems very “electro” in the sound design, which may be what the feel of the end game will be. But for the demo that has been provided it seems like the music could be a bit more ambient. Hitting the notes required in order to make certain pathways and bridges did prove difficult at times. Throughout my half an hour gameplay I did have to recalibrate my mic 3 separate times in order to hit certain notes correctly.
The storyline is simple enough for a demo, wander through the streets, sing your heart out and make it to the end of the demo where you rap battle to the death. Well, not as serious as that but it’s a lovely little 2D puzzle platformer with a simple story to try out a new control style. One thing I will note is that you will need a good microphone that picks up your voice quite clearly as I was using my Blue Yeti and still had to recalibrate to fully use it.
One hand clapping has a great new way of controlling the environment around you and the storyline that it has worked out so far raises a lot of questions which make me want to see more. The game needs a bit more love and care put into it graphics and sound wise but I can see that once this is fully fleshed out it will be a game worth buying and enjoying. Just make sure that you don’t play it late at night otherwise your roommates won’t thank you for it!