When you watch the first-look video for Cadence, a self-described “zen-like audio-generative puzzle game”, you’re going to stare blankly for the first 40 seconds, unsure why this black and grey thing should be of interest. Then at 41 seconds you’ll go, “Ooooh.” If you don’t, it means you’re rubbish, so you’d best not admit to it.
The purpose of the game is to connect “nodes” together with lines, in order to build circuits down which musical pulses can travel – each level’s goal is to create a constantly looping sound. It starts off fairly simply, before introducing concepts like logic gates in a friendly fashion. Take a look:
Creator Peter Cardwell-Gardner was formerly a sound engineer, and you can see the logical progression. This is physics meets sounds meets puzzles, and the resulting effects seem very enticing to me. I’d quite happily listen to those little musical bursts for an afternoon, calming my frantic, angry brain.
The game is still in development, but there’s an online demo you can click at. This lets you get a good feel for the style of puzzles, and also shows how arrghghnnnggghh it is when you make a mistake, the nasty sound spoiling the harmonious atmosphere. It’s very smart – the harmonising, the discordance – I rather like this.
And of course there’s a Greenlight page to vote up. Which you definitely should, for the studio name alone: Made With Monster Love.