30th November 2023 3:28 pm
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Music puzzler/composer could be SA’s next big gaming success

Cadence is a puzzle game made by two local developers, Peter Cardwell-Gardner and Rodain Joubert. It challenges gamers to connect musical nodes in such a way that a little ditty loops infinitely. Once solved, gamers move on to subsequent levels which increase in complexity, eventually involving a great deal of nodes and even separate puzzle elements that must be solved alongside the main puzzle.

That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, as it didn’t to me when I first heard about it at this past weekend’s A MAZE festival, so you should probably just watch this video as it does a much better job of explaining what Cadence is.

There was a live demo of the game at A MAZE that I got some hands-on time with, and I must say after just a few minutes of play time I got exactly what the designers were aiming for: I was sucked in to the mesmerizing world of timed tones, whose timing and paths I needed to solve, and feeling like I was actually quite smart for figuring out what each level wanted from me. I also loved how satisfied I felt at the gentle beauty of the the tunes that played once each puzzle was properly solved, which I think is partly the point.

Encouragingly, when I got up there was another person to take my place, eager to try their hand at solving the puzzles – always a good indication of any game’s ability to draw people in.

Cadence is a work in progress, but I was told that once it’s done, the developers aim to release it commercially. To get there, though, they are going to enlist the aid of Kickstarter. Rodain Joubert, one of the two devs was on hand to tell me that he’s currently laying the groundwork for the Kickstarter campaign, which he says should kick off sometime in October with a rather modest goal of $30 000. Even though that’s not really a lot of money as far as Kickstarters go, it’s enough to provide the cash needed to polish Cadence up a bit more to make it a little more attractive for a commercial audience. They may even employ another developer to help out if it goes well enough.

I was told there’s a composer function built into the game that will let people make their own music with the game’s puzzle-like interface, something I believe will give it long-term legs. People love creating things, and putting the tools in their hands is something that’s driven the success of games like Skyrim, Mount & Blade, SimCity 4 and many others which still sell well, even today.

If you like what you see, there’s more over at the official Cadence YouTube channel. The game is looking pretty good, and we wish Joubert and Cardwell-Gardner all the best with their upcoming Kickstarter.

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