by MAD HEAD GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
A MUST HAVE GAME!
Story: Listen… for the sound of betrayal! You’ve returned from school to visit your father at his famous Jazz Pepper Club during Mardi Gras, but everyone is hypnotized. Have they heard the wrong note? Explore the musical mystery in Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death! (BigFish Sales Blurb)
Desktop: Good Main Menu and Options; Map, Hint, Menu, Notebook, and Strategy Guide buttons beside the Inventory (with its Interactive Items) at the bottom of screen. Great Sound Track Jazz Music that varies and instead of being intrusive or monotonous, adds to the atmosphere of the story and game.
Play Modes: Novice; Artist; Virtuoso; Maestro; Improviser (Custom).
Map: Interactive with Info button – can jump from site to site – very useful, especially as the story urgency builds towards the end.
HOGs: Innovative, with the most variations in Game-play of them that I have seen. There were Interactive Lists; then Single Item searches (both item names or questions about items) that gave you a Music Note that gave you the next pictured Item to place back into the scene, which gave you the next Music Note, which gave you the name of the next Item to find etc.; there were Outlined Items to find from a List; Shaped Items to find; Matched Pairs to find; Lists of Items that move aside to reveal fragments of an Item – all to give you a final Item for your Inventory. You never know what kind of HOG you will get when you open the Sound Waving (rather than Sparkling) HOG site.
Puzzles: Cool Music Puzzles; I don’t recall Skipping many Puzzles in this game, though there were bound to be a few. I really disliked the Darts Puzzle in the Bonus game – the mechanics of it seemed not to work on Player’s turn.
Collections: Music Notes – one per scene; Morphing Objects.
Graphics: Set in New Orleans, these are authentic to the Jazz era – I know it continues to this day, but this was the time of Jazz Music. The Graphics are a little dark actually, but very colourful, cleverly designed, fairly clear, and well detailed for each of the areas you visit – Mardi Gras, VooDoo, Paddle Steamer, etc.
Game-play: You use a Taxi to transport you from site to site on the Map – you have to locate each new site once you have the address, then click it for the Cab to take you there. Of course there is Point & Click, Back & Forth, but you can evade this by using the Map and clicking on the Sparkling site where your next immediate Task occurs. The Cursor is spot sensitive so you have to be accurate – even when you are physically tired from playing for hours.
Player Participation: There is plenty of that – it is a very active game. You do unlock things and open things yourself, but some actions take over automatically once you initiate them – this is not a bad thing, especially towards the end of the game.
Satisfaction Factor: Highly satisfying – once in a while a game is released that is so good I just have to buy it! Immediately!! This is one of those. And once I owned it and continued to play it, I was not disappointed. It got a little confusing at times – mostly after a gap in playing when I had to reset my mind away from the previous few trail-games.
Frustration Factors: Mostly caused by the odd Puzzle that wouldn’t resolve though I had done it correctly, and fatigue from the addictive game making me sit at it for so long.
Bonus Chapter: This is actually under PLAY on the Main Menu – it follows the back story of the brothers Frankie and Bruno, with more of the same Game-play, and Music Note Collection.
Extras: Wow! What an array of Extras! Definitely worth exploring. Instrument Workshop (Jigsaw); Collectables (Music Notes found) of which you must have all to unlock more Game-play; Soundtrack (Jazz to download); Artwork folder; Achievements; HOGs Play (all scenes to replay): Screen Savers; and Puzzles. If you haven’t found all the Music Notes (some are solid, some gold, some an outline) by the end of both Games, then you can click on Collectables which opens the Music Note page; click on each of the Notes not yet found and each scene will open for you to search again. Tip: If you really can’t find the Music Note, Hint will show it to you. When this is complete, this then unlocks the Connections Puzzle which in turn, on completion, unlocks the Collectables Theatre. This when clicked takes you to each scene to find a group of Items (one per scene in full view) which upon collection fills the Theatre. This then provides you with a final HOG.
Once in a while a game is released that is so good I just have to buy it! Immediately! This is one of those. I bought it, and I wasn’t disappointed, despite the few minor irritations. The story is great and integral to the Game-play, the Graphics are excellent (though rather dark), and the hugely diverse HOGs are a real treat, creating anticipation as you approach each new one. There is so much more to this Crime game than you would expect – it is intriguing, gripping, and compulsive! I highly recommend it.
Jud House 22/04/2014
* * * * *