Parents' Guide to

Cadence of Hyrule

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Link, Zelda dance to the rescue in music adventure mashup.

Game Nintendo Switch 2019
Cadence of Hyrule Poster Image

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This mashup of an indie rhythm adventure and a globally popular action franchise is a surefire hit for all gamers. The cleverness of Cadence of Hyrule takes the focus of moving on the beat to remixed songs through randomized dungeons and melds it with the lore and gameplay of the beloved Legend of Zelda games. The result is a game that's easy to pick up and incredibly hard to put down. In fact, it works so well together, it's surprising that it hasn't been done before. Much of this is due to the music from the Zelda franchise, which helps you fall naturally into time with the step of each song. It's still possible to be surrounded by lots of creatures onscreen, especially if you fall off the rhythm, but the tunes are so hummable (and so well known) that it's easy to get your bearings back. Building on the soundtrack's strength is the engaging Zelda-influenced gameplay. Whether it's blowing up walls and uncovering hidden passages, or finding fairies to heal your injuries, this feels like one of the lost or hidden chapters of the Zelda series. That includes acquiring some classic gear, like a boomerang or bow and arrows, and upgrading them to eliminate more powerful monsters.

The challenge level is high, but Cadence is easier and better designed than other rogue-likes, including Necrodancer. For instance, when you gain key weapons and gear, you keep these in your inventory instead of starting over completely from scratch, which minimizes your frustration. Plus, as you clear out a map, you'll earn both rupees and gems. If you die, you lose all of your rupees, but the retained gems can be redeemed at the start of your next playthrough to buy consumable items to get you back into play faster. If there was a negative to be found, it's that you can clear the entire game in about ten hours or so. It's a good length, but it'd be great to see this game run the length of a full Zelda game, with all of its twists and turns. Despite that short play, Cadence of Hyrule is a fantastic game that will keep you tapping your toes while bashing your foes.

Game Details

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