“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” – Stephen Sondheim
One Hand Clapping is a 2D puzzle-platformer with a unique twist. Players must change the world around them using their voice, singing in order to progress through a variety of environmental challenges! It has been in development for a few years but leaps into early access on 10th June 2021!
Developer: Bad Dream Games
Released: 10th June 2021 (early access)
The game’s simple controls take a bit of getting used to, whilst movement and simple interaction use familiar keyboard controls (that can be remapped), puzzles must be solved with the player’s vocal chords, a bit of rhythm and a good ear! One Hand Clapping utilises a range of mechanics that allow the player to change the world around them, from raising elevators and rearranging blocks to turning on lights and creating platforms from scratch, all achieved by overcoming a range of harmonic and pitch-focused challenges.
Mistakes go almost entirely unpunished, simply requiring the player to retry the specific part of the puzzle that they failed. The game is encouraging players to be confident in their singing voice, hitting the wrong notes is framed as an opportunity to practice and learn! One Hand Clapping has fairly lengthy levels but even within each chapter, there is a huge amount of variety in both aesthetics and gameplay.
Narrative and Styling
One Hand Clapping features beautifully cute, cartoon-style artwork in minimal and complementary colour palettes creating a range of exciting environments such as the spooky Silent City or the vibrant Duet Desert! These scenes are perfectly complemented by equally varied and very emotive music that consists mainly of piano notes.
Whilst the game has themes of isolation, fear, perseverance and harmony it has very little explicit narrative. However, it is easy to infer one’s own story and imagine the reasons why the adorably musical protagonist persists in facing the various perils.
One Hand Clapping is a fun and challenging game that feels completely original in its gameplay. The puzzles and voice controls can prove tricky at times but are forgiving in a way that makes room for casual play styles and satisfying solutions. Singing to control and change a game’s environments can feel a little unnerving, to begin with, but the immersive content soon counters this. Overall, this unique new game is refreshing and entertaining and very easy to recommend.