One Hand Clapping (Xbox One) Review

A 2D puzzle platformer created by Bad Dream Games and published by HandyGames, which is related to THQ, One Hand Clapping earns some brownie points for its entirely unique approach – the game requires a mic and the player must sing to complete tasks. There is some great potential here but unfortunately gets tiresome quickly.

Before getting to the mic support, this platformer is rather pretty, using a very simple yet effective art style composed of soft pastels and basic geometric shapes. It is a pleasant and wholesome visual style that works in conjunction with the thoughtful soundtrack. One stage you’re jumping on top of brightly colored buildings, the next you’re walking through dark shadows with creepy eyes watching your every move. Although you are alone, your voice can light the way, literally.

The player has direct control of the playable character but activating anything requires the use of noise being projected into a microphone. It is important to note, this game cannot start without a mic plugged into the controller. Need to activate that thing, hum into the mic. Have to light the way, sing anything. Obstacle needs clearing, shout into your headset. By the end of the first stage, I had to rest because I simply did not want to speak any more. For the most part, the player can yell, shout, sing, talk, hum, or even breath into the mic. It doesn’t matter as long as it detects noise. There are times when the game requires a certain pitch, but found this to be highly inaccurate and annoying.

By the second stage, I just wanted to press the “X” button to perform the task instead of shouting into my mic. If there was a Rock Band-like real time tone meter to guide the player’s voice, then there is incentive to perform well.  Here, you can fart into your headset to complete the task, it doesn’t matter. The difficulty is also on the very casual side, never reaching difficult status. While the easy going approach is not necessarily bad, it just makes it more boring than it should be.

If the mic support was an optional way to play this game, or perhaps only using it in select circumstances, then the experience would have been better for it. Maybe a patch will come through but in the meantime, if you hated blowing into your mic on your DS (The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks being the worst) then you probably know the level of annoyance to expect with this otherwise slightly above average platformer.

SCORE: 5/10

Also Try: Odama (GameCube)  
Better Than: Haunting Ground (PS2)
Wait For It: the next SingStar

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz
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