One Hand Clapping Review
One Hand Clapping is a marvelous idea expertly crafted into a small 2D platforming game. It requires not just good timing and platforming skills, but also utilizes our voice to light up paths, move obstacles out of the way, and assist your character in all the ways possible to bring them to where they need to be.
Don’t let having to sing turn you away though, because One Hand Clapping doesn’t care if you are the next American Idol or if you only sound good in the shower – the only thing they look for is whether or not you have a voice, and if you’re willing to use it. It is fun and can raise some eyebrows from family and friends who are nearby, but definitely worth trying if you have a microphone nearby.
There isn’t much of a story to follow, rather the game is more focused on the experience and providing beautifully designed environments and platforms. Using your voice, you can lead your character to where they need to go. There are some simple puzzles to solve in order to find the right path, and they are mostly intuitive and cleverly laid out. On top of that, the visuals are crisp and clean with the colors appropriately setting the mood for each scene, making dark backgrounds super eerie but light backgrounds warm and hopeful.
Sing Your Song
Though the puzzles are not challenging to figure out, understanding what to do and timing it correctly is another thing. Sometimes it feels extremely easy and solving the current environment may be obvious, but it’s not just a puzzle game after all. Coupled with platforming and the requirement to time not just your movement but when to use your voice, this adds another level of welcome complexity. It doesn’t hurt to keep a glass of water nearby, because there’s no guarantee you time your movements and your voice perfectly on the first few tries. It’s very entertaining to try out your different pitches and test your abilities to hit the right note, and speaking as a non-singer it is generally easy to grasp.
The concept is new and creative, requiring players to connect a microphone to the console as your voice is the tool you will be using most. This does mean it requires extra equipment to play, as I’ve tried to play without my headphones and it wouldn’t allow. This also means because your voice is an integral part of the game, you will need to speak or sing for prolonged periods of time. Some scenes may need you to keep singing something, and others may require you to hum and hold your current note. Thankfully no musical talent is required to successfully complete the game, however, this makes for awkward bus rides when you want to play this on your trip home.
Though additional equipment is required to play the game, the microphone you use doesn’t have to be very high quality. I just used my old headset that was lying around and I was able to clear obstacles easily with it. You are able to adjust the sensitivity of your microphone where the game can pick up even the quietest of sounds. It isn’t that good at picking up whispers, so ensure you aren’t playing this in the middle of the night while your family is asleep.
While singing skills are not required, having the ability to differentiate what notes are higher and what notes are lower is helpful. There will be times that certain platforms move up and down depending on the pitch of your voice. You don’t need to know what note to hit, but you just need to know if you hit a high or low enough note to keep your character moving. It is actually very simple and the game is very forgiving of your mistakes. In fact, it encourages you to try things out before going ahead, since you can always move things back by adjusting your voice too.
Of course, the whole point is to have a good time trying something new. One Hand Clapping is fun for singers and non-singers alike so I’m sure everyone will enjoy this creative experience. You can use it as an excuse to warm up your voice if you’re going out for Christmas caroling, or you can just sing to your heart’s content while actually making progress in a video game. And who knows, maybe you’ll find out you actually have a knack for singing.
*** A Switch review code provided by the publisher ***
- Creative concept
- Voice sensitivity can be adjusted
- Appealing and crisp visuals
- Requires additional equipment
- Can’t play in quiet areas