Akiba Games

Cadence of Hyrule: A Rhythmic Fusion of Zelda Magic and Musical Mastery

Cadence of Hyrule” a unique mashup that blends the rhythmic gameplay of “Crypt of the Necrodancer” with the iconic world of “The Legend of Zelda.” The result is a harmonious blend of exploration and rhythm, creating a gaming experience that stands out as a brief but brilliant adventure.

The game seamlessly intertwines the rogue-lite elements of “Crypt of the Necrodancer” with the exploration and puzzle-solving aspects of “The Legend of Zelda.” Players embark on a quest to defeat the evil wizard Octavo, who has cast a spell on Hyrule’s king, Link, and Zelda. The narrative unfolds on a semi-randomly generated map, offering familiar locations like Death Mountain and Lake Hylia, while each screen and dungeon room introduces an element of unpredictability.

Cadence of Hyrule' developers reflect on making a Zelda rhythm game |  Mashable

Rhythmic Combat and Tactical Brilliance

At the core of “Cadence of Hyrule” lies its unique movement and combat mechanics. Drawing inspiration from “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” players must move and attack in rhythm to the game’s catchy remixes of classic Zelda tunes. This rhythmic approach not only dictates combat effectiveness but also enhances the overall gaming experience. The enemies, each with specific movement and attack patterns, create a grid-based tactical puzzle reminiscent of strategy games like “Into the Breach” or chess. The reviewer applauds the game’s keen enemy design, turning each screen into a new tactical challenge.

Rogue-lite Elements and Accessibility

“Cadence of Hyrule” introduces rogue-lite elements, such as procedurally generated worlds and persistent upgrades. While exploring, players can discover a variety of items, both permanent upgrades like bows and hookshots, and temporary items with durability. Diamonds, a currency in the game, allow players to enhance their arsenal and provide a safety net for failed attempts. The reviewer appreciates the game’s forgiving nature, making it less punishing than its predecessor, “Crypt of the Necrodancer.”

Aesthetic Delight and Sensory Feast

Wandering through the overworld proves satisfying, with charming sprite-art characters hidden in famous locations like Kakariko Village. The game’s visual design combines elements from various 2D Zelda games, creating a nostalgic yet fresh experience. The soundtrack, a collection of remixes ranging from chillhop to rock symphonies, adds another layer of sensory delight. The dungeons, while limited in number, strike a balance between brain-teasing puzzles and intense monster gauntlets.

Nintendo is combining The Legend of Zelda with Crypt of the NecroDancer -  Polygon

Boss Fights and Musical Showdowns

True to the Zelda formula, dungeons culminate in challenging boss fights. However, “Cadence of Hyrule” puts a unique spin on these encounters by focusing on music rather than key items. Boss battles become intense musical showdowns, requiring players to navigate through challenging rhythms and unique attacks. These encounters, with their standout tracks and high tempos, elevate the gaming experience.


Despite its short duration, “Cadence of Hyrule” emerges as a distinct and enjoyable Zelda adventure. It compensates for its brevity with an infectious world, challenging combat encounters, and an immersive soundscape. By smoothing the edges of “Crypt of the Necrodancer,” the game becomes approachable, offering a toe-tappingly fun sprint through Hyrule. Players who embrace its unique pace will find a Zelda adventure that lives up to its esteemed pedigree.

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