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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: The New Sound

    - staff

  •  Elendil "Shin" Cañete (Game Designer) and Michaelangelo Lee (2D Artist), Crescendo Flow

    Art by Michaelangelo Lee and Gabrielle Mendez


    Crescendo Flow is a music-driven rhythm/puzzle game for the DS that sharpens music sense and rhythm. Using the stylus and a simple touch-based system, you will rely on what you hear more than what you see. Embark on an adventure as the musical sprite Flow and rescue her world from chaos by composing spells in the form of songs. In Crescendo Flow, creativity is everything.


    Each stage represents a song, and the player must keep a performance meter known as the Crescendo Gauge above a certain level to complete it. This is done by tapping or dragging on a group of glyphs (called Scales) while following the beat. If the gauge falls below the defined level, the player will fail.


    Each Scale's appearance is based on the length of a musical bar. They will only appear for a set duration of time, and must be tapped or dragged to complete the bar.

    Though the system may be reminiscent of the hit game Ouendan, Crescendo Flow deviates by assigning specific sounds to each glyph. They will branch out at certain points in the Scale, and the player can select which glyph to tap or drag first to create their own melodies. Each action can and will affect tempo and pitch, allowing players to shape the song to their liking.

    The Screens

    All animations and visuals are shown at the top screen while the touch screen displays the Crescendo Vision, a representation of Flow's mind and speech. It houses the Crescendo Gauge, as well as the Scale glyphs.


    Crescendo Flow features a spell casting mechanic that allows the player to solve puzzles. The game will display Flow in a variety of quirky situations; from fighting groups of enemies to overcoming obstacles such as trees or huge boulders. To solve these problems, Flow must cast spells with the help of the glyphs.

    At the bottom of the screen is Flow's spell sheet. Each spell on the sheet requires a sequence of glyphs to activate. The player can power up these spells by selecting the required glyphs within a Scale. Once a spell's requirement has been met, the player can cast it by tapping on a special Cast glyph that will appear on the Crescendo Vision instead of the last glyph in the Scale.

    Casting spells and solving situations allow players to proceed with the story and level up their glyphs, unlocking more options such as new spells and new songs.

    End Note

    Crescendo Flow is a vast design and can be tweaked in a number of ways to make it more enjoyable. Its core objective, however, is to teach players about scales and sounds by learning how notes affect one another, as well as the value of tempo and pitch. It's a great way to teach children and adults alike about the fundamentals of music development while avoiding the nitty-gritty of hardcore study. It also teaches self-improvement and musical appreciation, something most music-based games don't usually offer.


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