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'Cadence of Hyrule': Here's what you need to know about Nintendo's new 'Legend of Zelda' spinoff

SALT LAKE CITY — ”Cadence of Hyrule” isn’t just a musical tribute to classic “The Legend of Zelda” games, it’s also the first Nintendo game made by an indie developer.

According to the International Business Times, “Cadence of Hyrule” is a rhythm-based rogue-like game, which means players restart the game from the beginning if they’re defeated — save for some general progress and upgrades, which help increase survivability. It’s currently available digitally for Nintendo Switch for $24.99, according to the game’s Nintendo eShop store page.

Who made the game?

The game is developed by Brace Yourself Games, the studio behind “Crypt of the NecroDancer.” In an interview with IGN, Brace Yourself Games founder Ryan Clark said the company initially approached Nintendo about making “Zelda”-themed DLC for “Crypt of the Necrodancer.”

Instead, Nintendo wanted Clark and his team to make a new game using elements from their fantasy series.

“Nintendo was extremely interested in the prospect, and before we knew it we were working on a completely new title, mashing up ‘NecroDancer’ with ‘The Legend of Zelda,’” Clark said.

Kirk Scott, Nintendo of America’s manager of publisher-developer relations, said Nintendo’s Japan team is open to working with other developers if there’s a good fit. “When you look at a case like 'Cadence of Hyrule,' there’s special cases in some instances where our Japan team see content and see titles that they want to work with,” he said.

What is the game about?

“Cadence of Hyrule” sees a musical magician take over Hyrule Castle and put both Link and Princess Zelda into an enchanted sleep. Players can choose to awaken either character at the beginning of the game and are then tasked with defeating four boss characters to gather magical instruments to save the kingdom.

Polygon notes that gameplay is set to remixes of music from the “Zelda” series, and players are expected to move and attack enemies to the beat of whatever song is playing. Nintendo also showed off the game during its E3 Nintendo Treehouse Live presentation, which you can see on YouTube.

Is it fun?

Yes. after spending several hours with the game, I’ve enjoyed the rhythm-based action, which often feels like a puzzle. The open world is full of enemies, secrets and challenges similar to those found in most other “The Legend of Zelda” games with some streamlined mechanics.

Keeping the game’s rhythm is also fairly engaging — a bar at the bottom of the screen pulses in time to the music, which helps time movement in battle. Enemies are automatically attacked by Link or Zelda, which means combat is more focused on spacing and countering each monster’s movements.

Some enemies and bosses in the game can also be difficult to defeat, but “Cadence of Hyrule” generally provided me enough glowing checkpoints and powerful items that I never felt like I was set back too far when I failed.

Power-ups are usually dropped at random and are collected from downed enemies, but can also be purchased at shops with rupees or diamonds. Permanent power-ups and tools — like swords, shovels and magic rods — can also be grabbed from chests, which generally require you to complete a puzzle.

I also really enjoyed the game’s music-based puzzles, which challenged me to move in time to a song. Some items also required delayed timing to properly use, which added a strategic wrinkle to straightforward fights.

Is the game family-friendly?

The ESRB has rated the game “E,” with the caveat that some mild fantasy violence is present. Some dungeon areas can also be populated by skeletons, goblins and ghosts but the cute, retro-inspired art style keeps everything from becoming too intense.

Up to two players can also play together, which can make the game a little bit easier.

Note: Nintendo provided a copy of “Cadence of Hyrule” for review.