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Midway to Daybreak is a surprisingly tense, bite-sized survival horror recreation for Playdate

Andrea Baroni’s Midway to Daybreak is unbelievably bleak for a recreation you’ll be able to play from begin to end in about 10 minutes. I imply that as a praise; it’s the most effective horror expertise I’ve had on the Playdate but.

As somebody who tends to gravitate in direction of all issues spooky, one of many issues I’ve been most concerned with as I discover what’s on the market for Playdate is seeing how builders will make horror work for the bizarre little handheld. Midway to Daybreak takes a blended strategy: within the first half, it’s a text-based narrative recreation the place you’re scavenging for sources and readying your self for the lengthy night time forward; within the second, it’s an all-out struggle to your life in opposition to an onslaught of eldritch creatures.

Midway to Daybreak wastes no time in setting a temper of desolation and impending doom, starting with dialogue from our protagonist about feeling “as lifeless as these scattered stays of humanity” in a metropolis overtaken by some unnamed terror. Through the narrative portion of the sport, it’s essential to select amongst totally different places to go to — the mall, pharmacy, gun retailer and a home — so you’ll be able to hopefully discover issues like first help kits, weapons, ammo and traps. However there’s no telling whether or not every of those journeys will probably be profitable.

A still from the narrative portion of Halfway to DawnA still from the narrative portion of Halfway to Dawn

Andrea Baroni/Cyberleaf Studio

You may discover a field of shotgun shells however by no means get your palms on a shotgun to really use them. You may even get harm whereas scavenging. There’s additionally the choice to relaxation, which can refill your well being bar (whilst you’ll begin with full well being on Simple mode, Laborious will begin you with two out of the six well being factors already depleted). However an hour will move after every choice, and you need to keep aware of the time. The clock begins at 6PM, and as soon as it strikes 1AM, you’ll be compelled to exit and defend your self in opposition to the monsters till daybreak.

At this level, the sport turns into a top-down shooter — and relying on the way you fared with sources, a reasonably difficult one at that. Monsters will probably be closing in on you from all sides, a few of them tougher to take down than others, and you’ll solely replenish ammo and first help kits out of your finite provide at set breaks marking the passage of 1 hour. For those who run out earlier than then, you’ll don’t have any selection however to attempt to struggle off the monsters with a knife, which you’ll swing utilizing the crank. That’s about as efficient as you’d assume it’s.

Midway to Daybreak is a really, very quick recreation, however it actually had me sweating on some runs. It’s a enjoyable one to maintain coming again to, for the reason that randomness of useful resource assortment makes for a distinct expertise every time. And the stress of all of it is completely rounded out by a synth-heavy soundtrack (accessible on Bandcamp), which might be proper out of an ‘80s B-horror film. If creepy is your factor, that is positively a recreation to take a look at. Midway to Daybreak is on the Playdate Catalog and for $5.

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