Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

The handheld game console always has a different kind of romance. Although major console makers such as Nintendo and Sony have stopped producing purely portable handhelds as the mainstream of their business, the Nintendo Switch is still available in portable form, and Valve, which operates Steam, has also released the "Steam Deck", a portable handheld that supports PC games, proving that there are still many gamers who cannot resist the appeal of "being able to play games anywhere, anytime. There are still many players who cannot resist the attraction of "being able to play games anywhere, anytime".

Announced in 2019 by Panic, a publisher known for indie games such as "Firewatch" and "Goose Makers", "Playdate" is a mini handheld console rarely seen these days. The basic button configuration is very simple, with the best feature being a rotatable crank on the right side of the main body.

IGN JAPAN editorial team had the opportunity to experience this "Playdate" a week in advance, and here we will bring you the experience of playing the games inside the handheld and the machine itself.

The body is miniature and cute, only the size of the palm!

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

First of all, I would like to introduce you to the author's impression of the main body of the handheld. The yellow body is a little hard to identify in the photos, but the real thing is actually a bright, vibrant yellow. The size is 76 x 74 x 9 mm, small enough to be played with in the palm of your hand, very cute. The button configuration is also very simple, only the cross keys and AB keys, but when pressed, all have a crisp touch, the hard keys are more convenient to operate.

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

On the other hand, the side crank is lighter in texture and can be turned flexibly without too much effort. Although the crank has a yellow handle, there is a hole slot on the side of the main body that can accommodate the handle, so it can be cleverly tucked away without getting in the way. There are also a variety of styles of work, and not all games require the use of the crank, for example, there are games that use both the crank and buttons, games that do not use the crank at all, and of course, games that only require the use of the crank.

The screen is a 1-bit monochrome black and white LCD, with an area of less than half the overall size of the main unit. The image is very clear, even the fine characters and dots can be clearly rendered. Although in the dark room can not see the screen can not play, but as long as it is in a bright place will not have to worry about the problem of not seeing the picture. The speaker is installed on the right side of the screen, not to mention its small size, but the sound is unexpectedly loud, and its appearance is a strong contrast. If played at maximum volume in public places may attract people dislike, but do not worry, the body itself is set up with a headphone hole.

There is a USB Type-C slot on the bottom of the handheld for both charging and connecting to a PC, and when connected to a PC, you can exchange files such as screenshots and use mirroring applications for screenshots.

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

Mirror the application. The screen is zoomed in to see the pressed buttons and the rotation of the crank

Players can interrupt the game at any time by pressing the lock button on the top of the handheld. In a locked state, the lock button can be unlocked by simply pressing it twice, and it can also start immediately from where it was last stopped. The current time is displayed on the locked screen and can be used as a small alarm clock when the handheld is combined with the soon-to-be-released stereo dock.

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

Soon to be released stereo dock, it can not only be used as a charging stand or Bluetooth speaker, but also as a pen holder!

The first season is expected to launch 2 games per week!

Games on Playdate need to be downloaded via Wi-Fi. This means that the games are not purchased separately from the digital store, but are automatically sent to Playdate by the developer via Wi-Fi on a regular basis.

The games will be distributed quarterly, and the first season will begin after the Playdate is set up, with two new games going live each week. The first season will last 12 weeks, with 2 games delivered each week, for a total of 24 games.

In this first experience, I was able to play all the games in the first season, and then I will introduce you to the 5 games that I think are the most interesting. At the time of writing, all games are only supported in English.

Whitewater Wipeout

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

This is a game in which the surfer uses various skills to ride the waves and hit the high score. Turning the crank controls the direction of the board, so you can jump off the wave with the tip of the board facing up, and get back on the wave again with the tip of the board facing down. If you turn the crank while jumping, you can turn 360 and other tricks to get a high score. A rough wave is approaching from the right side of the screen, so if you are swallowed by it, you will fail. Failure can also occur if the surfboard is positioned too low or if you return to the tip of the wave after jumping in the wrong direction. There are 3 lives in total, so getting a high score before the game ends is the key to victory.

Surfers' behavior changes depending on the height of the jump and the way they enter the wave; the more jumping movements, the more power there is. The more power you have, the higher you jump. On the one hand, this makes it easier to use skills, but on the other hand, it also makes the action difficult to control and easier to be swallowed by the raging waves. Although this is a very simple game, but it has the magic of making people play again and again.

Hyper Meteor

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

This is a 360 ° shooting game style works. Use the crank to rotate your body and use the tips of the arrows to poke through the white meteorites to score points, but once you hit the black part, you miss. Players can speed up the body by pressing the up button (or B) on the crossbar, or use the right button (or A) on the crossbar to launch a bomb to solve the crisis.

Over time, the meteorites will appear one after another. If a meteorite that is half white and half black is broken, it will split in half and become a smaller one. It's also one of those pieces where the rules are simple and easy to understand, but makes you want to try again and again. Personally, I prefer infinite score games that can be played without any burden than long, well-structured games with complete plots.

Crankin's Time Travel Adventure

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

This is a new work developed by Keita Takahashi, a game designer known for "Block Soul" and "Wattam". It is a game that requires only the use of a crank to play, and so is the menu operation.

Robot (?) The protagonist has a date with his girlfriend at 3 o'clock but is running late, so he must get to her as soon as possible, taking care to avoid roadside obstacles on the way. The player can move forward by turning the crank to the right and reverse the action of the main character by turning the crank to the left. Along the way there are various objects can be used to avoid enemies, when the protagonist close to these objects will take certain actions, through the implementation of various actions (such as bending down to smell the flowers and hanging on the bar using the body to create a gap) to avoid various enemies such as butterflies and birds.

This work, which is played only with a crank, has value as a unique work that cannot be played on any other platform. The game is simple, but the gameplay is unique and fun, and there are humorous details that make you smile. I would like to recommend this game to anyone who is interested in Playdate. Also, some of the levels require a full and fast turn of the crank to get through, so one can't help but worry if the crank will be damaged due to overload.

Battle Ship Godios

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

This is a work that seems to be a fusion of a brick elimination game and a horizontal shooting game. The player can attack the enemy ship with fired bullets, but must touch the bullets to recover them. The enemy's core is represented by a square marker, and the core can be violently attacked with bullets to destroy the enemy ship, and the surrounding turrets can be destroyed as well. If you get the reinforcement item that appears after defeating the enemy, you can get various reinforcement effects such as firing multiple bullets from the front.

Although the remaining lives are limited, if the conditions of clearance, zero-error clearance, and early elimination of enemies are met, you will receive one life as a bonus. In addition, the shooting part only needs to be performed with the Cross and A keys, and no crank will be used, but if you turn the crank to rewind the time when you miss, you can return to the perfect timing suitable for destroying the enemy ship. This is an example of how the crank only plays a secondary role.

This is a Playdate game with surprisingly detailed graphics, but it has the cute low bit graphics of a Game Boy. The gameplay is difficult, but the idea is unique, and you can always feel the tension brought by "having to recycle bullets".

Inventory Hero

Portable Creative Handheld "Playdate" IGN JP Experience Report

This is an inventory management RPG that basically does not use the crank. The player is responsible for managing the six inventory slots displayed at the bottom of the screen, adjusting the protagonist's equipment or restoring his stamina in a timely manner according to the real-time battles that take place automatically.

When the main character attacks the enemy, a high probability of dropping props. The A button will allow you to equip and use the items you get, and the B button will allow you to discard the items you don't need. While the dropped items will not necessarily be better than the weapons and equipment you already have, many of them will break immediately after use. So even if you're a bit low level, it's a good idea to stock up on spare weapons and equipment first. Or you can give up on equipment and build a Build that specializes in recovery, the strategy varies from person to person.

When the rabbits and mushrooms into the warehouse will reproduce indiscriminately and erode other items, although the mode seems to be a bit single, but this work has many highlights, including the full use of the system designed boss battles and so on. Among the 5 games I introduced, this one is the most addictive and the one I recommend the most. This is a work with random hack and slash elements, so please do try it after the launch.

After playing all 24 games, I found that Playdate is not a serious game console that you can't stop playing anytime and anywhere, but rather a tool for relaxation during a break in daily life. It's miniature in size and doesn't take up much space, with a battery life of about 8 hours when playing games, making it perfect to keep in your bag or pocket and pull out for a quick play at your leisure.

To be honest, not every game is very interesting, but the format of regular distribution of games makes one look forward to the day of each sent game. Even if you draw a game that's not to your liking, it's not too much fun.

"Playdate" is available for pre-order on the website at $179 and is now shipping to the first batch of pre-orderers.

This article is compiled from content related to IGN JP, originally published by みお, unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.