2D golf games seem to be popping up more frequently than ever before. Midnight Deluxe has you guide a square chum to his destination within a whopping 70 stages but does it provide enjoyable enough gameplay to last that long?
After reviewing the one-note five minute long game 36 Fragments of Midnight about six months ago, I was actually looking forward to playing Midnight Deluxe seeing as it's a very different game. Whereas 36 Fragments had you gliding and jumping around a randomly generated stage, Midnight Deluxe is played like a golf game. You basically hold a button down, aim with the stick, then let go whenever you're ready to watch the little square fellow fly. Thankfully, you can launch him with varying angles and amounts of force and he'll hopefully end up wherever you want him to go. It's extremely simple stuff that gamers of all ages can quickly learn which makes it one of those indies that you can pass to your kid to keep them busy for a few minutes but would they actually play it for that long?
Midnight Deluxe features the same visuals from 36 Fragments of Midnight and that isn't saying much. The entire game looks the same from start to finish with basic black foregrounds and blue backgrounds that include the odd tree, moon, and maybe a house. It doesn't look bad by any means but it's not particularly appealing either. Plus, the fact that you're practically staring at the same thing throughout makes the visuals become stale almost immediately. The music consists of gentle piano melodies that could put an insomniac to sleep and there are no sound effects whatsoever. So, put on whatever music you want because you won't be missing out on anything by playing Midnight Deluxe on mute. Overall, the graphics and sound aren't terrible but they could definitely use more variety.
The campaign in Midnight Deluxe contains 70 stages. Each stage grants you up to three stars for finishing it within certain thresholds of strokes so you can replay levels as much as you want while striving for perfection. That being said, that's all you can do in Midnight Deluxe. There are no other modes, no leaderboards, no challenges, or anything that would make it a worthwhile experience.
Trying to master everything Midnight Deluxe has to offer may sound fun but when you take the poor stage designs into account, you're left with one irritating mess of a game. For starters, allowing the square to hit hazards or the edges of the screen will result in instant death. After playing just a couple dozen stages, the hazards become almost unavoidable unless you launch the square with absolute precision. Doing so is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Basically, knowing where the square will land requires trial and error. You'll often launch it, see what happens, push the restart button, make a minor adjustment, and try again. The controls and aiming arrow don't accommodate for the necessary amount of precision so each stage ends up feeling like more of a test of patience than skill.
Even if they were giving it away, I don't understand why anyone would sacrifice their time to play such a basic yet frustrating exercise in tedium. That is, unless they're reviewing it to warn others not to bother.
- + Simple golf-style gameplay that's easy to learn for gamers of all ages
- + 70 stages to master
- - Poor stage designs that rely far more heavily on luck than skill
- - No content besides the 70 stages
- - Visuals are bland and never change