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

Andrea Baroni’s Midway to Daybreak is unbelievably bleak for a sport 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 considering 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 sport the place you’re scavenging for assets and readying your self for the lengthy night time forward; within the second, it’s an all-out struggle on your life towards 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, you will need to select amongst totally different areas to go to — the mall, pharmacy, gun retailer and a home — so you’ll be able to hopefully discover issues like first support 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 would possibly discover a field of shotgun shells however by no means get your arms on a shotgun to really use them. You would possibly even get harm whereas scavenging. There may be additionally the choice to relaxation, which is able to refill your well being bar (when you’ll begin with full well being on Simple mode, Arduous will begin you with two out of the six well being factors already depleted). However an hour will go after every choice, and it’s a must to keep aware of the time. The clock begins at 6PM, and as soon as it strikes 1AM, you’ll be pressured to exit and defend your self towards the monsters till daybreak.

At this level, the sport turns into a top-down shooter — and relying on the way you fared with assets, a reasonably difficult one at that. Monsters will probably be closing in on you from all sides, a few of them more durable to take down than others, and you’ll solely replenish ammo and first support kits out of your finite provide at set breaks marking the passage of 1 hour. When you run out earlier than then, you’ll don’t have any alternative however to try 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 brief sport, but it surely 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 special expertise every time. And the strain of all of it is completely rounded out by a synth-heavy soundtrack (out there on Bandcamp), which could possibly be proper out of an ‘80s B-horror film. If creepy is your factor, that is positively a sport to take a look at. Midway to Daybreak is on the Playdate Catalog and itch.io for $5.