The wonderful world of Midnight has returned in Midnight Deluxe, developed from Petite Games and published Ratalikia Games. Last year, I reviewed the other game from this world in 36 Fragments of Midnight from the same developer and publisher. Now, players are thrown back into this mystical world to help Midnight the cube get from one side of the screen to another while avoiding obstacles in the way.
The biggest difference between Midnight Deluxe and 36 Fragments of Midnight are the controls. In 36 Fragments, the controls were moving and jumping. Now, the controls are aiming and launching Midnight across the screen to reach the shinny point on the other side of the puzzle. While they aren’t much of a difference, the aiming beam is not the most knowledgeable or easiest to control. When aiming, players have to move the toggle in the direction they would like to go, when the natural assumption would be to pull in the opposite direction so that it feels like players are aiming their character before they launch it. To me, the controls just feel backwards. And it feels the same when players are able to use the touch screen on the Nintendo Switch. It feels off and it can be a little difficult to aim Midnight successfully across the screen. Players can reset Midnight by pressing X, but the controls are still stiff.
Even though the controls aren’t the greatest, the structure of the puzzles that Midnight must travel across are intriguing and well thought out. Each of the 70 levels have 3 stars attached to them that go towards an overall completion score. Many of the levels can be done in one or two moves, but I never had such luck, so many of the levels are completed in 1 or 2 stars, using a few extra moves to complete the puzzle to get Midnight to the next level. Unfortunately, with the star system, going back through and trying to perfect every level can become repetitive and more of a chore to complete than a fun game to play. This is frustrating because other platformer and boss rush games (i.e. Cuphead) have gotten the repetitive gameplay down correctly by showing the player how far they progressed and giving them a sense of completion for each level. Unfortunately, Midnight Deluxe doesn’t quite make that level and falls short, becoming more annoying to go back and replay instead of fun and engaging.
To go along with the gameplay is the same music and atmosphere from 36 Fragments. The subtle piano music is soothing and can keep players calm if they keep failing a level over and over again. My only complaint is that when Midnight gets stuck in a trap or falls down a pit, the music is rather jarring. It is intense and a giant clunk on the lower half of the piano that shocked me every time that it happened. I would reset Midnight before that noise would happen if I knew I was going to hit a saw blade, laser beam, or fall down a pit so that the music didn’t try and take me out of the world that Midnight has been created in.
All in all, Midnight Deluxe is a fun and entertaining game for players who want to play a mindless game that can easily be picked up and put down. The music is soft and compliments the gameplay while the puzzles to get Midnight from one side of the screen to the other can be creative and challenging. The controls do make the game fall short a little bit as far as engaging the players in the game, but it is something that can be overcome once players have progressed further into the many levels that Midnight Deluxe offers. So go forth and discover a world of puzzles and fun with Midnight in this fun and cute new title.