An overview of Playdate games on Itch.io
Part of what’s so exciting about Playdate – and weeks later I’m still excited about it – is the fact that it was designed as a system where people can create their own games right from the start. departure. With Pulp, a web-based game editor, and easy drag-and-drop sideloading of game files, there’s already a Playdate scene in development on Itch.io.
It’s still very early, but I wanted to get an idea of what’s already out there. Here are some of the games I’ve enjoyed so far.
Pulpmon, Brothers Online
Many early Playdate games look a bit like Pulpmon – a loving recreation of an existing game, in this case Pokémon.
It’s stripped down but still delightful – the top-down world brings back memories of the first Zelda, and the sharp lines of the art style show off the Playdate screen in all its eerie glory.
A Game & Watch remake involving bouncing people in an ambulance out of a burning building Rescues get hectic pretty quickly. A paramedic friend tells me that this game is very realistic, but even if you’re not into emergency medicine, know that the crank works well for back and forth and the score race is very enjoyable. Be careful though: your survivors look like giant ants.
Coin germs, Raspberrybrain
Okay Coin Germs is an absolute banger. Collect the coins and avoid the germs – and you can use the crank to speed up the movement of the germs when it suits you. There’s a touch of Vlambeer to this kind of focused score-attacking delight, and the soundtrack is utter brilliance.
Sketch, Share, Solve, RDK
Sketch, Share, Solve is a fabulous nonogram/picross game that encourages you to remix the suite of available puzzles and create your own from scratch. It’s a generous thing indeed, with great tutorials and nice commands. It also manages to cram a lot into the Playdate screen.
Art7, Ledbetter Games
Art7 is the kind of thing I’m so looking forward to seeing on Playdate – a private art gallery to wander around at your leisure. It’s a fascinating game even in its current demo form, and apparently it draws inspiration from a similar experience from the Game Boy Camera community.
An adaptation of a 1984 PC game, this beast is simply monstrous fun as you move walls to crush your enemies. The original beast was shareware – in a way, this version of Playdate feels like coming home.
Moody audio and relentless enemies make this action-adventure a dark treat. Tochi is oppressive and frightening – a wizard’s journey around a dungeon filled with skulls, crates and locked doors. And horrible beasts that can’t wait to kill you. Great stuff.