There is a tricky balance when it comes to making a game challenging whilst also providing enough fun that the challenge feels worth it. It’s a balancing act that you see in Celeste, Elden Ring and other soulslike games. When that balancing act is done well you feel the challenge and you are compelled to see that challenge though. Often times your having fun and thus the challenge feels worth it.
Unfortunately the game Midnight Dash, wasn’t able to pull off this balancing act.
So who is this game for? Let’s dive into it.
For those of you who don’t know, Midnight Dash is a single-player action platformer. This is a game that prides itself on being tough. In a PTSD kinda of way, it reminds me of how I felt playing The Lion King game on Super Nintendo as a child. No lie. That might have been the first game that made me tap out and quit. I remember taking that game out of the Super Nintendo, tossing it aside and thinking, I don’t need this kind of stress in my life. Midnight Dash isn’t the same type of platformer, but it reminds me of that same type of experience.
In this game, you dash, jump, climb, and attack with your sword and bow and arrows in order to make it through the game’s grueling levels to reach the door at the end of the level. Even though the game has attacks the primary focus is the platforming. The jumping here feels tight, but also floaty in a way that might turn some platformer fans off. The level designs provide an immense amount of obstacles for you master the controls and trust me you are going to need to master then in order to progress in this game.
This game unfortunately doesn’t have a strong narrative. While it introduces the main character, Sean it doesn’t do a good job of explaining his motivations or who he is entirely. As a result, it’s hard to grow any sort of attachment to him or invest yourself in the actions of the game. Sean sadly feels like an icon that I have to get to the door that leads me to the next part of the game.
The game’s soundtrack was pretty good except for the fact that there were only a few songs. The small number of songs fit well with the vibe of the game and sounds high quality. The negative aspect is that you tire of hearing the same song over and over again. That’s where the smaller soundtrack really comes back to negatively impact the game.
One of the best qualities about this game is this art style. It features a gorgeous 2D pixelated art style that impressed me. The colors are extremely vibrant and the environment is detailed. The dark levels really make the colors stand out even more. This game is filled with a solid variety of environments and each on looks good.
Overall/Should you Play Midnight Dash:
Sadly the answer is no unless you enjoy really challenging platformer games. Then by all means check this game out you glutton for punishment. This game does have a few things going for it like its artstyle, but unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives here. Despite how negative I came across in this review, I hope that the developer continues to create games. There are some solid aspects of the game to build off of.
That said to answer the original questions overall I’d recommend skipping this game for another platformer like Mangavania or Rogue Legacy 2.
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