Midnight Deluxe works a bit like Angry Birds, but without all the pigs to destroy. Or golf but with no golfer and a square ball. The basic aim is to fling your smiling white cube towards the glowing exit without getting it impaled on spikes, fried by lasers or otherwise killed in various horrible ways. It’s pretty good fun.
The controls are impressively precise, with the analogue stick used to gauge the level of power – you just hold it in the direction you want to catapult your square and then press X to release. The single-screen levels usually have a fairly obvious route to the way out, but the skill is in gauging the right amount of power and the direction of your jump to reach a high ledge or avoid obstacles like bottomless pits.
I flew through the initial levels, but later on there were some that left me scratching my head, faced with a seemingly impossible to reach exit. Still, a bit of patience and some trial and error would always end up birthing a ‘eureka moment’ as I finally figured it all out.
And patience is something you’ll definitely need – several levels require incredibly precise leaps that took me dozens of tries. So it’s a good thing that retries are instant with basically no loading whatsoever.
I did find it all whipped by rather too quickly though. Within an hour I’d reached level 42 out of 70, and I’d also unlocked every single trophy in the game without really trying. Indeed, if you’re after a quick way to boost your trophy score, then this is perfect. But the game’s relative brevity is hardly ideal if you’re after value for money. Still, it’s not exactly expensive either – it currently goes for £3.99/$4.99 on the PSN store. And there’s always the option to replay levels to get the full three stars for finishing with the minimum number of jumps.
But… I found that I didn’t really want to take that option. After booting up my PS4, I might hover over the Midnight Deluxe icon, thinking perhaps I could raise my score on one of those early levels. And then I’d always think I’d have much more fun fooling around in Monster Hunter World or getting a bit further in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Midnight Deluxe would be quickly forgotten about.
And that’s the problem really. Midnight Deluxe feels like a mobile game, an ideal time waster for when you have five minutes to kill before the bus comes – yet bizarrely, it’s not currently available on mobile phones. It might be better suited to the portable nature of the Switch and Vita (which it’s also available on), but on PS4 I wondered why I would choose to play this over the many much-more-involved games I have in my collection.
It’s a problem of perception, I suppose. When I settle down in front of my PS4, after Merriweather Jr is tucked up in bed and the washing up is finally finished, I want to lose myself in an epic game for a few hours before bedtime – not flick through a series of 30-second puzzles. Midnight Deluxe is a fun little golf-like puzzle game, but it feels out of place on the big screen – if it sounds like your cup of tea, you’d be best off buying it for Switch or dusting off your old Vita. Or even waiting for the surely inevitable port to mobiles.
Midnight Deluxe is available for PS4, Vita and Switch. We reviewed the PS4 version.
Disclosure statement: Review code for Midnight Deluxe was provided by Ratalaika Games. A Most Agreeable Pastime operates as an independent site, and all opinions expressed are those of the author.