Panic Playdate Review: Tiny, Fun, Creative

Panic says it switched battery producers after discovering drained energy cells in early fashions. I have never run into points with the battery in my take a look at unit. I performed on and off for a number of hours, and the battery sat at round 30 p.c earlier than the day’s finish. Most of the time, I’m solely taking part in a recreation right here and there, each time I’ve some free time, so that you seemingly will not must recharge by way of USB-C for a number of days.

My preliminary impressions of the console had been tempered final 12 months, partly as a result of I used to be capable of attempt solely the 4 video games accessible on the time. I’ve now dipped my toes into all 24 video games, some greater than others. I ought to be aware that the video games are launched in a serial method throughout “seasons,” so you will not get prompt entry to each single recreation when your Playdate arrives. Instead, two video games are delivered per week on the identical day for 12 weeks. (You’ll all the time have unfettered entry to each Season One recreation as soon as they’ve landed in your machine over Wi-Fi.) 

Almost like how everybody watches every new installment of Moon Knight on the identical time, it appears like Panic needs to construct the form of social engagement you sometimes see when a TV episode airs. I’m unsure I see that occuring; many of those video games do not have the form of depth that may warrant that kind of collective pleasure. But it is a technique to hold the Playdate feeling recent, with one thing new ready across the nook—for 3 months, no less than. There’s no phrase on whether or not there will be a Season Two, however a Panic spokesperson says if there are extra seasons, they seemingly will not be included within the console value the way in which Season One is.

You’ll be blissful to know that anyone can make a game for the Playdate and launch it at any time. These indie video games are lifeless easy to side-load onto the machine. At the second there’s just one—Bloom by RNG Party Games—which prices $10. It’s a Tamagotchi-like idle recreation the place you examine in in your character’s flower store, and might even monitor their conversations with family and friends over the course of a number of real-life days. It’s not my cup of tea, however I do know a number of of us that’d sip it.

Eventually, Playdate says there will be a Playdate Catalog, which you’ll be able to consider like an app retailer the place you will discover or purchase video games exterior of the titles provided in Season One. The open nature of the system means you possibly can look forward to finding the surprising—like this media player a developer is creating to show the Playdate into an iPod of kinds. (Yes, there is a headphone jack.)

In case you are questioning how accessibility-friendly the Playdate is, there’s excellent news. You can set up an software known as Playdate Mirror on Windows, Mac, or Linux, plug your Playdate into the PC, and launch the app. You’ll immediately see your Playdate’s display in your pc. You could make the digital display bigger so it is simpler to see, use commonplace controllers to play, and might have the sound path to an assistive audio machine. This app lets streamers report gameplay audio and video too. It labored flawlessly after I tried it.


Much of what I’ve mentioned earlier than in regards to the {hardware} hasn’t modified. The Playdate continues to be the scale of a stack of Post-Its. It’s awfully fairly; the agency Teenage Engineering, which is thought for its vibrant and eccentric devices, dealt with the economic design. It’s virtually just like the Playdate is supposed to take a seat on my desk as a nifty, retro clock as a substitute of a transportable handheld.

One concern I’ve is with high quality management. My unit has a visual scratch on a nook of the inside glass. Panic provided to exchange my unit however did not point out what might need precipitated the scratch. Inspect your Playdate everytime you get it. 

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