What it is:
A quick and easy speed-running platformer.
The game is out 9/14 on Nintendo Switch for $2.99.
A glowing box is chosen by the disembodied voice of the shadows to recover 36 fragments of a star as fast as possible.
Controls are super basic here. You move with the left joystick and jump/double jump with the A button. No bells, frills or whistles, and you don’t need them.
The art in this game is really pretty. As the background is mostly all black, the main feature here is the glow from the protagonist cube and the way the light plays around the environment as you move.
The pictures don’t do it justice because of all the atmospheric fog.
Why you should play it:
Despite the basic controls and the minimalist environments, the game is mindlessly challenging and subtly addictive. I quickly became obsessed with trying to score all 36 pieces to see what would happen, and while the end result was greatly disappointing, the game’s true nature became instantly apparent: this game focuses on speed runs.
While the stages are randomly generated, the puzzles are the same, so once you figure out the right way to jump over a buzzsaw or a pit of spikes, it becomes pretty easy to replicate the results over and over again. My son and I took turns passing the Switch back and forth, trying to outdo the other until I finally beat it and took the wind out of his sails (as all good fathers do).
Sure, the game plays a helluva lot more like a smartphone app than a console game, and there isn’t much depth to it, but the speedrun challenge boasts a high replay value to competitive people. And with a price point of only $2.99, the game is worth picking up, if only to get you through those long, awkward Uber rides or while killing time at the airport (or on the bus).
Let us know what you think of 36 Fragments of Midnight in the comments section below!