Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Also available on PS4 and Xbox One
From Petite Games, the developer of Midnight, Midnight Deluxe, and 36 Fragments of Midnight comes the newest installment in the Midnight series. In Birthday of Midnight, you play as Birthday, a small square-shaped fairy who has unfortunately fallen into a crack in the earth while celebrating his birthday… yeah, don’t worry about any of that. The story isn’t really important. This is your standard physics-based mini golf game, except this time the ball is a square.
Following the same mechanics as previous games, Birthday of Midnight includes 70+ levels of progressively harder golf-esque gameplay. Within each level are various obstacles, spikes, saws, and lasers to name a few, that you must carefully navigate to reach a glowing hole in the ground. As you progress, some really fun gameplay mechanics are introduced that up the difficulty dramatically. Each level has a three star rating based on the number of strokes needed to get Midnight in the hole.
By holding B and aiming with the left joystick, you are able to control the direction and power of each shot. While this control is simple to use, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to master. The aiming/power arrow is solid white in color and there are no visible indicators when drawing back to shoot, which makes it very difficult to learn from previous shots. Deaths are very common, and the developers conveniently planned for this by allowing you to press X to quickly restart each level. However, because of the lack of power indicators, you’ll find yourself using aspects of the scenery as reference between attempts.
The Level design and presentation are brilliant. Each level, although similar, is uniquely challenging and requires thorough analysis in order to complete. The lighting is very well done, and some of the hazards introduce some great color elements that really pop off the screen. The melancholic soundtrack is a great accompaniment to the atmosphere of each level.
Final Grade: B
Birthday of Midnight is another solid addition to the Birthday of Midnight series and to the physics-based golf genre. The only negative to this game is the aiming mechanic. Reproducing shots is extremely difficult because of the lack of power indicators. Because of this, some levels are more reliant on luck rather than skill, and if you are unable to string together two or three lucky shots you may be stuck on certain levels for a while. However, this is a great game if you are looking for something more casual to kill time, and the three-star ratings give you a reason to go back and play previous levels. I find myself picking it up and knocking out a few levels, then moving on, and that’s completely fine. For $5, I’d say it’s worth it.