Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

The return of Obra Dinn creator Lucas Pope reveals new Playdate title


Panic’s Playdate handheld held a grand press conference today, updated the video, showed off its first games and announced its price/pre-order date. One of the most exciting announcements is that Lucas Pope, creator of the acclaimed Papers Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, is working on a new game for this small handheld computer.

In the video, Pope showed a short clip of a game called Mars After Midnight. He described the game as “less deaths, more laughter” and is something he wants his children to enjoy. The game scene is set in the Cyclops’ anger management meeting, and an advertising meeting logo is posted on a letter slot door.

When something hits the slot, Pope turns the Playdate’s analog crank to open the slot, revealing the curious monster on the other side. Every time he opens and closes the door, a new monster appears, showing off their stupid design. At the same time, Pope uses d-pad to pan the camera in different directions. There is a bit of 3D depth that needs to be translated, because the camera will rotate slightly instead of simply moving up/down, left/right on the plane. You can view the demo for yourself in the video below, starting at 7:35.

Pope said that Mars After Midnight is still in the early stages of development, so he currently has no release schedule to share. “It’s not much, I can’t say that I know what I’m doing, but we will see how it goes,” he said in the video. The game certainly looks fascinating. Although the crank mechanism looks simple on the surface, it is an interesting feeling and can sell the unique features of Playdate.

To understand why we are happy to see what Lucas Pope will do next, check out our review of Obra Dinn’s return and the paper, please.


What do you think of Mars after midnight? Are you interested in buying Playdate? Let us know in the comments!