BIRTHDAY OF MIDNIGHT
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 16, 2020
Everybody loves birthdays! Well, not really everybody, but let's not count the boring people, shall we? Our friend, the cube-shaped fairy Midnight sure loves its birthday, that's for sure. Together with its parents, they celebrate this momentous occasion at their house when, all of a sudden, the earth splits open and poor Midnight falls into the huge gaping hole that ensues. All alone, our unlikely hero will have to overcome numerous obstacles in order to return home safely!
Birthday of Midnight is a physics-based, golf-like puzzle game and the successor of Midnight, Midnight Deluxe and 36 Fragments of Midnight. The game follows the same basic concept as its predecessors. You will have to launch Midnight around the playing field by choosing a direction and force you are going to launch our fairy friend in. This in itself is already a bit more tricky than it sounds, because you will have to be very precise when aiming. You see, the tiniest shift in direction or force can make a major difference in the outcome.
The object of each and every level is to reach the goal in as little moves as possible, just like when playing golf. During each level, you can collect three stars, one star being earned when you reach the goal and three stars being the top score. Earning three stars means you have hit the goal in as little moves as possible, comparable to playing on par during a round of golf. Quite different from said sport are the hazards that are put in place to block your way. Razor-sharp spikes, bottomless pits, laser beams, scorching flame throwers and spinning saw blades fill the environment, posing a serious threat to Midnight's health. If you so much as touch any of these hazards, Midnight will die, forcing you to restart the level. So please make sure to try and steer clear of these dangerous objects as you catapult your way through the levels.
There are also crates strewn about the environment. Exploding crates do just that upon impact. Now these explosions won't actually kill you, but they will launch you in unexpected directions, so be wary of these highly volatile packages. Other crates serve as a block, stopping Midnight dead in its tracks when hitting them. These crates will however slowly disappear upon touching them, so they can only be used once. Sometimes, to reach the goal, you will first need to flip switches in order to open up a path or to get rid of a pesky deathtrap that's in your way. Flipping switches is simply done by landing on them. Another way of getting around stuff is making use of teleport stations, which come in pairs. Whenever Midnight enters the teleport set on one end, he comes out the other. Pretty handy, wouldn't you agree?
As in previous Midnight games, the playing field itself is presented in black, with the background adding the color to the complete picture. The fact that Midnight radiates white light makes for a beautifully simple play of light and dark. The artwork itself looks simple but cool and it does the trick of fitting the premise of the game perfectly. The game once again features a soothing and sometimes slightly haunting piano soundtrack, giving the experience a sense of calm in the midst of all these explosions, impaling spikes and spinning deathtraps.
The fun thing about the Midnight games is the fact that they can look deceivingly easy, but quickly turn out to be more challenging than they seem at first. Because of the fact that hitting walls at a slightly different angle or speed can create a huge variety of outcomes in terms of your trajectory, it is of the utmost importance to be as precise as possible when aiming. The game is quite unforgiving when it comes to hitting your mark just off, and will most likely send Midnight flying into one of the many hazards that litter its path.
All in all, I really like playing the Midnight games. They're fun to play, easy to pick up and quite hard to master. Because of the short duration of a level, they can be picked up when you don't have all the time in the world but still want to play a fun game. This being said, it is thoroughly possible to spend hours on playing Birthday of Midnight, seeing as how it features over seventy levels, filled with all kinds of dangers for you to overcome. So unleash your inner fairy and take to the skies!