“Nice Fanny Pack Nerd”
The Midnight Show is a “neon-drenched” game set in a 1980’s “Orpheum Cinema” where something seriously strange is going on you must escape before it becomes your eternal prison.
I grew up playing computer games back in the 90’s and each game had a certain style to them. Games like Roger Wilco, Clue: Spyglass Mysteries, Monkey Island and other greats had both similar artwork and playstyles. When I first loaded up The Midnight Show by Takster Games, I didn’t know what to expect but I was immediately brought back to my young self in the 90’s in many ways.
The Neon Drenched World
The first thing that’s going to stand out to players, especially if you grew up playing games in the 90’s, is the artwork. While the game is mainly set in the 80’s, the artwork is very reminiscent of early 90’s video games like Monkey Island. Takster Games’ use of bright colours to accentuate the environment provides a comforting setting to what is otherwise a creepy concept for a game. In more ways than one, you’ll be immersed into the world of the Orpheum Museum *wink wink* and the artwork is something that will completely pull you in.
The next thing to really stand out in The Midnight Show, and one thing that I know the developers at Takster are proud of, is the music. The music is synth heavy sound-track that sounds like it’s straight out of the 1980’s. Some of the music provided by artists Wice and ALEX. The use of music by Takster Games to really capture the mood and atmosphere is rather brilliant. Combined with the artwork, the music really captures the mood and adds to the neon-drenched feel of the game that really brings you back in time, an area where the Midnight Show really excels.
Tilt Your Own Adventure
The gameplay is also reminiscent of those old point and click adventures I grew up to love. However, in The Midnight Show they smartly makes use of touch screen and smartphone controls to create challenging mini games and puzzles to solve. Something they like to call “Tilt-your-own-adventure” means making use of the ability to tilt your phone for less button on the screen and more space for the beautiful visual they provide. While for most of the game the tilting and touchscreen controls work, when it came to inventory management and reading through the notes, I found the tilting a little awkward and sensitive. However, this did not affect gameplay and only made inventory management and reading through narrative material inconvenient at times.
Sassy / Satanic?
The Midnight Show’s gameplay is narrative driven with a big part being the interaction you get with the sassy employees of the cinema. My personal favourite being Star who provides this brilliant snippet of dialogue that was so good I made it my Twitter header photo.
The story of the Midnight Show, without putting too many spoilers into it, is a supernatural tale straight from the 80’s. Oh you know, teens working a crap job at a movie theatre who begin experiencing creepy ongoings and must solve the mystery. Takster Games really did a great job of capturing the feel of those old 1980’s movies like Gremlins, Weird Science and other 80’s teen sci-fi’s. While in the end I found the story a bit short, I played again and was treated with an alternate ending. If I’m not mistaken I believe there is also a third ending I have yet to discover giving the game some awesome replay value.
I absolutely recommend this game! The value is really driven from that nostalgic and interesting world built by Takster Games which is accompanied by a kick ass soundtrack. The mystery will keep you guessing and the characters are enjoyable to interact with. While the story is a bit short and the tilting can make inventory browsing a little awkward, at $1.99 on the app store it’s definitely worth a download, even if just to meet Star and have her call you a nerd for wearing a fanny pack.