Skip to main content

This quirky, crank-operated console delivers an exclusive new game each week


There are a plethora of games released every week across all platforms, many of them independent of publishers and largely under the radar. It takes some creativity to get these games into the hands of gamers and software developer Panic is taking a direct approach with Playdate, a bright yellow handheld console with a black and white screen.

Is Playdate a new gaming console that will add to major competition between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft? Doesn’t seem like it is being positioned as such. Panic calls it a “celebration of the video game” on the official website, and it will celebrate the medium by giving owners of the device a new, secret game weekly after its launch. You won’t know what they are until they arrive on the device, but they have some solid developers lined up.

Panic has a history of creating Mac and iOS software over its 20-year history. The company also published Campo Santo’s Firewatch, a 2016 indie hit, and is publishing Untitled Goose Game. For Playdate, the team reached out to game designers like Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman.


Takahashi is the game designer behind Katamari Damacy and the upcoming game Wattam, which will be published by Annapurna Interactive. Gage created SpellTower and also worked with Vlambeer on Ridiculous Fishing. Foddy is responsible for the hilarious platformer Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. Last but not least, Inman is the creator of the web stats application Mint and iOS titles The Last Rocket and Flip’s Escape.

It’s a solid collection of designers on paper and the first revealed title, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, is from Takahashi. It’s a 2D adventure that utilizes Playdate’s unique crank, which was the product of a collaboration with Teenage Engineering. From the brief clip of the game, the crank allows a player to control time by winding it backward or forward.

Playdate will cost $150 when it launches in early 2020 and the first season of content will release at no additional charge. Twelve games are planned at this time, and it is not clear how much future seasons will cost.

Editors' Recommendations

Charles Singletary Jr.
I'm a Birmingham, AL raised author, journalist, and gaming enthusiast currently residing in San Antonio, TX. My work has…
Fantasian Part 2 comes to Apple Arcade this week alongside more new games
A hand crafted diorama used in Fantasian

The second part of Fantasian will arrive on Apple Arcade this week on Friday, August 13. Along with Fantasian, Apple announced more games coming to the service soon, such as Zen Pinball Party and Zookeeper World.

Fantasian is a JRPG developed by Mistwalker, a studio filled with some of the biggest names in the industry. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series, helmed this project along with veteran music composer Nobuo Uematsu. Fantasian is a turned-based RPG that utilizes hand-crafted dioramas for the scenery of the game. Over 160 dioramas were created to bring this unique style to this game.

Read more
New Dead Space game is a next-gen exclusive remake of the horror classic
Isaac Clarke from the new Dead Space.

As revealed during EA Play Live 2021, a Dead Space remake is in the works, and it'll be launching on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Dead Space Official Teaser Trailer – EA Play Live 2021

Read more
Playdate livestream reveals stereo dock accessory, games, and pre-order details
The Playdate handheld.

Panic, the company behind the upcoming gaming device Playdate, hosted a YouTube livestream detailing additional information about its upcoming handheld. Playdate will feature 24 games in its first season, all of which are exclusive to the platform, and will be available for pre-order in July for $179.

✨ Playdate Update — 6/8/2021

Read more