Playdate, the tiny yellow handheld game console from software developer and indie game publisher Panic, is still in the works without a firm release date. But Panic had quite a few new updates to share on Wednesday regarding its growing third-party developer program, including some really interesting-looking indie games being made to run on the Game Boy-inspired gadget.
One of these titles, from game developer Nic Magnier of Keen Games, is the original Doom, which Magnier inexplicably got running on the monochrome 2.7-inch display. You can even turn the Playdate’s signature physical hand crank, which is an optional control input, to fire the iconic Doom chaingun.
And finally, it didn’t take long for DOOM to show up, as per tradition! This amazing effort from Nic (@NicMagnier) delighted us all — and yes, it features Crank to Chaingun™ pic.twitter.com/Rv51WDUwil— Playdate (@playdate) August 12, 2020
In its Twitter thread, Panic revealed that over 250 developers around the world have physical Playdate devices as dev kits they’re working with to create new, custom software for the platform. Not all of it is even strictly game-related. Panic says developer Ryosuke Mihara is building a calligraphy tool that makes use of the hand crank to set the direction of your brush.
A fair amount of the other experiences Panic shared in its thread look like really fun, bite-sized takes on classic puzzle and arcade games.
We first heard about Playdate in May of last year, and since then, Panic has been relatively quiet. But the company says it’s working diligently to complete the project and ensure it has a robust library at launch.
“It’s so early! There’s too much to tweet! And not all of these projects will ship! But it has been amazing to see these devs, experienced or otherwise, get up and running quickly. Remember: every Playdate is a dev kit. You can make your own games when you get yours. If you want,” Panic wrote. “Expect a BIG UPDATE in the next few months with our timeline, pre-order details, a surprise, and title reveals of all the free games you’ll get in Playdate Season One!!”