Handheld gaming device Playdate is getting a games showcase next week

  • Lucas Pope will show off new info on Mars After Midnight
  • There won’t be any hardware updates, however
  • The device boasts easy development tools to encourage prospective creators

The handheld, crank-bearing gaming device Playdate is getting a showcase event on February 28th where developers will show off the games they’re bringing to the platform. And that includes a new game by the creator of Papers, Please, Lucas Pope.

Yes, Mars After Midnight is one of the Playdate’s exclusives, and it’s coming from the aforementioned Lucas Pope, well-known for his experimental and innovative games. And ‘experimental’ definitely sums up the Playdate, which features a hand crank alongside a grand total of two buttons and a D-pad.

The Playdate has been a pretty popular water-cooler topic here at PG.com Towers, and for good reason. It’s rare to see a new handheld console that isn’t either an emulator, a handheld PC or something from our old pals Nintendo. And while the Playdate wasn’t making waves initially, a games showcase and an exclusive from a storied developer like Lucas Pope indicates Panic are very serious about pushing this as its own solid platform for more experimental gaming.

The Playdate showcase will take place on February 28th at 9 pm Pacific time (that’s…oof, 5 pm for us here in the UK) and will last 14 minutes. You can check out the showcase when it releases, and in total once it’s finished, above!

As for Mars After Midnight, we’ve not had much info beyond it being an “entrant-screening, mess-tidying, session-planning work simulator” where you’ll be helping out ‘qualifying martians’. It certainly sounds odd, but definitely interesting, and it’ll be equally as intriguing to see how it works with the limitations of only a few buttons.

If you want to, you can check out the previous game drops for the Playdate that we’ve covered. This includes their November 2023 and December update which added a host of new titles such as Loona Landa – a lunar lander clone – and Trickle Greenweed, Mermaid at Law, all in that strangely comfortable monochrome, retro style.