Speaker 1: I've been living with a little gaming handheld these past few weeks, and it's not an Nintendo switch. It's not a steam deck. It's this little itty bitty weird crank enabled thing called a panic play date. And I love it.
Speaker 2: It
Speaker 1: Is basically like the perfect a gift for anyone who grew up with an Nintendo game and watch which happens to be me. So let me explain. I grew up with a lot of these little tiny gaming handhelds in the eighties and yeah, [00:00:30] I'm old, but I love these things and they were all little tiny, portable, super pocketable, little things that you could fidget with and played these little simple games and then do gaming handhelds got bigger, right? So then you got to the, you know, the 3d S and now the switch and the steam deck, and you have phones and there's lots of stuff you can take with you, but nothing that's quite that super small. And the panic play date is super small. This little thing is the size of a game and watch something that you could kind of just, you [00:01:00] know, tuck into your shirt pocket.
Speaker 1: This be probably be a little careful to protect that screen. I played with the play date while I was at home, and I even got a chance to take it with me, traveling and flying for the first time in two years, unfortunately, I had no case for it. So I had to use a sock. The play date doesn't have a back light. It has this super reflective black and white display. My, which it actually enables some great animation, but it is a black and white gray scale type of experience. And it has a deep [00:01:30] ad. It has two buttons, classic NS style, and it has this crank, this crank, what is going on with this crank? This crank is like an analog control, totally absurd, but a lot of games make use of it, maybe to scroll the screen or to focus a camera or to surf, or to rewind time and fast forward time, or to pilot your ship around.
Speaker 1: There's all sorts of clever ideas. And it also has an accelerometer. So you could tilt this thing too, by haven't seen that many games that use it, [00:02:00] and you get games by this description pack. So for $179, which is the cost of this, which is not that cheap, you do get 24 games that you get to own that get sent to you. Uh, over time every week, two of them appear via wifi, just beamed in, in the morning and a little flashing light appears, and you've got like little magic drop gift. Now I don't wanna spoil a lot of the games because that's kind of the surprise and fun of [00:02:30] it. Although panic already listed what the indie games are that are gonna appear on this. And I can talk about them just warning. I'm gonna discuss them a little bit. If, unless you wanna be surprised, I'll go into them right now.
Speaker 1: They're really fun. Some of them are a little bit like wonky and weird. They're all indie, super Indy. Some of them feel like little graphic novels or little, little storylines unfold. You have to read on this little screen. That's sometimes hard to make out the text for my, my aging eyes, but there are other ones that feel like are kid games. There are puzzle games. Uh, [00:03:00] there are games that I, I don't, I'm still trying to figure out what the rules of the game are. And that's, what's like really magical about it is you just don't know. You just don't know what the game's going to be like. And I'm not sure how long all the games are. I mean, the promise is that some of the games may only be like an hour or two. Some of them might be kind of infinite and that they're more like arcade games.
Speaker 1: And it's just something that I'm kind of picking up and fidgeting with kind of picking it up and I'm turning the crank and I'm playing with it. It's very casual. And I really like [00:03:30] the vibe. And so do my kids, my kids have been picking it up and getting it. My kids have gotten super into that, this, uh, surfing game that feels like that California games surfing game. That was way back on the, like in the 16 bit era where you basically are spinning the, uh, the surfboard around trying to get 360 S and things. It kind of feels like a little Tony Hawk and it's super simple and super fun. And my high scores been totally beaten at this point. One thing I really love too about the, the play [00:04:00] date compared to something like the analog pocket, which came out last year and is like a super modern version of a game boy that plays old cartridges is the analog pocket is, is really an offline thing.
Speaker 1: You, you side load software updates, you have to get the cartridges to plug in the panic play date inside is, is all like a little modern and smart device. You know, it's gonna connect to a wifi network. It downloads games online, which you can then delete or reload on. Um, you can, you can side load things in through a panics [00:04:30] website and there are gonna be other games that you could purchase. Potentially. One of them bloom was a made available for me to check out, to show how people could create games. And if you really wanna get invented, there is a game design engine on the website that panic has called pulp, where you can kind of program around and, and create some stuff and, and then send it to the device. My son did that. He created this little maze game thing in a few minutes.
Speaker 1: It, because he really likes the idea of game programming [00:05:00] and it was fun, weird, and I don't know how much deeper we'll get, and there's a deeper software development kit. So you could also really design games for it even deeper. Um, that's fun. And again, kind of similar to what was available on the analog pocket. It's kind of like a trend now where people are developing these indie type games for individual platforms, if you want to. So that's all whole other road you could go down, but the games themselves, these 24 games in this one package kind of feel like an art piece. This feels like a, like a MoMA [00:05:30] gaming handheld, something that you would like, you know, that somebody had designed like maybe not Andy Warhol, but you know, like there is something weird in artsy about this and, and you wonder what the heck is going on here.
Speaker 1: And I appreciate that. It all kind of feels like this kind of fun, kind of precious little art piece gaming thing that is kind of magical. And you know, it's not really that justifiable because if you wanna play games, if you wanna play all of the third party games and other things you're gonna get, [00:06:00] you know, a switch or a, maybe a steam deck or, you know, or some other thing that can play other games that you know about. These are not games that you know about. They're brand new, weird, fun, experimental games. And it kind of reminds me of Nintendo Labo. It's giving me that Labo feel when Nintendo made its folding cardboard thing for the switch, this mad genius idea, you had to fold together. These things that created these inexplicable mechanical interactions [00:06:30] with the switch, with all these special little games that took advantage of it.
Speaker 1: And it felt like you were living this kind of like, or gaming meets physical accessory, impossible thing. That's a little bit of what's going on with panic play date. Whenever I turn that, that crank, I'm thinking about Nintendo Labo. I love how portable it is. I love that you can tuck the little crank in Andow it away. Um, it's got USBC charging, so it lasts about like eight hours of battery life. It's got a headphones Jack. So it's practical [00:07:00] in the sense that you actually could sit somewhere and play this. You need good lighting though, because if you're not getting really good direct lighting, the screen could be a little hard to read the small text on, but I love the thing. I can't justify the thing, but I, I, I am so excited about the years of indie games living on the panic play date, and I keep reaching for it.
Speaker 1: I keep playing games on it. It's only been a couple of weeks. I'm sure I'm gonna get tired of the games, but I'm really curious [00:07:30] where panic takes it next. Are they gonna have another season of games, which they've, they've hinted it, maybe, you know, that's gonna be coming. How would that work? What, how would it call, you know, how would that all play out? I got the season of games in an accelerated mode, so I didn't even get to experience two games a week. I got this, this press preview where every day I got two games, which was too fast. I felt like I was being buried in game updates and didn't get to slow down and enjoy and play the games. Uh, one, one, [00:08:00] if you're interested in learning more about the panic play date, check out the description below for links. Would you get it?
Speaker 1: I don't know. I would like this more than an analog pocket, but because I can play the games and I don't have to look search for, for the cartridges, but that's my thought on the panic play date at the moment, feel free to gimme comments down below. I'm gonna still play around with it and take what else I can find and what I feel about it over time. And, uh, I love that there are so many gaming handhelds out right now because I fidget. [00:08:30] I'm sometimes panicked. I love game and watch, and this is really scratching that itch for me. Anyway. Thanks for watching.