Panic editors' favorite Playdate games of 2023.
by Ron Lent
Staff note: This short but charming lo-fi adventure features light puzzles, marvelous visuals, and soothing chirps. Its highly anticipated sequel is already in development!
by Yoyogi Games
Staff note: Unbelievably fast. Brutally hard. Jaw-droppingly impressive. No Playdate game this year raised our blood pressures this high.
by Cadin Batrack
Staff note: Not a game, yet one of the best experiences on Playdate. Beautiful illustrations, parallax animations, and a clever use of the Playdate’s controls all combine to deliver as much surprise and delight as you’ll find on the platform.
Grand Tour Legends
Staff note: A cycling games that feels exactly like bicycling; manage your stamina strategically, muscling your way up steep hills and then coasting down the slope on the other side. Paired with the excellent krautrock soundtrack, you can almost feel the wind in your bibs.
by Scenic Route Software
Staff note: Explore the world and deliver mail in this adorable adventure game. Scenic Route Software has made many other amazing Playdate games, such as Shift, Lillybug, and You're Going to Miss the Bus.
by Matt Sephton
Staff note: YOYOZO is a perfect execution of a simple idea. As you master the game, you'll discover new techniques and climb the global leaderboards.
Staff note: Experience endless fun challenges in this Playdate spin-off of THE LAST WORKER. Spin off (pun intended) with the crank and tilt your Playdate at the right angle to avoid obstacles and traps!
by Shaun Inman
Staff note: If you love word games, then this game is for you! This cute 4-letter word-building puzzle game can be picked up and played anywhere. Made by developer Shaun Inman who created the Season One action-adventure game Ratcheteer.
A Joke That’s Worth $ 0.99
Staff note: Kamibox has a reputation for making games with ridiculously simple mechanics, tantalizing difficulty, and tons of humor. With its butt-bouncing comedy, this looong joke may be the greatest example of this aesthetic.
by Gareth Williams
Staff note: There's so much joy in playing this 360-degree space shooter, controlled entirely with the crank! You'll be shooting enemies and avoiding obstacles while listening to a great soundtrack.
A Balanced Brew
by Robert Curry
Staff note: Complete each level by balancing on a unicycle with a crank to get the guy to the coffee cart. Straightforward but challenging!
by Risolvi Productions
Staff note: P-Racing is a pinnacle of technical achievement on the Playdate, and the addition of the ghost system has made it possible to race against friends and competitors from the Playdate community. It's easy to lose track of time while you're shaving seconds off your track records.
by TEAM ROOT
Staff note: Root Bear became an overnight sensation on TikTok, and it's easy to see why: it's the perfect game to share with friends. Approachable, immediately understandable, and extremely funny.
Under The Castle
by Dani Diez, ZCorbs, VolcanoBytes
Staff note: Complete dungeons and gather more items to take with you as the quests get more difficult. This game was beautifully made in every way!
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