Ramblings: Midnight Fields

Finally Finish Something Jam was a jam that kicked off at the start of 2017, encouraging devs to get an unfinished project done to start the new year right. The jam was started by Second Dimension Games, who used the opportunity to finally make and release something they’ve been kicking around for years.

midnight fields

And so, Midnight Fields came into being. It’s a neat top-down shooter game where you play as a skeleton with a dapper top-hat, blasting enemies with a bony arm and collecting skulls to loop through the levels until you die.

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The shooting system’s your standard twin-stick shooter controls, with multiple keyboard options. You start out with a weak but plentiful bone pistol, but you can upgrade that into some rad weapons by picking up totems. There are four types of totems and holding different combinations of two of them wield different weapons. I really liked this mechanic and most of the weapons were fun to play around with. A sore point with me was the rail gun, whose hit detection was kinda iffy with me. Additionally, movement isn’t as smooth as you’d want; if you’re moving and switch to the opposite direction, the skeleton sort of swerves around like a car, which really feels off.

The goal of the game is to continually go through the five stages, with the difficulty escalating as you head on. To get through a stage, you have to collect five skull items that summons a gate to the next one. Doing so also summons this death cube that’s invincible and floats toward you ominously while shooting missiles, though it’s kinda slow and sometimes just spawns somewhere a bit far off, mitigating the pressure to get to the goal. It is a real nice cube to look at though.

midnight fields 3
Between level poetry by Pete

That brings me to the aesthetics of the game. Like, this game could have just been a shooter with basic horror aesthetics, but the enemies are nice and bright against the background, colorful atrocities that are put down with just as flashy bullets. Instead of this flashing enemy effect, there’s this sort of distortion as you shoot enemies that kinda looks like they’re splitting apart, which is neat. I wish that there could have been more variance with the background, though it still provides a nice contrast against the action. This is all accompanied by a nice energized track that helps get those bones pumping.

Despite minor gripes, I think the game will be a good time waster for you and it’s great that the devs finally finished this idea they’ve had for a while. I feel that everyone always has something they don’t have time to do or keep putting off and it’s always satisfying when it finally gets done.

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my score… fight me….

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