36 Fragments of Midnight (Review)
36 Fragments of Midnight is a procedurally generated 2D platformer. You play a white glowing square named Midnight, and the game begins with your shadowy friends asking you to find their 36 lost Star Fragments. The game has a pleasant aesthetic design, with black platforms and obstacles against a blue nighttime background.
The 36 fragments are scattered throughout the single level the game takes place in. It’s a somewhat large level, with no map to guide you, and it is procedurally generated every time. Your goal is to gather all 36 fragments without dying and then return to the place you started to deliver them.
The controls are quite simple. Midnight can jump and double jump, and you’ll need to maneuver carefully to avoid colliding with any of the spikes, sawblades, and lasers in the area to get each fragment. The controls are smooth enough, although the double jump is occasionally awkward, particularly when the camera moved upward during your first jump.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot to 36 Fragments of Midnight. With only 36 objects to collect, a single stage, and no enemies, you can reach your goal in under ten minutes. Of course, since you have to start over with a new procedurally generated level each time you die, this lengthens the game time and adds tension once you’ve picked up a lot of the star fragments. However, while my successful playthrough took just over eight minutes, all of my attempts together still took well under an hour.
Once you collect all 36 fragments and bring them back to the starting point, you’re thanked and presented with your current time, matched against your best time. Then you’re given the option of playing again. This encourages multiple runs to try to beat your time, but the playthroughs just aren’t varied enough for significant replay value.
Although it is procedurally generated, its pool of obstacles are limited enough that you’ll start recognizing them after a few attempts. As such, it doesn’t feel like a new area so much as a handful of familiar hazards and platforming challenges rearranged in a new order.
36 Fragments of Midnight is a simple, very short platformer. It might have some lasting appeal for speedrunners who want to challenge themselves to get the fastest time possible, but otherwise it’s a tough recommendation even at its low price.