Amidst the constant hustle of a person’s work life and the bustle of the person’s social life, one often finds themself slipping into slumber and towards the labyrinth of all that transpires in their subconscious mind. The rhythmic game of Melatonin is an exploration of this world that stretches beyond conscious imagination. Melatonin uses aesthetically pleasing graphics and catchy tunes to entice the players to follow through the entire 3–4-hour long journey in its dreamland. This creation by Indie Game Studio Half Asleep’ is set to release on PC via Steam on December 15. The Nintendo Switch version is to release at a later date.
Our team already had the opportunity to Preview Melatonin. However, does the final version of the game bring the essence it deserves? Let’s Find Out!
A Frenzy of the Fantasy
Melatonin is a tale of four nights and the succeeding morning. A tale that gives the player a run for their money to keep up with the fast-paced dream sequences that play in the character’s subconscious. Each night has four dreams which have four levels in themselves- practice, scored, hard, and editor.
On crossing the Scored level by collecting at least two stars, a player may proceed to play the hard level and collect rings or customize the beats, events, and tempo. However, to those who desire to be the Jack of all dreams, then a master of one, a cumulative score of 8 stars is all they need.
Each night ends with a frenzy mashup, crossing which, the following night unravels itself. The morning after is the most challenging but undoubtedly the best head-bopping level of the game. The game decides to end on a fantastic bang with a mashup of all the 16 dreams in an ultra-fast-paced environment.
The Dreamy Design
Melatonin undoubtedly has graphics and music that can maintain calm, even during the frenzy. However, on looking under the surface of this pretty rhythm game, one might realize how well-made it truly is. At the beginning of every night, we find a unique intro of the character falling asleep. It is interesting to note that the activity our character is in the middle of when they fall asleep actually determines what the dream sequences would be.
On Night 1, our character is shown to be scrolling on their phone, munching on junk food while keeping the television running. This leads to the dreams of the first night being about Food, Shopping, Gaming (Tech) and Social Media Followers.
Similarly, Night 2 shows our character to be working on their laptop late at night- this in turn makes two of the dreams about Work and Money.
On Night 3, the character dozes off to sleep while meditating and thus dreams of the great beyond- the concept of Time and Space, the mysteries of the Mind and the beauty of Nature.
On Night 4, we watch the character distraught, chugging on energy drink after energy drink to stay awake. Eventually, they fall asleep only to find themselves in the grasp of the stress of the past, and the desires of the future
The choice of music being depicted in each of these nights is also extremely well-thought. Upbeat tunes on the first night, and slightly fast-paced versions of the same upbeat music on the second night to characterizes the character’s brain working rapidly even in slumber, the calming meditation-like music of the third night and the beats of the fourth night could make a player feel the character’s stress materializing in front of them- are all excellently selected.
Need a Helping Hand?
Melatonin is all about the thrill that dreamy challenges have in store, but this game promises to not let anyone feel left out in this beautiful journey. To anyone in need of some guidance, the accessibility settings can lead the way to visual and audio assistance as well as provide some wiggle room for perfection. Further ahead, to those suspecting issues in the calibration of early and late scores, the timing offset can also be altered by the player.
Melatonin is a game most players would want to return to time and again, and thus they should let their first run be more about the experience than the speed. Each dream has a practice round, which should be utilized to its fullest. The catchy beats of this game make it a lot easier for the player to get synchronized to the pace right during practice. This makes way for the player to score higher in the following rounds. following rounds.