Whenever I see the Playdate pop up on one of my several constant streams of social media, I can’t help but smile. While it’s obviously a handheld console that’s being sold to earn some kind of cash, at the same time it presents itself with an innocent playfulness that you just don’t see come out of massive gaming companies. Having a crank as the primary form of control is just…weird but in the best possible way! While certainly constraining to game design in a way, that hasn’t stopped it from answering the question all new tech must eventually face: Can it run Doom?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is yes. Doom has been properly ported onto the Playdate despite it not even being commercially available. Game developer Nic Magnier took to Twitter to show off his port of Doom on the Playdate and while it’s visually not the cleanest version available, it very clearly works. The direction buttons do what they need to, the face buttons are mapped and, most importantly, the crank can even be turned to fire the chaingun which might just be the peak of gaming crank technology. It’s still early on in its life, and I don’t want to fall victim to hyperbole, but it’s difficult to imagine anything beating that.
The Playdate isn’t commercially available yet but it is scheduled for a 2020 release. Will Doom be a launch title for the quirky little handheld? Probably not, but like near everything that can run Doom yet won’t actually be used to play it, it’s just neat that someone took the time to do it.
Last Updated: June 3, 2020