It's not easy to mix chill with challenge, and yet the Midnight series somehow manages to do a quite decent job of it. Petite Games has brought the twilight golf-like back for another go, providing another round of stages with next to no changes in the formula.
Midnight 2 should feel right at home to those who played its predecessor. Each stage consists of guiding a small square named Midnight into a glowing hole, avoiding potential pits, spikes and sawblades along the way. Movement is accomplished by using the GamePad to draw a straight line from Midnight, the length and angle of which determine the strength and trajectory at which the little creature travels. Depending on the number of "strokes" used to get square to hole, up to three stars will be awarded per stage.
None of the stages take up more than the GamePad screen can hold at once, yet there is an impressive variation of difficulty among them. Some stages require precision placement of Midnight, or quick timing to avoid an oncoming blade. If and when you do fail, it is still a snap to reset and start over.
The backdrop of Midnight 2 has not changed from the first game, which is not really a bad thing. It remains minimalistic, dark, and eerily beautiful, accompanied by a soothing piano track. The sharp chord that plays upon failure can jar one from the ambience, though; that was likely the intention, but it almost feels a pity sometimes.
The failure chord will likely be heard often, and most of the time it will be due to a player's ganked shot. That said, there are still a few elements that can seem to play against the player - Midnight might sometimes take an errant bounce right into a pit or off the side of the screen, which also means instant loss. That's how real golf can go, though, so them's the breaks.
What can be more frustrating is how Midnight must come to a full stop before a new shot (OK, so this is also like real golf), or how a shot occasionally isn't lined up just right and doesn't go off; both of these situations can be exasperating when a hazard is bearing down on you. A glitch mentioned in the first review of Midnight getting stuck on an incline and requiring a stage reset was not found during our playthrough here, however.
Even with foibles sometimes, none of the stages are impossible to best. Finally nailing a particularly tricky stage feels very satisfying, and eventually the regret may come that there are only 28 to play. There are unfortunately no extras, and the stars earned through performance are only for show.
Anyone who played the original Midnight should know exactly what they're getting into. It might have been fun to throw an extra idea into play somewhere, but the sequel still provides the same fun-if-not-perfect gameplay of the original. If you enjoyed your first round and ached for more stages, this is a no-brainer. Others who might be interested can freely dive in with either game.