Hi-Fi Rush was a great surprise game to start off the year. Shadow dropping after the Xbox Developer_Direct, the brilliant rhythm-action hybrid is a great time (and available on Xbox Game Pass!). However, most players are likely starting to finish the game since its release on January 25. For players looking to keep the rhythm game high going, you’re in luck! You may have overlooked one of 2022’s most overlooked games: Melatonin.
Inspired by the Rhythm Heaven franchise, Melatonin is a fantastic homage to an underrated series. As the name implies, Melatonin’s levels and minigames are inspired by dreams. Each one provides a fantastic theme and fun minigames. The main character dreams about things from shopping & working to anxiety & the future. These provide both fun backdrops as levels, and great themes for the fun and catchy songs that back them.
Another thing that makes the game great is the short length of both the total game and individual game sessions. HowLongToBeat lists Melatonin as a 2 ½ hour game. This falls slightly below my playtime, as I would go back to get higher ranks on levels I enjoyed. In addition to this total length, individual sessions are also able to be cut pretty short. The game is split into 20 total levels, each one consisting of a practice phase, then a real song, then an optional hard mode. Because of this, you could easily play the game for a short 10-minute session, or its entirety in a single session. This flexibility makes Melatonin perfect for the portable Steam Deck & Nintendo Switch for commute, before-bed gaming, or during a break at work.
To recap, Melatonin is a perfect game for players who:
- Played Hi-Fi Rush and want another burst of rhythm game fun that’s a bit different.
- Want a new game in the style of the Rhythm Heaven franchise.
- Want to fill a weekend with a small-scale game.
- Want something with short bursts to play before bed, on a commute, etc.
It may not be for you if:
- You have played games like Rhythm Heaven before and not liked them. It does things differently than other rhythm games, but not enough to change your mind on the genre.
- Players who liked Hi-Fi Rush, but weren’t a fan of rhythm timing mechanics.
Melatonin is available on Steam & Nintendo Switch. If possible, I’d highly recommend playing portably on Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch. You can purchase it for Steam here, and Switch here.