Melatonin Demo Impressions – Dreams Of (Rhythm) Heaven

Developers Half Asleep released a demo as part of Steam Next Fest for their debut game, Melatonin. It’s a rhythm game set in your dreams, conjuring up surreal situations of what a modern person stuck with so much technology and gadgets can and want to do.

Based on the sampling of that demo, Melatonin looks like it can offer a Rhythm Heaven-esque rhythm game, which can be something entirely new for those unfamiliar with that Nintendo franchise of games. Though it really relies heavily on how well you like the one note it’s hitting on.

But let’s back up from that and start from the top. Melatonin isn’t a rhythm game where you must press a bunch of buttons in long strings and combinations that plays along to a music track. Instead, you are tested on how you can keep an internal rhythm. Sometimes you press buttons in a similar beat to the pattern you presented before. Sometimes you need to be on-queue of that pattern and hit the button at the right time.

In this way, the game can challenge you by hiding visual cues, or adjusting the tempo. It’s more a test of how much of a human metronome you are. And yes, if you’ve played Rhythm Heaven before- it’s basically that.

At the start of each level, you have practice rounds to let you grasp the basic patterns and rhythms that will be at play in the full song. You can repeat this as many times as you want, and there are assist options.

The demo has four different “dreams” levels, and it ends with a remix level where you have to go through a song that features all the four level’s different beat gimmicks.

Melatonin looks to hit all the beats of a Rhythm Heaven-like, but there is one make-or-break point: the aesthetic. And I’m not saying it’s bad- the chirpy music and the hand-drawn visuals are well-executed.

What I’m saying is, are you vibing with that aesthetic. If you look a the pastel shades of violets used as the game’s colour palette reminiscent of a bottle of prescribed Melatonin (or one of the many games you would see in a Wholesome Direct stream) and say “heck yes” then yes, you would easily find this little rhythm game to be enjoyable.

For me, it’s less about the colour palette but more about the music. From what I have heard from the demo it’s good music, but not something I’m into (for sure, for sure).

That said, I may not vibing as much with Melatonin, but this is a fun and well-polished slice of a game, judging by this demo. If you like rhythm games, especially any of the Rhythm Heaven games, you should at least give the demo a shot. Steam Next Fest is over, but the demo is still available on the game’s Steam page.

Melatonin will be released this September on PC (Steam, Epic Games Store) and Nintendo Switch.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept