The original DOOM first-person shooter, with its source code easy-to-find and super-simple by modern standards, has been ported from everything from calculators, to watches, to ultrasound machines. Most of these ports are just made for giggles and don’t add anything to the experience. Such is not the case with the PlayDate, which includes a hardware crank for the chain gun.
The PlayDate is an indie-experimental handheld console, with its main draw being exclusive and tiny games delivered in a “season” of content. In terms of hardware, it’s nothing special, with a black-and-white screen and just two action buttons. But the precision-tooled “crank” on the side allows for some unique game mechanics in those little subscription titles.
Due to popular demands, here a video of the crank being used to fire the chaingun. pic.twitter.com/UuBbojKSmk
— Nic (@NicMagnier) June 2, 2020
Nintendo alumnus and Playdate developer Nic Magnier was playing around with the device, which is still in prerelease as of mid-2020, and doing what you do when you get a new gadget: run DOOM on it. But with that unique crank, he realized he could add a little bit of fun functionality. With DOOM’s iconic minigun or “chain gun” active, he can turn the crank to fill demons full of holy lead.
All in good fun, of course. The Playdate is available for preorder for $150, which will include its first season of 12 games. You’ll probably have to load up DOOM on it on your own time.