Playdate pre-orders start next month, and here are the first games

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Panic has announced that the Playdate, the $179 handheld console with a crank and a black-and-white screen, will be available for pre-order in July and will ship later in the year. The company hasn’t set a specific date yet, but says it will provide at least a week’s notice before opening orders.

Panic does its best to avoid a PS5/RTX 3080 stock situation by implementing its own ordering system. “The sooner you order, the sooner you get one, but we’re not going to close the door on you,” said co-founder Cabel Sasser in a video update.

The company is also announcing a cute stereo dock accessory for the Playdate that makes it look like an old TV and works as both a Bluetooth speaker and pen holder. Panic has not yet provided pricing or release information for the dock.

Finally, Panic has announced 21 of the 24 titles that will appear in the first “season” of Playdate. Details are intentionally kept secret until each game is automatically downloaded to the device; owners get two games a week for 12 weeks.

Here are title screens for all 21 games:

And here is the list of games and their developers:

  • Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by Uvula (Keita Takahashi, Ryan Mohler), Matthew Grimm and Shaun Inman
  • Battleship Godios by TPM.Co Soft Works.
  • casual birdwatcher by Diego Garcia with music by Max Coburn
  • DemonQuest 85 by Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, Duncan Fyfe, Belinda Leung and Jared Emerson-Johnson
  • echoic memory by Samantha Kalman, Everest Pipkin, Carol Mertz and Rachelle Viola
  • Executive Golf DX by davemakes
  • Pinball lifter by Serenity Forge
  • Forrest Byrnes: Going up in smoke by Nels Anderson and Christina “castpixel” Neofotistou
  • Hyper Meteor by Vertex Pop (Mobeen Fikree, Robby Duguay and h heron)
  • Have you lost marbles by Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends
  • omaze by Gregory Kogos
  • Pick Pack Puppy by Nic Magnier and Arthur Hamer (he/him) with music by Logan Gabriel
  • Questy Chess by Dadako
  • ratcheteer by Shaun Inman, Matthew Grimm and Charlie Davis
  • Sasquatchers by Chuck Jordan with music and sound by Jared Emerson-Johnson
  • To chat by Zach Gage with art by Neven Mrgan
  • Spelled out! by Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, Ryan Splendorr and Tony Ghostbrite with music by A Shell in the Pit (Em Halberstadt)
  • Zipper by Bennett Foddy
  • Saturday edition by Chris Makris with music by A Shell in the Pit (Gord McGladdery, Alfonso Salinas)
  • Whitewater Wipeout by Chuhai Labs (Giles Goddard, Mark Lentz, Peter Traylor, Hero Liao, Remy Thor, Charlie March, Kensaku Nakata, Zach Aikman, Mihoko Terao and Kinsey Burke)

The Playdate has had a long road to market. It was first announced in May 2019 and the following month we got our first look at the console itself.