Cute, short, and snap-snap-snappy with a utilisation of the crank that sets it apart from other crank-heavy titles like Crankin's Time Travel Adventure and A Balanced Brew. Whereas those games go for a one-to-oneness between physical movement and gameplay, Direct Drive brings momentum into the picture, leading to a looser style of play. This works stupendously in theory, but the low resistance of the crank, and relatively slow cranking involved, means what should feel like pedalling a bike or grinding coffee beans instead seems unresponsive at times. With generous room for error, however, that never becomes a problem prohibiting progress. Even the managers' requests and harsher timing penalties never make this frustrating or, frankly, challenging. I got three stars on every song on my first try, and only the singular diversion of calibrating the turntable gave me any difficulty.
But you know what? That's fine. I don't use my Playdate to feel frustrated, I use it as a short(er) diversion, a little amuse-bouche of what games can achieve. Purely as a game, Direct Drive could use improving. As a concept, it's great, and it put a smile on my face which is what I want from this little yellow doodad.

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2023