Melatonin – PS5 Review

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When I type up a review for video games, I try to write with a level head. While I’ll attempt objectivity, it’s hard not to gush about Melatonin; it’s just that good. This was one of those games that I’d heard of, and seen gameplay of, but regrettably overlooked until now. I don’t intend to repeat that mistake and neither should anyone interested!

Now sit back, relax and enjoy my review.

Tired, in a good way

A celestial gift lowered down from the skies and placed in our hands by developer and publisher Half Asleep, Melatonin finally graces us on PS5. Having previously released on PC and Switch in December 2022, it launched on PlayStation on March 12th 2024. What rhythm games do you love and why? Let us know in the comments below!


Here’s a comparison from my partner who played the game alongside me, Rhythm Heaven. Now my uncultured self has never played Rhythm Heaven but after taking a closer look, the concept seems to be familiar, albeit a bit more subdued here.

the main character holding a bat surrounded by floating platforms and clocks. there is a portal shooting a clock at the main character to hit with their bat.
the vibes are unmatched

Upon our protagonist’s slumber, players are transported into a hub world with a selection of levels all based on dreams we may have. We can all relate to the protagonist, we’ve all dreamed about wealth, stress, and space. Though these dreams seem a lot less wild than my own.


Every level in an area save for the final contains a practice mode for you to learn the timings of your inputs. What beats to press buttons on, what buttons to press, and how long to press them . You’ll also learn the audio queues as well as the visual ones, though relying on those isn’t advised if you want to succeed in hard mode.

There are 16 levels, with an extra level at the end of every area testing your skills and memory by combining every single level into a thoughtfully crafted remix. Never once did I think a mini-game sounded out of place during one of these remixes. Everything just flows together so perfectly and without flaw.

Even after finishing a level, hard mode will be unlocked which usually is a sped-up version, with extra inputs and things that temper with the visual queues.

a pov shot of a spaceship, two buttons indicate the player should press l1 on the beat.
the practice mode

You’ll only ever be using 3 buttons, X, L1, and R1. Timing feels relatively generous, with multiple times where I thought I hit something late or early, and still got the perfect anyway. This without any accessibility options even enabled.

The gameplay is admittedly simple, but what makes it wrap up and become whole is the music (obviously) and, more importantly, the visuals. There’s not much of a story, with the short intro and outro cutscenes per night mostly being left up to interpretation.

Bugs + Glitches

I only ever came across two issues, after a recent patch, my audio in one level became super bassy to the point I had to turn it down. The other was a trophy glitch where no trophy for perfecting the tutorial was awarded even after completion,  this was swiftly fixed in the aforementioned patch.


As previously mentioned, Melatonin has an array of accessibility options. A “visual assist” that displays the timing circle out of practice.

in-game accessibility menu of Melatonin, including A “visual assist” that displays the timing circle out of practice. The “audio assist,” which adds a metronome. <yoastmark class=
accessibility options

The “audio assist,” which adds a metronome. “Wiggle room” increasing the amount of time you have to get a perfect, and finally, “easy scoring” to decrease the amount of score lost upon an early or late hit.


This is what sets Melatonin apart. Where the relatively simple gameplay combines with the graphics and sound to create one of the prettiest and most satisfying rhythm games I’ve played.

the main character lying asleep on their couch surrounded by lots of coffee
I adore the artstyle

Sporting a beautiful hand-drawn art style that I can only describe as “Mob Psycho infused with the chill vibes of LoFi girl” Melatonin looks nothing short of stunning. Each level pulsates with life as elements in the background move to the beat to keep you in time.

The main character stood centred in a hub world surrounded by different level choices like 'mind' 'time' and 'space'
Lovely little hub world

A vibrant pastel palette that pops even in the hub world. It’s not just eye candy either, all these elements help keep players in time with the music.


Moreover, as a key component, music is somber and low-key for the most part, expanding on and assisting the visuals, I’d often find myself swaying with the music, sometimes to my detriment, getting way into it and missing a few notes. Combined with the visuals going level to level in Melatonin is excellent.

I especially adore how the Lo-Fi soundtrack incorporates sounds based on the level you’re into the music. A level based on phones will include vibrations as a sound queue that fits right in with the song, or a dream about work that incorporates fax noises. Even the sound of chewing feels right at home on a level.

a swinging pendulum swaying in front of an eye.
The level in question

Due to the seamless flow of the music, you can mostly anticipate what input is coming up next based on your thoughts of what will sound good. I only ran into a questionable flow once in a level which would speed up and slow down at what felt like totally out-of-nowhere points.


Replaying songs and perfecting levels, my first playthrough of the game took about 4 hours. For completionists, I can see the game taking around 7 to 10 hours. Trophy hunters will be happy to find that the game sports a nice shiny Platinum. In all there’s 10 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze on offer to bag that Plat.

Final Thoughts

Considering just how simple the basic gameplay is, the combination of the stunning art style and the chill lo-fi vibes of the soundtrack make this an incredibly impressive experience. Each meticulously crafted level manages to separate itself from the rest and stand out. Every element of each dream feels impeccably crafted with incredible attention to detail. No detail left unpolished.

I love Melatonin and it is a must-buy for fans of the rhythm game genre. It’s also an excellent choice for new players with many accessibility options and practice modes.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Melatonin deserves a Platinum Thumb Culture Award.

Now… off to sleep

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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