Need help deciding which gameplay type to use, 3 games to choose from (physical playdate owners needed)

I am developing a rhythm game where the hook is you play mini rhythm games while the main rhythm game is playing. However I have gotten some feedback saying that my first idea to have the dpad control the rhythm game and the crank to control the mini games is uncomfortable on the hands to play. So I have come here for more feedback!

The first upload was my origional idea and im looking on feedback whether it is too uncomfortable to play or whether you think it would be fine once you get used to it. You play via D-pad as well as turning the crank so that the arrow is pointed torwards the range bar.

The second upload is my second idea, where the crank controlls the rhythm and the mini games would be controlled via the B button. This one I whipped up quickly so it may have some issues. You play via turning the crank and pressing A to get rid of the dots coming in. Im looking for feedback on whether conceptually its fun or not, not necesarilly gameplay as there is some things I must fix.

The third idea is the first but without the crank feature. The mini games would be controlled via A and B and the crank would have minimal input. This one you just press the dpad to get rid of the arrows. This one is just to see whether a game would be fun without the crank, I would of course add mini games with the A and B buttons later.

vault cracking game using crank and (15.8 MB)
vault cracking game crank (15.8 MB)
vault cracking game dpad (15.8 MB)

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Some thoughts:

Crank + D-pad:

  • This one was the most fun by far !
  • The only issue for me is moving my eyes back and fourth between the left and right, and then loosing track of one or the other
  • One idea: have it overlaid in some way, like the “clock” being behind the Arrow gameplay, so I can focus on both at the same time
  • UX wise, there are many other ways to solve “uncomfortable” gameplay without changing the whole idea


  • Conceptually, this one is pretty neat
  • One idea: remove the requirement to press A on the dots when they hit, and have them come in at many other angles instead of just the 4. Then it would be all about getting the crank to right position quickly. Would feel like of like a reverse Super Hexagon or something, but to the beat of music


  • If you’re saying that there would be additional things happening at the same time on the right, it’s pretty hard to image that until those exist
  • Without those, this is (obviously) just DDR, and is the least interesting of these 3, as it is

Cool stuff Samantha !

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thank you so much for this!!! I think I will go for your suggestion and somehow make it so that the crank feature is behind the arrows. I really appreciate the time you put into writting this up. After I got some feedback that the dpad and crank are very uncomfortable together (for the hand position) I got discouraged, so I greatly appreciate this!

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