This is an Insight, so it could be a good card for Joe Diamond's hunch deck, yes? If you are playing a resource-intensive deck, then this is action compression in that it grants 2 resources for doing the thing that you want to be doing: getting a clue. Basically, it reads "gain 2 resources and a clue for 1 action". Paired with Dr. Milan Christopher, you get an 3 resources instead. Seems good. I'm going to try it.
Investigate. When this action begins, gain 2 resources.
Other, wiser reviewers may find sophisticated uses for this card, but I'll be considering only the obvious use -- to make some dough doing what you were gonna do anyway. Obviously, as a seeker, this is an easy card to play. Investigate your location, grab a couple resources. The question: is this benefit substantial enough for this card to deserve a place in your deck?
First of all, let's keep context in mind. This is part of a starter deck designed to welcome new players to the game. A card with a nice simple effect like this is definitely beginner-friendly. It'll almost never be a dead draw, there are no complicated interactions to work out, no need to check the FAQ.
Also, there is a small advantage to getting the resources before you do the check. That means you can instantly spend them to boost something like Higher Education or Hyperawareness. I'm not sure how often this would matter -- pretty much only when you're broke, it seems -- but it's better than getting those same resources after the check, and definitely better than those resources being contingent on a successful check.
All the same, I have a hard time seeing a deck in which the Midnight Oil would be more effective that Crack the Case, which can easily net you 3 or 4 resources for the same action economy, and in some situations, more. The Midnight Oil might be handier in the first turn, helping you get down some pricier assets, but after that, it seems less bang for your buck, or fewer bucks for your bang, or something.
Verdict: I'm glad this card exists, because it's simple and user-friendly. It makes perfect sense as part of an entry-level deck you can snag for $15. But for players interested in optimizing their decks, and who have invested in a fuller collection, there are better options.
On command resources for what you want to be doing anyway. Grab it alongside other economy to fuel a greedy engine (something that runs on Hyperawareness for example, allies or is also doing stuff with guns).
The trick that makes this so nice is that it's unconditional. A Crack the Case requires that you finish a location, this one hands you the resources just for trying (and you are allowed to fail!). All of a suddent you're playing this card and possibly getting a clue along with your resources, instead of just standing there to play Emergency Cache. There is no setup-cost unlike Dr. Milan Christopher.
Great tempo, completely dependable, valuable benefits. A great addition to the cardpool.
Disclaimer: Weird and probably insignificant meta ramblings ahead.
I used the card in Norman Withers for the obvious implication: You see it on the top of your deck and draw it, instead of, say, doing something else and and cursing RNGsus for drawing it in the upkeep phase. Great. Best case scenario. Maximum outcome. Here comes the first "weird" part: For Norman, depending on what else he does in his turn, it might make no difference if he draws it or plays it using his ability - in both cases he gains 2 resources. Like I said, he might need the use of his ability for another card on top of his deck in the same turn, but it is likely enough that the player can choose which action to use for the effect. Why could this be important? I don't know, maybe for Stupor or Panic? Otherwise not so much probably.
But what even more puzzled me is that seemingly for Norman Withers, Burning the Midnight Oil performs better than this card in their best (i.e. playing it from the top of your deck using Norman's ability) and "worst" cases (i.e. playing it from your hand) and as well in its "worst" case as Cryptic Writings in its best case.
Best case vs. best case: So what the hell am I talking about? Playing (or drawing, see rambling above, hehe) Cryptic Writings from the top of your deck costs you an action to gain 2 resources. Neat. Playing Burning the Midnight Oil from the top of your deck costs you an action to gain 2 resources AND take an investigate action. That's one for the midnight oil!
Worst case vs. worst case: On the other hand, playing Cryptic Writings from your hand costs you two actions to gain 2 resources (unlucky you). Playing Burning the Midnight Oil from your hand also costs you two actions, but nets you 2 resources AND an investigate action. Better again.
As you can see above, since Burning the Midnight Oil is always one action ahead of Cryptic Writings, playing it from your hand is just as good as playing Cryptic Writings from your deck. That's a huge burn from the midnight oil, poor crippling writing!
are playing Norman Withers and have enough space to take both, just do so, but in the case of lacking card slots I would almost always pick Burning the Midnight Oil over Cryptic Writings as it saves you one action in most cases.
Side note: Yes, I did not include the eventualities of not needing or wanting to investigate, in which case that benefit of the card would be rendered meaningless.
Since this review is a comparison between two cards, I postet it on both pages (yes, of course I want to maximize my steet cred).