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Arcade Paradise Preview

Arcade Paradise Preview

 It could be argued that we’ve never had it so good as gamers. In the space year 2021, we have access to millions of games with just a few clicks, graphics and sound have never been so realistic, and games are seen as being entertainment for the masses by most people. It has to be said though, that one of the things I miss about gaming from when I was younger is arcades. Sure, there were usually awful smells and cigarette burns everywhere, and it was likely that you were nowhere near as good at your favourite titles as your pocket money would allow, but there was something magical about being surrounded by all the flashing lights and demo screens. Arcade Paradise aims to bring that feeling back, putting you in the shoes of an arcade manager, kind of. 

I say “kind of” because for the early part of the game, you don’t run an arcade, but rather a laundrette that your rich dad doesn’t want to run himself any more. The story puts you in control of a young lad being taught the value of hard work through this task, and at the start you will spend most of your time loading and unloading washing machines. In the back room are some old, near-abandoned machines that customers can play whilst waiting for their washing (although I’m not entirely sure why as it seems to be a service laundrette and I saw no evidence of any self service going on, but that might just be me overthinking!). You discover very quickly that these machines are actually making more money than the laundrette itself and decide that if you can prove to your dad this is where the good money is, maybe he will let you convert it into an arcade.

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It’s a bit of an odd storyline, but it’s nice to see that there is one here. It’s not something you see in business simulation games often, although the tedium of doing the laundry at the beginning does get old. Fortunately, it’s not that long before you are starting to focus more and more on your arcade and less on getting people’s pants shiny and fresh. You only have limited time each day whilst the arcade is open so you have to manage time carefully if you want to keep the money rolling in. That does of course mean that you can’t just spend all of your time playing the games, even if there aren’t actually any customers ever visible in your premises.

This is probably the reality of being an arcade owner, but personally I would like to see a freeplay mode to enter as a player. This may well be something we can expect to see in Spring 2022 when the game finally comes. At the moment, there’s a bit too much realism, and having to play a mini-game every night in order to open the safe was a little bit too much of a time sink in my opinion. I’m also not a huge fan of just how much rubbish appears in the arcade, especially given the aforementioned lack of visible patrons.

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As it is at the moment, there are limited customisation options such as music on the jukebox and a number of cabinets to place wherever you see fit. These aren’t licensed arcade titles sadly, but like many games from the era that Arcade Paradise is aping, there are plenty of clones of existing classic titles. My personal favourite was the into-the-screen racer that was very reminiscent of games like Outrun and Super Hang-On.

The final version is set to have more games, more 90s-themed music, and less washing. Developer Nosebleed Interactive is already evolving the game in response to feedback from the demo I played, so it’s one that I’ll be keeping a close eye on. 

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Gary "Dombalurina" Sheppard

Staff Writer

Gary maintains his belief that the Amstrad CPC is the greatest system ever and patiently awaits the sequel to "Rockstar ate my Hamster"

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