Arcade Paradise is a game that has me squarely in its sights. I have been lucky enough to go through evolution of coin-op gaming. From the lone Space Invaders in the corner of the Family Bar at the local pub. Through the side room at the fish n’ chip shop filled with Commando, Ikari Warriors, TMNT, and the likes. Culminating in the hey day of arcades. Massive businesses, like Wizards in Christchurch and Yifans in Auckland, with hundreds of machines. Unfortunately now most arcades make a living from nasty ticket games and claw machines.
Thankfully Arcade Paradise is letting us relive that golden era of side rooms filled with glorious fun.
The Washer King.
Taking over your Dad’s old Laundromat you find some old arcade machines in the back room. Bugger the washers and dryers, video games are where it is at! Unfortunately to get your coin-op empire up and running you are going to need money. So rolling your sleeves up and running the Laundromat is what you are forced to do. There is ok money to be had and keeping the Laundromat clean while doing loads of washing is some what relaxing. Unblocking toilets, removing gum from chairs, and picking up rubbish. The work of a king. Earning money allows you to buy more arcade cabinets and even knock down a wall or two to increase the area for the arcade.
On The Clock.
Every day has a time limit set to it and you have to go home to sleep. Tied into the clock are the washer and dryer cycles. You will earn better money if you process the loads of washing promptly. The problem here, just like real life, is if you decide to play the arcade games then the Laundromat will suffer. Early on you really need to focus on the Laundromat to earn money. But down the track the arcade machines will start to earn their keep and allow you to enjoy them more.
The irony is that the PC in the office that you use to order new cabinets and organise renovations has Solitaire and Minesweeper on it. Guess what I found to be my worse time sink…
Under The Hood.
That’s the over-arching idea behind Arcade Paradise. But the beauty is in the details. For example you can buy new records for the Jukebox. And you will want too. The soundtrack is a fantastically realised call back to the arcade era. And lets not forget the stars of Arcade Paradise, the games you put in your arcade. With over 35 playable games you really are taken back to the golden era of coin-op. Now, these aren’t games you will recognise by name, but you sure will recognise the style and gameplay of them. Add to this a pool table and dart board and you really have a great arcade taking shape.
You can even dial right down and change the settings of each game to make them as profitable as possible. These settings also make many of the daily challenges a bit easier. Complete these and Dad will wire you some British Pounds to buy upgrades with. All pretty cool.
Part business simulator, part retro gaming. Arcade Paradise is one from left field. And I love it. The games are varied and super fun to play. But what really took me by surprise was how much I found myself enjoying the Laundromat side of things. I guess at it’s heart it is very much like an old school game, kind of like a modern Tapper. Arcade Paradise really is a wee gem. It will hit home a lot more with older gamers thanks to nostalgia. But I can whole heartedly recommend it to anyone who just wants a little distraction in their day.
I am very close to having a full arcade and am very interested to see what happens. That is if I can stop playing the arcade games (and Minesweeper!) and keep the business afloat.