๐Ÿ•น️ Arcade Paradise Preview | Developer – Nosebleed Interactive | Publisher – Wired Productions ๐Ÿ•น️ @WiredP #GameDev #IndieGame

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It’s not often I have to pop a disclaimer into my articles, but today is very much one of those days!

The music from my band Recluse is being used in Arcade Paradise and so I don’t feel comfortable in reviewing the completed product, because I’m clearly incredibly emotionally involved, and so one of my esteemed colleagues will handle the final review. HOWEVER – this is my preview article, and so I can espouse my love of it freely, and my editor won’t stop me because he’s an incredibly bribable man, and I’ve sent him a fiver. What he DOESN’T know, is that it’s an old, paper fiver – so I’d better crack on with this before it arrives in the post and he realises that it’s not legal tender.

Arcade Paradise is an upcoming game in which you must manage a laundrette handed down to you by your driven, entrepreneurial father – played by Doug Cockle, good (Geralt of Rivia / Gerald on the Riviera. Again, good.)– as you build upon the small arcade room located in the back of the King Wash laundrette.

The game – from Nosebleed Interactive (Vostok Inc., The Hungry Horde) – balances an incredible amount of cool ideas. There’s the repetitious and yet oddly engaging laundromat function, which has you picking off chewing gum; grabbing and binning litter; and naturally, washing and drying clothes. Whilst in the back room, there’s a handful of arcade machines that beckon you to play them – and also empty their coin hoppers – in order to pop that sweet, sweet cash in the safe and purchase more upgrades and machines in order to entice more ‘Sonic Young’ T-shirt-sporting youths into your den of neon gold.

The game (Nose)bleeds retro coolness, every action and aspect is shot through with a sneaky mini-game, a celebration, or nod to ‘90s-ness. The small office that you run your soon-to-be arcade empire out off features a 3.1 Windows-Esque OS and a very familiar screen saver. Even the sites that you peruse to unlock machines and upgrades will bring nostalgia to your soul...if you are of a certain age, natch.

The game in its current state runs smoothly, from the uber-retro-MTV intro through to the titular arcade paradise, the animation is smooth and the gameplay is kept sharp and tight through swift loading times and punchy gameplay. The initial reason that I came across the game was due to my love of mini-games, and Arcade Paradise really delivers the goods here, with more than 35 arcade games eventually available, each with different gameplay, stories, high score tables and save states that add further facets to the gameplay and depth.

For instance, When I first started playing Arcade Paradise,  I got hips deep into the Candy Crush-style match 3 game, to the point that I genuinely occasionally forgot that it was just a tiny part of a larger video game that I was playing. I think the subtle genius here is that the time-killing addiction that emanates from the seminal and killer-app mobile/arcade games featured in Arcade Paradise is structured here as such that they are now part of a far more rewarding and enriching whole.

As I came across more machines – some will naturally appeal more than others, depending on your tastes – I realised that the initial gameplay loop of keeping the laundry up and running was still somehow mesmerising and compulsive, pushing aside my natural inclination to just shut up shop and wander wide-eyed and spinning around my beautiful, ever-growing arcade.

Arcade Paradise is very much shaping up to be the game I hoped that it would be. The central conceit of slowly building up your own arcade from a dingy, dank room to the teen-hangout highlight of the city, as you also slowly reconnect with your family seems to be a bit of a winner, quite frankly.

Wired Productions and Nosebleed Interactive’s approach to announcing the release date appears to be to tease it, like playing Three-card Monte with pop tarts in front of a starving John Candy after a long-haul flight. I assume it will be out in 2022, but whenever it graces the hard drives of millions, I KNOW it’ll be worth the wait.

Well, that seemed impartial enough. And I didn’t even mention that you can unlock an in-game jukebox with four Recluse tracks on it.

 Ah, bum.


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