Review: Arcade Paradise

Arcade Paradise by Nosebleed Interactive has an exciting premise. What if you could be the owner of your own arcade? If you are thinking “Sim”, you’re right but there is a twist. Every arcade game is actually a fully playable game on its own.

From rags to riches

Being the kid of a successful businessman could mean you’re entitled to an easy life. Luckily your father won’t have any of that and puts you in charge of King Wash one of many owned laundromats. Finding your own way in life is a valuable lesson to learn. Naturally, you’re not looking forward to it but decide to make the best of it. On the first day, you happen to stumble on a few arcade cabinets stored away in the backroom. After asking your dad lets you do whatever you want with them as long as you keep the laundromat running. Once you check the coin purse of each machine you come to realize King Wash could be a bit more lucrative than first anticipated. Earning money one laundry basket at a time brings you closer to upgrading the arcade section of your operation. Arcade Paradise lets you turn rags into riches showing your condescending-sounding father you have more in you than he gives you credit for.

Grind away

Managing the laundromat consists mainly of keeping the place clean, unclogging the toilet, removing gum, and of course washing/drying baskets of clothes. In a normal world, you would only make money with the latter of these tasks but in a video game, the rules are a bit different. Gathering all the trash and disposing of it in the dumpster behind King Wash earns you money. Depending on how good you tossed the bag in the dumpster through a mini-game, different amounts of cash can be earned. Finding the 3 daily recurring pieces of gum and removing them is another way to earn a wad of money. Putting clothes in different machines without wasting much time between wash cycles is another way to earn extra tips. At the beginning of the game, I mainly grinded out these tasks in order to get a bankroll big enough to start updating the Arcade section. To be honest this part took a bit too long and wasn’t all that fun after a while.

Luckily I found out I could make the few arcade cabinets I had to pay out more per day if I played them myself. Having the owner play a certain game made them more appealing to paying customers. Even the cabinets close to the one you’re playing benefitted from this. Each game had challenges that could boost the popularity of that machine even further. So ignoring the tasks in the actual laundromat section in favor of just playing the games in the back room turned out to be beneficial to the business. Not long after I started completing the challenges and saw a big increase in Arcade income. So big I could eventually afford to get new games and pretty much ran out of space in the tiny back room. Luckily the game offered a way to upgrade the arcade room by knocking some walls down and giving the place a much-needed retro-style makeover.

35 games

Arcade paradise made the 35 arcade games available all playable. The games range from early vector-based games to full 32-bit era brawlers giving you (and your customers) enough variety. Not every game was a hit (in fact some were actually bad games) but more than half of them had decent gameplay. Some were even surprisingly addictive. Each of them has challenges to complete which aren’t all that easy. For the most part, you really need to master a game in order to get the most financial benefit from them. I neglected many basket cases throughout the many hours I spent with this game because I was eager to get that dreaded high score. Some of these games offer the ability to play it with up to four friends. Others had online high scores to beat if you wanted to.

Boost your gameplay

After playing the game for a while, you get the ability to complete daily tasks. These range from tasks in the actual laundromat to tasks focusing on the arcade section. These give you British Sterlings instead of dollars. These British pounds could be used to buy all sorts of boosts. I opted for the new sneakers to be able to move around faster. The next thing I grinded for, was the book explaining the concept of time, making time go slower. That last boost is essential to get everything done in one day. Most tasks that bother you can be fixed with these boosts but they come at a high cost.

Conclusion

Arcade Paradise has to be applauded for the concept. The work they put into making every arcade game playable must’ve been immense. Some turned out a banger and could actually be a standalone game. Some were a bit “meh” while others were just bad. The game ran smoothly apart from 2 crashes where I just had to restart the game after which I could continue without any loss of gameplay. Despite the slow start I started to really enjoy the grind after a few hours.

 

7,5/10

Tested on Nintendo Switch

 

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