There’s a distinctly tactile quality to gaming at the arcade, a place that’s unfortunately becoming a relic of the recent past. It’s an experience that’s difficult to replicate even with the ubiquity of consoles and gaming PCs everywhere: the dunking of quarters and tokens into a wooden cabinet, the frenzied wrangling of a massive joystick to an old-school arcade shooter, and tugging of the trigger on a plastic gun controller.
It’s a damn pity that these beloved places are a losing business these days, but one game promises to bring back the palpitating thrills of losing hard-earned quarters to machines, and soaking in the giddy, chiptune cacophony of being in an arcade. Arcade Paradise puts you in the shoes of a college dropout who has inherited a family laundromat, and has decided to replace the stacks of washing machines with these retro gaming cabinets.
Your task, therefore, is to turn this into a booming business. rake in all the profits in the sleepy town of Grindstone, and prove to your father that you aren’t a deadbeat wastrel that’s recklessly spending all his money on video games. One of the many perks, of course, as the owner of an arcade, is that you can also set the high scores to the very games you now own.
At its core, Arcade Paradise is a management sim, but it’s also an unabashed love letter to the arcade’s heyday, from the dark, dank and almost smoky environment, to the neon, kaleidoscopic glows of the machines that any arcade goer would be intimately familiar with. I even spotted a Dance Dance Revolution pad in one screenshot, which is sending waves of nostalgia straight into my chest.