Have you ever wanted to turn your local laundromat into a game room? For the three of you, boy, do we have a game to recommend. Created by Nosebleed Interactive, the same developer behind the well-received Vostok Inc., arcade paradise It puts you in the role of Ashley, heiress to a dilapidated laundromat called King Wash. Hidden in the back room are a handful of game cabinets that Ashley soon realizes could make a lot more money than doing laundry. The problem is that Ashley’s father, who voiced Geralt of Riviera himself, Doug Cockle, has little faith in the arcade business, so Ashley must prove him wrong by buying new arcade games with the profits. from the laundromat, slowly turning it into the most popular gambling spot in the quiet town. of Grindstone has ever seen.
While this may not sound like the most exciting premise, Arcade Paradise does have a couple of things going for it. First of all, the game cycle of managing a laundromat (transferring clothes between washers and dryers, picking up garbage, removing gum, unclogging the toilet) is based on other simulation games such as stardew valley. You only have a limited amount of time each day to get everything done before closing, so time management becomes paramount. Getting clothes out of a dryer as quickly as possible earns you a higher score, which comes with more earnings to buy game cabinets. And the cleaner the laundromat, the more people will be willing to spend money on the hidden arcade games in the back, thus earning more money per plus cabinets
Second, and most importantly, you can play all 35+ arcade games. Most of these games are gorgeous, packed with features and nostalgic soundtracks that harken back to their classic inspirations. A pac-man clone with a Grand Theft Auto reskins? A out of the race Y F-zero-inspired runner? A match 3 puzzle game with slight RPG elements? Yes to all of this. We often forgot about the clothes we tossed into the washing machine moments before while trying to achieve high scores on some of our favorite machines.
This brings us to our main criticism of Arcade Paradise, which stems from the tug-of-war of laundry duties and gameplay. Ignoring dirty laundry meant we had to wait longer to unlock more stuff, which became an issue when we wanted to try and get a higher score in UFO Assault. On the other hand, when we decide to do laundry and earn some money, we find ourselves standing around waiting for the three real-world minutes it takes to finish a wash or dryer cycle because, if we started a game during, we’d have to cancel halfway through. our race to dry quickly. Before long, doing laundry became just as annoying as doing laundry.
Nosebleed Interactive mediates this a bit by adding daily challenges. Challenges include not doing laundry at all, getting 25 kills with the machine gun in Zombat 2, achieving a score of 3600 on Stack Overflow, etc. Completing a challenge awarded us a separate currency and with it we were able to purchase quality of life upgrades such as a larger garbage bag to make fewer trips to the dumpster and ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Space and Time’ to slow input. -Game clock while you play. None of them felt necessary, but these challenges did a good job of incentivizing us to play other games and keep the laundromat running.
There are also a plethora of options to toggle for each game, from their difficulty, location in the building, and cost per game, which in turn affects how much money they bring in. We are sure that we could have left these options. intact and our arcade-laundry hybrid flourished, however, for those with a penchant for min-max productivity, these setups will satisfy that relentless need for perfection. And for others who like to claim high scores and keep them, applicable arcade games have global leaderboards. We expect that when Arcade Paradise launches, there will be fierce competition for the top spots.
There is deceptively much to do in Arcade Paradise. We haven’t even mentioned the local multiplayer options for several of the games, like the four-player shooter fun in Zombat 2 or the two-player option for the perennially classic air hockey. The Jukebox even comes with over 20 different tracks to unlock. Those who love arcade games can spend dozens of hours inside the King Wash Laundromat without even realizing it.
It’s a shame that outside of the games themselves, Arcade Paradise looks pretty muddy with some ugly character models on Switch. In handheld mode we encountered some unreadable text, and some small glitches like not being able to pick up awkwardly placed trash or the full game sometimes crashing when setting up multiplayer added some bumps but these bumps were never Enough to ruin the experience.
We totally recommend Arcade Paradise if you enjoy simulation games or spent the 90’s with a pocket full of quarters at the local arcade. The narrative centered around a lazy young adult proving to his father that he can run a successful business will never catch you and, believe it or not, doing laundry and removing gum from machines gets a bit tedious. However, the arcade games themselves and the sheer creativity and charm that Nosebleed Interactive has packed into them more than make up for the monotony. If we stumbled across these sets in the back of our local laundromat, we’d spend real money there. But since that seems pretty unlikely, we’re sure to start Arcade Paradise to try and get some global rankings long after we’re done doing the laundry.