Ever dreamt of running a laundromat with a secret arcade out the back? If so, what’s wrong with you and good news, you’re in luck because that is what Arcade Paradise offers.
Developed by Nosebleed Interactive and published by Wired Productions, Arcade Paradise is, at its core, a business management simulator. Player’s step into the shoes of Ashley, who has been browbeaten into fixing up and transforming the King Wash laundromat into a successful business by her father.
He’s tired of her lack of direction and as a successful businessman, figures he can transform her into one too. Start at the bottom, make the laundromat successful, and learn some life lessons along the way.
Washing and drying clothes for customers isn’t the most thrilling of things to do in life though. So, when Ashley finds two old arcade machines with hoppers filled with cash inside, she figures she can make some more money with them. At first, it’s a nice supplement to the laundromat’s income but their increasing popularity leaves her with a choice. Expand the arcade and risk the ire of her father? Or settle for the monotony of the laundromat?
Of course, it’s all about the latter. Money earned is spent on buying new arcade machines and expanding the space to accommodate more. As the game goes on, the laundromat will slowly transform into a fully-fledged arcade. It’s the players job to make sure the money continues to roll in.
To begin with, the entire focus and only way to make money, is with the laundromat. Do the laundry (quickly for bigger payouts), clean up from the night before, unblock the toilet… these are all part of your daily tasks. At first, the tedious and repetitive nature of these tasks are quite off-putting. Yet, it’s well worth sticking with Arcade Paradise as the money earned from the tedium allows you to really expand and start to create your perfect neon-soaked arcade.
With over 35 machines available to purchase (as well as some via DLC), you’ll have to sink some serious time into the game to own them all. Time that you will often spend playing the arcade games themselves as each is playable. Not only that, but the variety on show is also exceptional and each machine comes with its own challenges, settings, achievements, and so much more.
The more you play a certain machine the more popular it becomes, position less popular ones near super-popular ones to boost the income or make them harder to beat. This is your arcade, after all, and even though the laundromat aspects looms above, eventually, the arcade will become even more profitable.
Patience is the key to enjoying Arcade Paradise, but it’s easy to see why some may be simply put off by the repetitive aspects of its gameplay. The laundromat dominates for longer than many would like, and even if you just stop bothering with it, it’s always there and demanding clean clothes. It’s a big problem for the game as even the most patient player will be sick of its demands twenty hours in.
Yet, even though this is a significant complaint, the over-riding feeling upon spending time within your Arcade Paradise is one of satisfaction and fun. It’s not perfect, it’s not even paradise, but it is a good effort with unique ideas.
Arcade Paradise (Xbox Series X)
The Final Score - 7.5/10