I picked up Arcade Paradise on a whim after skimming over a short review that said it delivered on the premise of a carefully recreated nostalgia trip. I’m not often in the mood for tycoon style games as I find they can be a grind but this one piqued my interest enough that for £16 I thought it was worth a try.
The game begins with you playing the part of the main character, Ashley. Dialogue, in the form of voice messages from your business magnate father, informs that he’s placed you in charge of a laundromat he owns. All you have to do is keep the business afloat – he’s clearly not expecting much.
Running the laundromat consists of picking up a basket with the X button, loading it into a machine by holding the X button, unloading it again in the same fashion and transferring it to a dryer. Aside from that, you also pick up litter and unblock the toilet. These tasks are as mundane as they sound but somehow fun because they’re game-ified. For example, throwing a bag of rubbish into the trash can is a mini-game in itself, as are all the other chores.
The game could happily work as a laundromat tycoon game, although probably not for long. However, in the corner of a back room there are a couple of arcade cabinets and, as if it wasn’t obvious from the title, the story tugs you along on the journey of gradually transforming the laundrette into an arcade.
This week, I’ve been celebrating my 50th birthday with family and friends and it’s been brilliant. I wouldn’t say I’ve been dreading turning 50 but it is a landmark birthday and, if it hadn’t earlier, society does deem you as “old” thereafter.
I’m mostly ambivalent about my age but I’d ticked off my 30th and 40th birthdays with a decent celebration so it seemed appropriate to do the same for this one.
It’s two years since my previous blog post. So much has unfolded during the era of the covid-19 pandemic that it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose it might help if I explained what I thought was going to happen.
At the start of 2020 I have to say I was very happy. I had a great girlfriend and the kids were doing as well as could be expected. Work was hard going but I was on the cusp of starting a new project that I was pretty excited about.
We I had plans for a big holiday; a visit to Orlando, en route to Tampa where we’d attend Wrestlemania. My girlfriend had no idea but on our last night in Orlando, I was going to propose to her beside a lake that we’d found ourselves beside when we were there together in 2018. The idea had taken shape in my mind in the time since.
I also had my annual trip to Indianapolis all booked up with no idea how I was going to pay for it once I came back from Tampa. But that was all in the future and, at the time, I had no cause to worry about the future. All I knew was that I’d be engaged to the girl I was in love with and I couldn’t wait for life to unfold.