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.