PS5 Review: Arcade Paradise

Should you go from Rags to Riches, Arcade-style?

Welcome to Arcade Paradise, the 90’s-fuelled retro arcade adventure. Rather than washing rags for a living, you decide to turn the family laundromat into the ultimate arcade. Play, profit and purchase new arcade machines, with over 35 to choose from, to build your very own Arcade Paradise!

Arcade Paradise is a combination of over 35 arcade games mixed in with a laundry simulator. You begin by running King Wash, a laundromat handed to you by your unable-to-please father and are tasked with simply washing/drying clothes, cleaning the rubbish and toilet, picking chewing gum off surfaces as well as emptying the token machines and depositing money in the safe. Sounds simple until you find a backroom key and find 3 arcade machines in there which also have cash in them and after an online chat with your sister, you agree to put money towards a new arcade machine before trying to save up for more of them. Your goal is simply to expand the arcade area of the laundromat, even paying for extra room for more arcade cabinets and minimising the laundry aspect, though that money doesn’t come quickly…

You’ll have to put in a good amount of laundry work, being efficient gets you more cash to put towards the business and fix the machines when they break down, but you also need to be playing the arcade machines themselves as well as completing specific goals for each machine boosts how much money you earn from them. Bear in mind though, that not all these goals are easy…in fact, some will test your limits in more ways than one.

You actually play Arcade Paradise with an in-game clock, so the last customers will leave their laundry or arcade machines by 11pm and you can take the bus and go home or wait till 2am before you can’t interact with anything. Having said that, time stands still if you are playing a machine after 2am which is handy since you’ll fall asleep there after 3am.

The arcade machines themselves are homages to classic arcade games like Pac-Man with a hint of GTA, Pong, Streets of Rage, Frogger, Arkanoid, Candy Crush with an open world adventure, Dance Dance Revolution, OutRun, Space Invaders, Asteroids and so many others. You’ll also get a darts board, pool table, air hockey table and even table football as well as a jukebox. Since the game is set in the 90s, your office has a Windows 95-looking PC that does the classic dial-up tune that we endured when connecting to the internet and if you buy the upgrade for it, you can even play classic Windows games like Minesweeper and Solitaire.

I honestly can’t fault any of the classic arcade games, I have spent a lot of time with them…perhaps too much since at the time of writing I’m Number 1 Globally on a game called Gravichase, until someone claims my throne (PSN ID: MetallixEmperor, come at me!). Each day also gives you 3 Daily Tasks for a different currency that can be put towards specific upgrades for your character or the business, or more music tracks for your jukebox.

In its current state, Arcade Paradise is almost perfection, but I use the word almost because it does have some issues like the game crashes from time to time, or certain games like Table Football can get stuck in an annoying camera angle and even slow-motion. Certain goals aren’t always tracked so there are some machines you can’t fully “complete” at present. I’m certain a patch will fix this and with any luck, it won’t be too long before it arrives.

The visuals are a mixture of old and new. Old as obviously the arcade machines but they do still look great, nostalgia is a great tool here. But new as in the simulation aspect which is in first person. This also looks pretty good, although customer models do look a bit odd and it is strange that they do become blurry and disappear as you get near them or in some cases, while you walk through them. I understand that they would get in the way if they didn’t though, so it does make sense…they just look a bit odd, but that’s a very small price to pay.

The Verdict

Arcade Paradise is the most fun I’ve had playing games in a while. It has something for everyone with its vast collection of classic arcade games as well as a nice business sim thrown in too. A few bugs here and there are a bit frustrating, but nonetheless this game is something special and with any luck, I hope we get some more arcade cabinets via DLC…

Score: 9.0