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Review: Arcade Paradise Lives Up To Its Name

Lovers of retro gaming and simulation titles will find a lot to love in Arcade Paradise.
Arcade Paradise Racer Chaser
Image via Gamer Journalist/Nosebleed Interactive

Nosebleed Interactive’s latest title, Arcade Paradise is a joyous love letter to the 90s lifestyle of a gamer, where a player can create their own retro paradise with an arcade filled with dozens of games to play and earn money from. With a strong emphasis on being a business simulation title, Arcade Paradise has a lot of value packed into its fantastically low $19.99 price tag.

Between its gorgeous arcade titles and laundrette business to run, there’s never a dull moment to be had. Though its 90s setting boasts some era-involved hang-ups for players to navigate, it all comes with the territory of what players these days take for granted. Through hard work and dedication, Arcade Paradise rewards loyal players with endless hours of fun to be had as they grow from humble launderers to booming arcade tycoons.

Arcade Paradise Review Takeaways

  • Arcade Paradise is much more than just a game where you play with arcade cabinets.
  • Starting from nothing, you’ll be able to make your dreams a reality through hard work and dedication.
  • Your arcade will only ever be as successful as you make it, through diligently working.
  • For its modest asking price of $19.99, Arcade Paradise is a great game to play, especially if you take it on the go with a Nintendo Switch copy.
  • Final score: 8/10.

Work Hard, Play Harder

Arcade Paradise King Wash Building
Image via Gamer Journalist/Nosebleed Interactive

When it comes to getting started in Arcade Paradise, you won’t actually find yourself playing all too many games. In fact, there are only about 3 that the game starts you off with. Though its title is most certainly Arcade Paradise, things don’t start that way. And while its name may be misleading at first, you’ll quickly see that paradise becoming a reality as opposed to a mirage.

Arcade Paradise offers a truly rewarding gameplay loop that’ll have you wrapped up in its work mechanics just as much as its arcade cabinets. With laundry to clean, toilets to unclog, gum to pull from fixtures, and garbage to take out, there are a great many different ways to earn money in order to make your arcade dreams a reality. And though you’ll be sure to make money often and at pretty great rates, the beginning of the game will feel a lot slower until you begin to invest in your business as you save up for more arcade cabinets which increase revenue.

Something that makes these menial laundrette tasks so much fun to do is the fact that each and every one of them is a mini-game in its own regard. Plunging toilets is a button masher, taking out the trash is a precision test as well as gum pulling, and laundry is a test of how well you can manage juggling moving clothes in and out of washers and dryers, keeping track of each load as you go along.

Games Within A Game

Arcade Paradise Game
Image via Nosebleed Interactive

As for how Arcade Paradise lives up to its name, this title offers gamers over 35 various games to play. Whether from the arcade cabinets, your phone, or in-game PC, there are many titles that will appeal to any gamer that has a soft spot for those retro arcade games of days gone. With genius recreations of classics from the arcades of the 90s with a new spin on them, Arcade Paradise never seems to miss a beat when it comes to homages. Sometimes, Arcade Paradise even outdoes the original, either by adding in its own flair or blending two different games into one.

You will find yourself losing hours in these games, the same way you did back when arcades were all-the-rage. Although, while gaming on these things is a great time to be had, you’ll have to manage your time wisely as you still have a business to run. Balancing business and pleasure is a tight dance to master and you may find yourself losing yourself in work in those beginning hours of the game as opposed to finding that great balance as you slowly build that arcade from nothing.

You also have to make sure you’re managing your arcade just as well as you are the laundrette. With each game having its own price per play, difficulty to tune, and popularity, you’ll have to manage not only each game correctly but the entire layout of the arcade if you want to maximize your revenue. It can take a bit to get the hang of but comes in handy greatly if you want to build your arcade up faster.

Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride

Arcade Paradise Game Room
Image via Gamer Journalist/Nosebleed Interactive

As I’ve said, Arcade Paradise is a game that starts off very slow. And if you’re someone who thought this was more of an arcade title as opposed to a business sim with arcade games, you may find yourself very disappointed, especially in the first 2 or so hours of the game. Though, once the game introduces you to to-dos and upgrades, things will begin to change. Through completing daily to-dos and earning Pounds Sterling, you have the chance to flip the script and make the game easier, thus increasing your time with the actual playing of arcade games as well as increasing your income.

Though I would have definitely enjoyed another mode tossed into the game that allows players to just play the arcade cabinets, the story mode does have a lot of intriguing gameplay mechanics and an addictive loop that had me hooked on work, even when I’d rather be playing its arcade games. The magic of Arcade Paradise’s premise, cabinets, mini-games, and aesthetics makes this title feel like something new and yet wholly familiar. It isn’t a demanding game which makes it kind of cozy to play. Though work is required for a bigger cash flow, you’re welcome to just play the games you have, if that’s more your bag.

A Virtual Oasis

Arcade Paradise Cabinets
Image via Nosebleed Interactive

Arcade Paradise is a standout for 2022 as one of the most unique titles of the year, offering players something that they normally wouldn’t get to experience, especially in today’s society. With arcade cabinets on the outs from public spaces, and laundrettes not being as popular as they once were, Arcade Paradise gives the 80s and 90s kids a trip of nostalgia that will take them back to their childhood.

From the moment I began playing Arcade Paradise, I became addicted to its business simulation gameplay that’s married perfectly with the 35+ games that it has to offer. Though I would’ve also liked to have seen an arcade-only mode for those on-the-go moments with my Switch, this title is well worth the price of its modest admission.

If you’re a lover of retro gaming or simulation games, this is a great title to play as it gives you the tools to do what you want with both aspects of gameplay, at the pace that you want to go with no penalties in your way. Arcade Paradise is one of those fantastic games that stand the test of time and will live in the hearts of those who play it for years past its release.

Related: How to Earn More Money From Games in Arcade Paradise

Arcade Paradise is available now on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.

For more on Arcade Paradise, be sure to check out our various guides as well as additional coverage on the game, here on Gamer Journalist.

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