Kids of today will never know the magic of the 1980s arcade. It was a time when you could walk in and witness something you've never seen before. Not just addictive new games, but incredible technology that was years ahead of anything you could play at home. And best of all, you could experience it for little more than a quarter a play. It was a magical time.
These days the arcade is all dancing games and redemption machines. The bright neon lights and loud sounds remain, but the sense of wonder and excitement is long gone. Forget about the days of having a sophisticated game room, today's arcade is little more than a carnival. It's a depressing relic from the past, gone the way of soda shops and movie rental stores.
For years, I wondered what it would be like to own and manage my own arcade. Not a modern day zombie arcade, but a classic shop during the heyday of the video game boom. Thanks to Firebase (the Canada-based company behind Orbitron: Revolution), I now have a chance to put my arcade management know-how to the test.
Arcadecraft is the 1980s arcade simulator you never knew you wanted. For a mere three dollars (or the exact amount of money it would cost to actually beat Ikari Warriors), you can take control of your very own arcade and turn it into a million dollar business. It's like Theme Park, only with fake Frogger machines instead of dangerous roller coaster rides.
The year is 1980 and you have a sweet new location, a brand new sign (with a name you picked out) and a twelve thousand dollar loan. The goal is to buy enough new arcade machines to bring gamers of all ages to your brand new business. Your choice is limited at the start, but with each new month brings a new cabinet from one of the fictional companies -- Forti, Wave, Monaco, Points, Camping and Millions.
Twelve thousand dollars doesn't go as far as you might think. Even worse, buying each new machine is a gamble. You never know if gamers are going to embrace each new title, and it can be tough when you're putting your last few thousand dollars towards a dud. You'll have to pay close attention to the trends and monitor interest in each type of game. And if worse comes to worst, make sure to sell the unpopular cabinet before it loses its market value.
It's a juggling act for the first two years. Not only will you have to keep your arcade stocked with new machines, but you're also in charge of collecting the coins and repairing the units. On top of the usual chores, you'll also have a chance to set game prices and difficulty, maximizing profits and adjusting your stock for the changing time. Before long you're adding neon to the walls and buying a vending machine.
It's like Theme Park, only with fake Frogger machines instead of dangerous roller coaster rides. It doesn't quite nail the ending, but Arcadecraft is one of the most engaging simulators I've played in a long time. This lays the groundwork for what could be an amazing sequel. In the meantime, don't feel bad about spending three dollars on this gem!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!