Arcade Spirits is a visual novel romantic comedy set in the year 20XX of a future where the 1980s video game crash never happened and arcades are still a thriving form of entertainment. They have a demo of the game available on Steam so I decided to give it a go and give you all a first look.
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For the overall plot of the game. you play as a custom character who just lost their job. To find yourself a new job, you use an app and an AI to calculate your dream job and find you that job. The AI finds that working in an arcade is your dream job, much to your confusion. You go to the interview for this job and end up getting it, and this is where the demo roughly begins.
You start halfway through the first day and are guided to meeting various characters. Some of these characters are your coworkers and others are just patrons of the Funplex. You have short interactions with them and then seemingly that is it, the demo is over.
Just kidding! The game comes back and the owner of the Funplex tells you and your coworkers that a birthday party for a 5-year-old is coming in before making her swift exit, leaving the rest of you dismayed and panicked.
You play through the birthday party, getting to choose which problems you will attempt to solve and have more interactions with the characters you met. During these problems, you will have to make choices that will affect your relationship with those characters. You will also have a moment that involves increasing certain character stats, such as quirkiness, kindness, and boldness. The birthday party ends, you finish your first day of work, and the demo is over.
Of course, a demo can only show you so much. I think what I mostly got from this was understanding the writing of the game and its humor. You also get a basic introduction to many of the characters, although you miss the initial meeting and understanding of who they are in context. What I like about the demo is getting to try it and feel the gameplay out.
This is a game I would get and play in full. It helps I’ve been on a visual novel kick recently. I find the setting and set up interesting and would like to see where this story goes and what I can get my character into. At the end of the demo, they teased some things that can be found in the game, like a haunted arcade and cosplay as well as other things. So there is much more to this game than just it’s arcade roots, and it looks like a fun and unique addition to visual novels.
Arcade Spirits (and the demo) is available on Steam.