- System: PC
- Publisher: PQube
- Developer: Fiction Factory Games
- Release Date: February 12, 2019
- Rating: NR
- Genre: Visual Novel
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.arcadespirits.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Arcade Spirits follows the story of a young man who just found themselves unemployed rather suddenly but wishes to not take another soul crushing job. An app downloaded to their phone unveils a new job working at a local arcade and this begins the player’s new life henceforth. Players will need to make choices to guide the newbie to doing well at his job and to possibly finding a romantic connection with one of several character he will interact with in the arcade. Like most visual novels—VN for short—you’ll spend most of your time reading tons of dialogue and occasionally making a choice that affects the story’s outcome. This is where Arcade Spirits shines best, the choices and story.
Akin to most VNs, Arcade Spirits has a stat system that regulates what choices affect a character and how that choice changes the character’s personality. However, unlike most VNs, Arcade Spirits gives players a small advantage if they don’t wish to be kept in the dark about how a choice affects the character or characters. Players can opt in for choices to contain a color-coded symbol that correlates to the stat system. If a choice will help the player’s Quirky sense of nature, then it will have a small smiley face next to the choice. If a choice means for a more Gutsy response—there are five stats in total in Arcade Spirits—then a red star will be on that choice. We can see some players opting out of this system if they like to be surprised by each choice’s consequence, but for those who don’t want to save every choice and reload the game, this system actually makes Arcade Spirits stand out.
Choices in general are really well done in Arcade Spirits but these choices are helped by the stellar writing and dialogue. Every character in Arcade Spirits feels realistic and genuine. The techie girl Naomi loves to marvel at arcade cabinets and the quirky Ashley seems very similar to girls who love cosplay and all things geeky. Teo—one of the male characters—is cool and popular but has an easy-going nature that hides a more interesting background. These are just a few characters you’ll run into in Arcade Spirits, but they are people we can see being quite real in our everyday world. There were some moments of Arcade Spirits that hit home with us dramatically here at Honey’s Anime and it shows a strong sense of writing from the creators.
The art and music for Arcade Spirits is also another gold star for this impressive VN. You can clearly see a lot of time went into creating these characters as each feels different than the usual VN styles characters have. Equally, the music blew us away with an OST that sounds like retro video game music—which some sounds you can hear are clearly from retro games like Pac-Man—and modern age beats. The voice acting was also quite strong—with some famous voice actors and actresses like Stephanie Sheh— but its minimal and only is used here and there. We do appreciate hearing the characters voice occasionally in Arcade Spirits as it allows some moments to be more impactful than others.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Unique character models and settings
- Great retro themed story with some truly emotional moments
- Dialogue from the various cast is truly realistic and fun
- Amazing soundtrack that is worth buying by itself
- Simple visual novel choice system that can be made easier by showing how a choice reflects various meters in game
- Several characters to choose from allows multiple playthroughs
- Main character could have used a few more design choices