A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$20.00 USD or more

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers is the follow-up to 2019's Arcade Spirits, a visual novel of love and pixels, in which you seek friendship and romance while working in an arcade. Now the tables are turned, as you seek friendship and romance while PLAYING in an arcade!

In the distant future year 20XX, an alternate timeline where arcades never went away... you're an aspiring gamer searching for esports glory on the Fist of Discomfort 2 Pro Tour. Seeking a partner to play with, you join a team of players who hang out at Good Clean Fun, a combination pizzeria / laundromat / arcade. It's up to you to rally the team, learning more about who they are and how best to support their dreams along the way. Defeat rivals, conquer tournaments, build relationships, and uncover a strange arcade conspiracy as your team walks the road to victory!

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers will be arriving in the future year 20XX. Keep an eye here or our Twitter for news and updates!

With these features you know and love from Arcade Spirits:

  • Six new characters to befriend and romance, as well as a few return appearances by series favorites.
  • Character art by Molly Nemecek, pulsating synthwave tunes by Greg Mirles, and amazing background art by Jessie Lam!
  • Measure your personality using Iris, your handy virtual assistant. You can be Kindly, Steady, Quirky, Gutsy, or Flexibly!
  • Date anyone you like regardless of your pronouns, or focus entirely on building friendships.

And NEW features to the series:

  • Import your decisions from Arcade Spirits, and reshape the world of 20XX based on the choices you've made! And if you haven't played the original game, that's fine – this works just as well as a standalone experience and will adapt itself to be a great fresh start.
  • A massively expanded character creator – choose body type, hairstyles, accessories, clothing, and more. Your custom character now appears on screen during the whole game!
  • Design your own rival! Using the full power of the character creator, craft the one who will stand in your way. Or will perhaps love bloom between these two enemies...?
  • Take on the world in Fist of Discomfort 2, a strategy minigame. Your victory or defeat changes the path of your story without ending it! (Minigame is skippable.)
  • Rebalanced personality choices, with more variety and more opportunities to talk to every character.

Purchase

Buy Now$20.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $20 USD. Your purchase comes with a Steam key. You will get access to the following files:

ArcadeSpiritsTNC-Win.zip 897 MB
ArcadeSpiritsTNC-Mac.zip 879 MB
ArcadeSpiritsTNC-Linux.tar.bz2 885 MB
ArcadeSpiritsTNC-Soundtrack.zip 81 MB
if you pay $25 USD or more

Download demo

Download
The New Challengers (Demo for Windows) 333 MB
Download
The New Challengers (Demo for Mac) 308 MB
Download
The New Challengers (Demo for Linux) 328 MB

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 41 · Next page · Last page

Perfect sequel game. Not only does it just deliver *more* of Arcade Spirits, while slightly improving pretty much every aspect, it also references the previous game in just the right ways. (Just... keep in mind that the player character of this game is different from the first game, and giving them the same name might get confusing...) 

It also has 100% more laundromat and subway. 

I've been loving this game, but I think I've run into a bug. I'm currently on my second playthrough, reloading from around the time where you pick you partner for the first F0D2 match. I picked 'skip tutorial' and 'play minigames', but for some reason it put me on the path of the demo from the on? Hope it's patched soon

(+1)

I finished my first playthrough and I'm very satisfied! I romanced Domino, of course. I can't turn down a cynical man wearing a crop top (or pizza on a bagel!).

I replayed the first Arcade Spirits right before New Challengers, and here are my takeaways. (No real spoilers).

- I LOVED seeing the original characters make guest appearances. I *geeked* when QueenBee and Hamza showed up. I also did not expect to see  our original character show up, too. The crossovers made this game very special for me.

- I really enjoyed the FoD2 mini-game!  It was great addition to New Challengers.

- All of the new characters were endearing, the art improved so much, and the voice acting was amazing! But I don't think the characters hit my heart as hard as the original crew did. I look forward to getting to know their stories better with more playthroughs.  Although I appreciated the attention given  to mental health. There is a real issue with the lack of concern for mental health in the gaming community, and it's often overlooked. Thanks for showing the spotlight!

- The ability to create your own character's appearance was a nice addition! However, having the ordinary-looking PC on screen next to the beautifully drawn NPCs was a little strange at first, but I got used to it. 

All in all, I give the game a solid 9/10.  The Arcade Spirits universe makes me very happy, and I hope that we get a third game!

I can't believe I only found out about this game last week! I knew of the original game when it came out, but I got to play this and it blew me away!

The endearing characters, the intricate story, the 80's aesthetic artstyle, the killer synth music, the great voice acting, it all got me immersed in this wonderful experience this game provided me

9/10, would recommend  to any visual novel fan!

(+1)

Okay, I have finally, officially, played every route and seen every ending and won every prize, and can now offer up my final verdict. 

This game, like its predecessor, made me so happy. This one possibly even more so than the first, which is saying a LOT. The characters are just a tiny bit deeper, a little richer. I laughed myself absolutely sick, I got misty, I got thirsty, I d'awwed. This is both a feel good game and a feel EVERYTHING game. 

The aesthetics are gorgeous, I once again adore the art style for the sprites and the 80s neon vibe for the UI. The voice acting is excellent across the board.

I just finished my last route (Locksley, during which I did most of the laughing myself sick part. Dear god, that DATE. That LAST CG!) twenty minutes ago, and I'm already feeling sad that I've finished with this world and these characters once again. I may play Domino's route a third time just so I can delay being done for just a little longer. 

Thank you so much for these games. They EXACTLY hit my precise tastes and needs in a romance game. I look forward to whatever comes next from you. 

(+2)

hey there! love the game and its rich characters and relationships. i really enjoy the vulnerability we see from the male characters and the fact that our personalities have such a deep influence on our outcomes.

one issue i found is a pronoun mixup where she/her pronouns were used despite my MC using they/them pronouns 

SPOILERS////

in level 7, where locksley is talking about taking mc out to the bar, he says, "Zapper's plan was to skip practice, and lure MC to *her* favorite bar. Neutral ground, away from Good Clean Fun..." pretty jarring and unfortunate when the rest of the game was doing such a good job of not messing up pronouns. hope you can fix it

is it possible that "her" was referring to zapper? as in zapper's favorite bar, as opposed to mc's?

(+1)

i hadn't thought about it that way! if that's how it's meant, that makes me feel better. i guess we'll see in future updates! 

(1 edit) (+2)

Is there a preferred way to make a bug report other than posting here? The Linux version currently fails to launch for me.

Edit: Patched and running fine! Thank you for supporting Linux!

(+2)

I know this has been reported, however; the skip button is not functional. I would consider this a game-breaking bug, as it is an essential feature in a visual novel.

I loved the first game, though the characters in the game seem to lack dimension. Most of the characters have more layers than being 'quirky', 'grumpy', 'good-person', but difficult get the full scope of their character without sacrificing time with others. If this were a traditional romance game (not that it has to be!), that would be okay. Ultimately, I do think the game is worth the price, as the production value is high. The skipping needs to be fixed before I recommend a purchase.

(+3)

I enjoyed playing Domino's route, my little rat man

(+1)

I favorites

There's a pronoun mixup in LVL 7 - spoilers below!!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
When Rhapsody interviews your rival, the rival refers to your player character using the rival's pronouns.

(+3)

Amazing game! There is so much variety with each play through I kept encountering something new and I had so much fun playing! Thank you for making this

(-3)

Vengo a exterminar a las abuelas de todo el mundo para que no haya que pagar más jubilaciones💪🥵

(-20)

idk kinda weird

Question, where would the necessary save data for the original Arcade Spirits have been, and where would it need to be, in order to have New Challengers detect and import it? I got some upgrades and a new hard drive in between playing the first game and the second one, and my old installation and save files are on the old drive. Not a huge deal, I'm still having fun, but it'd be neat to see what happens when my old save carries over.

The directories you'll want to copy are named "persistent" and "Arcade Spirits-1487458431".

  • Windows: These directories are located in %APPDATA%\RenPy or C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\RenPy
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/RenPy
  • Linux/Other: ~/.renpy
(+1)

Hmm. I think I've copied everything over from the old C drive to the new C drive, but it doesn't seem to be making a difference when I launch New Challengers or start a new run. I did play three playthroughs (Rhapsody, Domino, and Zapper, all excellent, by the way) BEFORE I decided to try to figure this out, could that be messing things up somehow? Or could it be that New Challengers is installed through the itch app, whereas back when I played Arcade Spirits classic I did it as a separate download and standalone install?

If it did work, what would I be seeing differently?

For the record, this is a minor thing if we can't get it working, I'm still having a great time. I'm just seeing some folks on tumblr mentioning moments with the tie ins to game one and now I'm belatedly curious about what those are like. ^^;

OKAY I think I've got it working though I'm not sure exactly which step made the difference. I ended up doing an entirely new download and install of Arcade Spirits 1 via the itch app, loading up one of my old saves that was near the ending (because I DID transfer all the old saves into the new RenPy directory on the new C drive) and re-exporting at the end of the credits when prompted. THIS time, when I loaded up New Challengers again and started a new run, Iris asked me if I wanted to import. So hopefully I'm good to go! YAY!

(+1)

Is there no option to pay with cards, only Paypal? I understand the game is available on Steam as well, but I tend to keep all my VN purchases to Itch, but I don't use Paypal.

(+2)(-1)

That's outside of our control. We just upload the files to itchio -- itchio handles payment systems themselves.

(+1)(-3)

make a paypal acc and link your card to that acc, it pretty simple

(+4)

Love the game, on second playthrough. Skip button worked at first, but eventually stopped (I forget exactly when, but it was somewhere in the first level). Playing the Itch version, just so you know.

(+1)

having the same issue with the steam version! it's after the map of GCF appears for the first time

(+3)

Yeah, we're planning a patch for this and other issues in the weeks ahead. Thanks!

(+3)

This game is a fantastic and worthy sequel to the original. Loved the new cast and the increased focus on worldbuilding was delightful! Definitely felt like there were a lot more routes and meaningful choices scattered throughout the game as well.

I should note that I did encounter one odd glitch though: During the moment where Iris was informing me of who I am most likely to be able to woo, Iris told me I had good odds with Jynx, Zapper, and Grace, only for my character to reply asking why Grace or Jynx weren't on her selection? The actual romance route still worked fine, but that interaction did take me out of the experience in a fairly major moment.

(+2)

This is a great game, just a heads up though: there seems to be several pronoun bugs scattered throughout the game. I play as a he/him character with a she/her rival, and my character has several times been referred to as "her", with my rival as "him". This seems to be here and there, and locksley has called my character lady at least once from what i can remember

The Locksley one is on our list of things to fix, but if you can indicate any other lines, please reach out to me at stefangagne@gmail.com and I'll fix them. Thanks!

(1 edit) (+2)

It's here! It's here! It's fina-lully here! :D

(+1)

I enjoyed the first game a lot, played it quite a few times, and after playing the demo, I'm looking forward to what this one has to offer! My favorites so far are Rhapsody and Locksley, and Grace is just really cute! I look forward to seeing more from all of the other characters too.

(+7)

This game is really charming but I agree with the last two posts talking about the MC/rival, I really hope in the future there will be more  depth to them so they can blend in. It's really immersion breaking, like bad, but I understand it's probably a lot more difficult to treat the customizable characters the same way as the npcs.

I'm a huge fan  of the nose and body selection in this game! Part of me wishes there was a bit more (like maybe eye selection or general face selection), but that might also stem from me only seeing the flat MC/rival. I understand this is also only a demo, but I'm sure you guys are putting in a lot of hard work and love for this game and I want to see more :)

(1 edit) (+7)

I have the same opinion as Opellulo and romanoi who commented long before me: the main character... How should I put it? I'm sorry to say this and really hope it won't hurt anyone's feelings...

The MC looks flat. The colors on them, especially skintone and hair color, looks like it's painted with a single color (plus another color for the shadowed area) on a separate picture, then cut out and pasted on top of a far more detailed art. It's so out of place when standing next to other characters with realistic-looking skintone and highlighted hair. It's jarring and sad.

I enjoyed Arcade Spirits and didn't mind the MC much back then, because they rarely appears on screen. Maybe it's just because Magical Diary made me got used to MC sprite that looks like they belong with the main cast. Anyway, I'm sure it must be hard and costly to design a customizable sprite. My only hope is that maybe there can be an option to turn off the MC sprite so that they doesn't always appear on screen.

(+9)

I really liked Arcade Spirits and will look forward to this! My only note from the demo is that the "generic looking" main character is a bit at odd with the richly designed other characters.
I mean, I get that it was impossible to do otherwise but in AS the main character was shown only briefly, if in this it's going to be on screen that often it will look a bit uncanny.

(+2)

Absolutely loved the demo! I hadn't checked in on this game in months, so I was stoked when I saw it lmao. I'm LOVING the setup and characters so far, and I really appreciate the new customization options. Definitely looking forward to when the full game comes out and I can romance Jynx lmao. Also, the voice acting, art and soundtrack are all great.

From what I've seen, this game's going to be just as much fun as the first one.

(1 edit) (+1)

It is AWESOME. I loved the demo. Can't wait for 2022

(+8)

This was awesome! I totally loved the first game-- in fact, I've been thinking about doing another run for when I start streaming! I do have some feedback though, if you'll take it.


I love the characters! They're fun, funky and fresh. The art style is consistent from the last game, and I enjoy the different personalities and the addition of neo-pronouns? Marvelous!


The main feedback I have is color choices, for clothes and the like, which is the same as the first game, but they're all really saturated and completely make the MC feel like it's outside of the game, not within it. The other thing was the face shape. If it was possible to change the face shape, that'd be great! The face shape feels weird with some of the face shapes on the bodies they're attached too. There's nothing wrong with them, per se, but it may be best to have more of an option within that.


Otherwise, I'm extremely excited for this game to come out and I'm going to buy it the moment it does! I'm quite happy with this and I just know the first person to be romanced is going to be Domino,

(+4)

The demo is fantastic; the mini game is quite fun, and the character creator is greatly improved. Looking forward to flirting with Grace, Rhapsody, and my rival, as well.

Just wanted to let you know that on the main page here when I click the link to go to the original Arcade Spirits page I get the following error:


"Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator at webmaster@arcadespirits.stefangagne.com to inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request."


The page loads if I go to it any other way than the link.

(+3)

can i romance Hunter? i'm a suker for enemies to lovers trope....

(+1)

Will there be full voice acting?

(+1)

Just wanted to throw some more positive feedback on the pile. As well as being a good story, the volume and variety of content is remarkable for a demo, it does a great job of showing off your plans for the full game. Fantastic work! I particularly like the inclusion of a selection of neopronouns - my own pronouns are they/them, but including neopronouns as an option is always great, and not just for those who use them. Making the minigame skippable is another great choice, especially for players who may find it less accessible. I look forward to buying - and playing the heck out of - the full game when it's done. :)

(+3)

Great demo! One minor thing... the eyeglasses frames don’t reach all the way to MC’s or Rival’s ears. MC’s default hair covers it, but if you put them in shorter hairstyles, it looks like the part of the glasses are missing.


But I loved the character creator, the characters, the rivalry, Domino’s terrifying smile... looking forward to the game!

Here is what I have gotten from the ARG. After the shutting down of Iris app and it is subsequent deletion (Most likely by the CIA or the same people from the epilogue). A group of people start a rebellion to find the truth. That is a short overview but this post is mainly just to expose people to it and ask the creator to keep posting there hasn't been a post since january. Here is the twitter: https://twitter.com/gmhqbbs

Hello! 

Loved the demo. I already feel more connected to most of the group in this game compared to my initial impressions in the first and am excited to see where their stories go, so I'll leave some thoughts below because I love to 

I'm probably most curious about Rhapsody at the moment, and why they stopped playing the game.  It might be that they just got burnt out (which is understandable), but I'm wondering if their disappearance from the competition side of things had to do with their "silent friend".  I'm curious about Domino too because I can see his storyline running parallel to the MC's in the first game with issues with pessimism and self-deprivation, I think it would be hilarious they did point that out to him if we ever run into the old MC again. I think it's cool that he seems to be more aware of the MC's choices too (I saw that in the demo where he called me out on not normally being gutsy and that one screenshot on Steam with them silhouetted) than some of the other cast. I'm curious how Jynx got to know Naomi, I half wonder if they met through her online community and Naomi taught Jynx how to modify/repair the games. Locksley looks and kind of acts like Ashley in his mannerisms, I saw her 'how art thou' line in the first game and I about lost it. If these two aren't related in some way, I'll flip a table. I'm wondering if there will be some kind of dynamic between Grace and Blitz where they foster something beyond animosity, because while the guy is a butthole who needs to tone it down from a 12 to an 8, he did bring up some valid points about the game the npcs needing to be marked as essential. He struck me as one of the more redeemable members of their quartet beyond the friendly rival.

I don't have more than that right know, if I have any more ideas I'll slide them in at a later point. Also, I'm not sure if this would be a helpful a suggestion, but I saw below that someone said something about height being jarring. I'm not sure if the option could be implemented to turn off the MC's avatar so that they'd be freer to imagine what they would look like without it cutting into the narrative or needing to add sprites.

Anyway, can't wait to see the full game!

(+1)

I am EXCIIIIITED!!~ 

One question I did have, though. In the original game, when you start playing, there was the option to hide the icons showing which choice is associated with which stat. I chose that for my first playthrough, as it allowed me to focus on the content of the choices for my first time, rather than thinking about what stats they'd boost. For later playthroughs where I already had a clearer idea of which choices did what, and when I was more focused on getting specific outcomes, I turned the icons back on and it was helpful for that. It looks like the stat icons are on by default in the demo at least. and I kinda missed being able to hide them for my first run. Did I just miss seeing a choice or a button? Or is that option removed? 

Regardless, I am VERY much looking forward to this!

(+2)

We'll still have that in the full game, but for the demo, we wanted to showcase the system without hiding it. Same goes for skipping the FOD2 minigame -- in the full game you can just skip it if you don't enjoy it but for the demo we wanted to showcase it.

(+1)

Oh good. And yes, it's fair to want to have a simplified system that's features forward for the demo. Thanks for explaining. Again, super looking forward to this. The writing in Arcade Spirits 1 was one of the things that got me through the rough patches in the 2020 hell year. 

(+1)

Great demo! I really enjoyed the first game and I'm looking forward to this one as well. The little graphics when theyre playing games or emote are very cute and the characters are very fun so far. I was wondering if there are any plans to expand the character creation with face shape or height options? I personally am very short so my self insert character being taller than most other characters was a bit jarring for me haha.

(+1)

Not currently -- there'd be issues with eyelines (where it looks like you're properly looking at each other's faces) if we added scaling. We know we can't provide every single option someone could want, but we're willing to do what we can with the tech we have.

hi, i from brasil and  wanted to ask which platform you made this game on??

We're using the RenPy game engine, so it compiles to Win, Mac, and Linux. We'll be working with another team to port to various game consoles (PS4, PS5, XB1, XSX, Switch)

(+1)

ah, yes! ok, no problem. I desire success a you. God blessed you. bye!!

is there no mac version?

There is a Mac version -- but Itch isn't displaying the link names right. I'll see about fixing that up.

Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 41 · Next page · Last page