The game is really well-made and I wanna see what the developers do in the future, but the characters are just really unlikable. The player character has an unrelatable personality/backstory that really broke my immersion, and I only cared for one of the romanceable characters. It does give the option of they/them pronouns and allows you to romance/befriend characters of whatever binary gender(s) you prefer though
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A truly wonderful game that will get you hooked on the story with its great writing and interesting cast.
Graphics: Good. I found myself spending time to admire the backdrops and the character designs are pleasing.
Gameplay: Well it's a visual novel, there's not much to say here is there? But I do appreciate the ability to toggle the 'guides'. Personally, I liked to play with them on.
Audio: Good. Definitely found myself headbopping to the music at times and it fit the story well.
Difficulty: Not really much dfificulty to speak of, though there are a couple moments where your choices really matter.
Story: Fantastic story! I was completely invested.
Game Time: Short. I finished this in three sittings, and I'm a pretty casual tier gamer.
Price: I definitely feel it's worth the price, especially taking replay value into account to get different endings and to see all the stories of each character.
Bugs: I didn't run into any myself.
Overall: 8/10. Didn't change my life, but I'd definitely recommend it to others.
I just finished the game and I loved it so much! It's such a feelgood experience, but with a nice dose of hardships too in a lovely balance <3 I wound up in a relationship with QueenBee, she's the %&#?¤@ best! I just in general felt close to every character in some way, even with the ones I didn't talk to that much. Looking forward to the sequel!
I loved every bit of this game
excellent game, delightful, got me invested enough to be genuinely upset by the ending. ruined my night. 10/10.
I enjoyed it so so much! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play this, as for those who have doupts well.. do not. I highly recommend it!!
out of curiosity before I buy, can you romance more than one partner? like be a polyamorous person?
I played through once, as far as I could tell you cannot. Perhaps someone else knows better than me though.
This game was so much fun to play through! Thank you for making it!
Came in expecting a cheesy Arcade based dating sim
Stayed in discussing issues of mental health with Ashley.
Also unrelated tidbit, isn't it "rolls OFF your tongue"?
I've had this game for a while (got it during a bundle two years ago) but didn't play it until now, and I very much regret waiting so long! I've never had so much fun playing a visual novel! I love that they/them is a pronoun option and not just the standard he/him and she/her, even if I personally use he/him anyway. I presume the character's pronouns doesn't have an effect on who you can romance, but I've only just gotten to level 2.
I decided to play this a few days ago since I've only skimmed the surface of the racial justice bundle, and wow!!! it blew me away with how much it invested me in the story and characters. I'm thinking of doing all of their routes right now because so far, each one has been painfully cute, fun, and heartfelt. And as someone with mental health issues, I really connected to those aspects of the story, too.
T'was also a happy surprise that Percy, my first route, is voice-acted by Price haha <3 Just a fantastic game.
Okay I never comment on anything but THIS game? Beautiful. Unmatched. Exquisite. Bewitching. And all the synonyms TheSaurus can find for "lovely"
The characters are great, the art is lovely, the soundtrack is a chef's kiss, it is so well-written (and I sorta relate a lot to MC oops), and I can't just "stop" when I play it - I must finish a game in one setting
Thank you for making this game, it was a pleasure to play. I finished Gavin and Percy (as of right now he's my favorite) and do plan to do everyone's routes
Honestly? Can't recommend this one enough. Played a whole route in a glorious one nighter and it was an emotional rollercoaster I'm recommending to everyone I know ASAP. The brightly colored art and endearing characters, side by side with the plot that had me hooked from minute one? Not many VN's hit a sweet spot like this- it's seriously, almost criminally, underrated.
what an absolute gem! loved everything about it, and couldn't put it down once i started! wonderfully written characters, story, and the art is spectacular! i personally went with percys route, absolutely heartbreaking at times, but im definitely considering going back for the others! highly recommend if you're looking for a great VN for a rainy day.
A short summary of my thoughts:
- Diversity among romance options
- LGBTQ+ inclusive, including a no romance route
- Especially loved the inclusion of someone questioning gender, rather than having it all figured out
- Pretty, bright art
- Stress-free kinda game
- Sweet characters
- Some heavy stuff
- Fully accessible for blind players and screen reader users
- Overall cute and heartwarming!
One of the best VNs I've ever played. Characters have so much life and the humor is phenomenal. The art, as well, is just...WOW!! I adore this game :')
I've played approximately 25 visual novels on itch.io, and Arcade Spirits is in the top 5, without a doubt. Each character had a personality that was fully fleshed out (Hamza was one of my favorites, I can't deny), which made emotional attachments that much easier to develop.
This VN really went the extra mile, adding shocking and unexpected events that completely changed the direction of the game, and prompted additional chapters. Nothing felt forced.
I think the best aspect of Arcade Spirits is that, while playing, it feels that the story was written before it was a VN, and then all the game aspects, choices, etc., were molded to the story. This is really hard to accomplish, and most VNs don't pull it off.
Even though this was $20, it was worth it. 5/5
Wonderful little dating sim with a great, emotional story and characters. Gavin and Percy are definitely best boys. It's not often I can find bigger men in these sorts of games. Soundtrack kicks ass too.
I absolutely ADORE this game. I just finished my first playthrough and I'm starting a second one to try out different options. The characters are really relatable and the writing and voice acting are incredible. Seriously, I love it.
Arcade Spirits is actually the first "pure" (with no other gameplay elements) visual novel I have ever played and I feel like it has set the bar pretty high. The writing would actually work by itself as a decent work of fiction, but together with the interactivity, the well-designed branching options, the art, the music, the voice acting... the result is amazing.
I acquired this game through the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality (that bundle is turning out to be a great way to discover excellent indie developers and inclusive games), but I definitely plan on buying the sequel/expansion for its full price when it comes out.
Thank you for this great work and my best wishes for any future projects!
PS/edit: I must add, as some other players have mentioned before me, that the depiction of Hamza's character is perhaps the main thing in this game that seems out of place to me. He's a positive character in the story, true, but he's also basically a caricature of an Arab man as seen by non-Arab people, and that doesn't seem like a very good idea, particularly considering how inclusive this game is in other aspects. That could be something to improve in future projects.
This game is amazing and I love it.
One question though - is it possible to romance a character without picking the initial "this person is really hot" option? Didn't initially pick that for Ashley but then realized later it's something I'd like to do. Do I just have to load an old save and change my choice?
Kind of a late reply, but for anyone else wondering, yes you can still romance a character without picking "this person is really hot" when meeting them. It's just a way to immediately start flirting with them lol. I'm asexual so I never picked that option but I still romanced Teo and Galvin :)
I've just started to play this and so far so good. However, there is something I don't have much clear. In the description it says that decisions will have an "effect on the future of your arcade". Does that mean that there are multiple story routes? If so, I would like to know how many, because when I play a visual novel I like to explore all the possible routes (specially after playing the Zero Escape franchise, which actually require you to explore different routes to progress).
I'm enjoying this a lot so far. Is there any way to buy the OST separately? It's lovely.
You know, a part of me wished this had actual full voice acting.
Really got me hooked. Lots of great dialogue and I'm excited to play through it again. If you're thinking about splashing the cash, I think it's well worth it. Probably took me 2-4 hours for a playthrough and there's definitely some different choices I want to try.
Oh my gosh I'm in love with this game. It's such a comfort game and in the end I felt really, really connected to the characters. Thank you so much for this.
If anyone is interested, I wrote a review here:
This game is really fun and I really love unlocking the prizes and cant wait for any expansions you guys end up doing
Retro Games + Romantic Visual Novel = Arcade Spirits! The art is very good, the plot is unique and I love the characters! Extra bonus for crafting your own character at the beginning of the game, and being a queer friendly game!
I really enjoyed playing through this game. The characters are fantastic and I wanted to know more about them. I wrote more about it in my blog, but I'm going to follow you as well. I hope to see more in the future. Cheers!
This game is absolutely amazing.
i've played this game to 100% completion now (kinda just by skipping around saves) and i love it
i liked it :))
Uhhh thank you. That's the best I can say to the dev. This game was absolutely brill.
when I got to the end and and saw genderneutral pronouns being used for Ashely in their conclusion,,, I might have cried a bit. I really appreciate the gender and sexual diversity in this game <3
Potential content warning for microaggressions in portrayal of Arab men...?
Not sure how others feel about it but some writing choices around Hamza felt really dissonant to the rest of the game and other diverse portrayals in it.
Feels worth mentioning especially given that dehumanising portrayals are perpetuated against Arab men in western media more than any other demographic and people deserve a heads-up before having certain comments in the game dunked on them unawares.
I put it all in my review but yeah - though I appreciate the other representation throughout the game and wish I could have enjoyed it more, that was a really strange falling point and I struggled to finish it because of it.
Ok so I just finished the game and I'm so emotional right now. This game has been on my list for over a year and I have only recently been able to get my hands on it, and I'm so happy I did- this VN is just perfect. The user interface' the mechanics, the characters, the detailed customization of the MC, the voices' the music, the writing, the theme itself- WOW. Just wow. Teo was absolutely my favorite character, and his route was just amazing and oh my god I love him. I'm at loss of words- this game is just purely amazing, and thank you for creating it. It was heart touching and wonderful. Can't wait for the next game!
I'm gonna cry in the corner now bc I love Teo so much
Yoooo same. My boyfriend's name IRL is Teo and I just... Teo was vulnerable, he was sweet, he was charming... I MEAN
Hi all! If you’re trying to play on a Mac via the Itch launcher, but you’re getting a lengthy error log when you try to save (and thus can’t save at all!), try downloading the game directly from the Itch site instead. That solved the problem for me, at least!
Can I say I love this VN? 'Cause I do. I love how funny and heartwarming the story is. It feels pretty realistic and everyone has their own unique personalities. QueenBee is a little bit too intense for me and I can relate with Naomi a lot. Francine, I adore her so much. I like that there's a lot of branching options and scenes to explore as well. But... I'm a little bit sad upon finishing the romance route...
Also... are you planning to resolve the mystery behind Polybius? I'm curious what's with all that because it's not completely finished, with every tension revolving Deco Nami and all...
for all I know, they are planning the release of a second game! And I think that it would probably follow that mystery, it just makes sense
Oh, I really hope so. I find the mystery interesting. And it turns out, it is actually a real urban legend. I have no idea there was an arcade game that attained a legendary status. It even has entry in tvtropes.org! :D
I enjoyed it a lot. The characters were incredibly likeable. and the story was a great ride. I'd love to play more VNs like this.