In which you run a launderette, put washing on, tumble dry, collect it up, and pick up rubbish. Only! In the back room of the launderette is a mostly forgotten and unloved video game arcade with a handful of machines! So when you make laundry money, you buy more arcade machines, and then they make you money, and then they start to make so much money that, actually, the laundrette starts to just get in the way so you oust a few washing machines for more arcade space. You can see where the endgame comes. No washing!
It’s a slog to get to that point though. Like a clicker game (such as the same dev team’s game Vostok Inc), you slowly build up money and spend that on things which let you earn money a bit faster, and the cycle goes on – supplemented by laundry, and a bit of cash from collecting trash and occasionally unblocking the toilet. However, there’s more to the game than just getting more arcade games. You see, you can play all the arcade games too.
And there’s loads of them. Most are a spin on existing games, or a mashup of classic arcade games. You’ve got the Not Canyon Bomber game, the Not Puzzle Bobble game, the Not GTA Crossed With Pac-man Game, NotQix, an air hockey table, table football, an Out Run/F-Zero hybrid and loads of others. Many of which are excellent games on their own too, and I especially like the twin-stick Zombie shooter game and the cute RPG/Candy Crush one.
Playing the games is fun in itself, but doing so has a purpose. Each has a number of achievements, and hitting these makes the machines earn more. Just playing them makes them more popular for a time too, again increasing income. Unfortunately, near the start of the game you can’t spend much time Arcading because the laundry requires your attention (and time passes when you play games), but you soon start being able to purchase upgrades that do away with some of the laundry chores (and some of the arcade ones – like emptying the coin hoppers).
If the 35 or so arcade games aren’t enough, then your office PC can also be upgraded to play a couple of desktop games – Not Minesweeper and Not Solitaire. And even some of the menial tasks, like chucking bin bags in the skip and pulling gum off tables, are presented as a minigame. It’s games all the way down. There’s also even a story about your overbearing father who thinks you won’t amount to anything and hates the idea of you having an arcade, just in case there wasn’t enough going on already.
When I first started playing there were a handful of bugs, like a crushed can that you can’t collect, some cut scenes which crashed the game, and some bizarre lighting issues, but they all seem to have been fixed now, along with some tweaks to the games making them a bit easier and/or playable, so it’s hard not to recommend Arcade Paradise now. I mean, it’s worth the cost of entry even for just a handful of the cabinets you unlock, but to have this many and a metagame on top? Bargain, mate.