A Strategy Game About Managing An 80's Arcade

Firebase Industries, the duo behind the wonderful Orbitron: Revolution, are back with a new game, and this one's about as different as you can get. Gone are the spaceships and explosions, replaced by...the task of managing a 1980s arcade.

The game's called Arcadecraft, and will be out on Xbox 360 (the team are undecided on whether as an XBLIG title or on XBLA) and also PC. Using Microsoft's avatars as characters (at least in the 360 version), you're put in charge of a fledgling 80s arcade and have to manage all aspects of its operations in what Firebase say is a mix of real-time strategy, puzzle and economics mechanics.

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The games might be unlicensed, but the whole things giving off a very intimate, cartoony vibe similar to Theme Park or Theme Hospital, which is something lacking in most of today's games (Kairosoft's mobile efforts excepted).

If you're going to PAX, it'll be playable on the showroom floor! The game will be playable for the press at PAX.

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DISCUSSION

This kind of feels like a missed opportunity. The idea is great and all, but there are many "relevant" touches that could've been made to really bring this home; 1. Make the game in 16-32-bit graphics, or if you really want to emphasize the era, start with 8-bit graphics and as the years pass, update them to 16-bit and then 32-bit graphics, 2. Get the game sponsored by old arcade companies and manufacturers (whoever owns the rights) and put in the actual games from back in the day in this game. Or at least make the generic games playable in their own right by you the player (or both, that would be great), 3. Given the arcade's rise from the 80's through the 90's, the whole idea is rife for pop culture references and opportunities (tongue in cheek stuff), 4. Throw in some new technologies to try and keep your arcade alive as you hit the aughts (that's 00's for you young-uns), and see how long you can survive against the more powerful consoles, and more accessible PC generation, the internet, etc..

I get what they're going for here - a simple management sim based around arcades of old. It just seems like this could be done on a major scale, and they could really run with it - really bringing back what it was like back then to go to the arcades.