Have you played Arcade Paradise yet? It's a game about running a laundrette while building the arcade of your dreams in the back room - an arcade which eventually takes over. We loved it - it was one of our games of 2022. And if you haven't played it: good news - we're giving away Arcade Paradise game keys to supporters right now. If you have played it, well, there's new DLC to tempt you back in, but also: can you imagine the game without the laundrette? Because it very nearly didn't have one.
In fact, the original idea was to set the whole thing in a video shop, the kind you might have visited in the 90s, which, if you remember, looked like libraries of VHS boxes showing covers of films you'd probably never heard of before. A physical Netflix, if you like - and you don't know how much it pains me to say that. "You'd be working in a Blockbuster or something like that," says Andreas Firnigl, designer of the game and founder and CEO of Nosebleed, the company behind Arcade Paradise.
This idea, though, had a few problems. "A," Firnigl tells me, "to be authentic, we would have needed hundreds of video cassette covers with cool custom art and all that sort of stuff in it, because it needs to feel like here's Jaws but it's not Jaws; here's Critters but it's not Critters, and all those pastiches." Arcade Paradise is a game of pastiches - a game where the many arcade cabinets you collect are all loving riffs, let's say, on real-life machines, and part of the fun is guessing what the original inspirations were.