In Arcadecraft, you play a small business owner opening a video arcade at the peak of the golden age of arcades. The game takes place during the 1980's and your task is to build, customize, and promote your arcade into a sustainable business within ten years. To do this, Lisa, the arcade's personal assistant, secures a $12,000 loan to open and purchase the arcade's first cabinets. Within two years, that loan will be due, (along with an added $1,500 in interest.) so the arcade will need to grow quickly through getting the newest games and generating enough buzz. Fictional game companies and traveling salesmen will sell new arcade cabinets for the arcade, all with their separate stats to account for. Once purchased, tweaking certain aspects of the games drive more money and encourage more business. A cheaper play or harder difficulty may drive more plays, but may frustrate customers and create bad hype. Maintaining cabinets is also vital as through heavy use and abusive customers, parts of the cabinets may break. Sometimes it will be as simple as a broken joystick or as expensive as broken monitor, but if machines are left broken for too long, customers will notice. Once the arcade's debts are paid off and it can ensure a steady income for it's employees and monthly bills, you'll be free to invest in your arcade however you see fit.
As you build your arcade, the need to upgrade the building's power breaker will arise. Initially, the arcade can only support ten items, but can expand up to thirty over time. This means that over time, cabinets will need to be sold to make room for new ones. Factors like a game's home console release or a game going into "classic" status can effect how useful they are. While home console releases usually spell doom for profits on a machine, if the game goes "classic" or a sequel comes out, it can affect sales positively. (Especially when placing the original and sequel together.) Occasionally, collectors will ask to sell your arcade's machines to them. If this is done, the arcade will make nearly as much as it cost to purchase it but will not be able to purchase the same cabinet again as it is no longer in production.
The game has nearly 80 arcade cabinets, (with more promised in updates in the future) most of which are parodies of existing games from the time period. Popular games like Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man become "Space Insects", "Gorilla", and "Phantom". (Leading to sequels like "Son of Gorilla" and "Lady Phantom") Their inspirations are obvious not just through their names and descriptions, but through artwork, screens, and unique sounds from each cabinet. (For example, a Sinistar-inspired cabinet will taunt users similar to Sinistar.)
There are other ways to drive attention to the arcade besides the games. As more money is earned, the arcade will be able to be customized with new paint and graphics for walls, new floors, and of course, sweet neon lighting. These add to the arcade's appeal, and drive more sales. Seasons matter as well. During the summer, there will be a rise in sales due to school being out, or during the holidays, placing a jack o' lantern or a christmas tree to celebrate will help sales. Other ways to generate buzz include video game masters that will generate popularity by setting world records. Adding vending machines will have an evergreen effect in that they always be popular and also have unique benefits such as allowing you to add a custom soundtrack after adding a jukebox. They will also need unique upkeep as well, such as purchasing stock for soda machines.
- Nearly 80 unique cabinets to unlock.
- Every cabinet has a genre, number of players, control type, etc.
- Music on your Xbox hard drive can be played on your arcade's jukebox.
- Seasonal shifts and world events trigger in and outside your arcade. (The mid-eighties video game crash, for example.)
- Characters on your Xbox friends list will populate your arcade.
- Future free content, like pinball machines, are planned from the developer.
Pricing and Extra Features
Arcadecraft is available on Xbox Live Indie Games and costs 240 Microsoft Points ($3). If you've bought Firebase's earlier game Orbitron: Revolution you can import a cabinet of that game into your Arcadecraft game through a code that appears in the credits of Orbitron.
The developer has stated that a PC version is in the works. They have stated that a PC version would feature a character editor due to the lack of Avatars, as well as "certain visual upgrades over the Xbox version such as more detailed textures, cabinets, effects and lighting." The game eventually can to Steam after being voted upon in the Steam Greenlight programme.