Solve problems, make choices, react and romance in Arcade Spirits.
Arcade Spirits is a visual novel developed by Fiction Factory Games and published by PQube Limited. In the game you meet characters and deal with a multitude of scenarios to help solve their problems and your own. Romancing is an option – but one of the best things about the game is that you don’t have to commit to romancing if you don’t want to.
You can completely ignore it, choose to focus on friendship with the option of romance, or if you’re all about the love, you can completely dedicate the game to making sweet, sweet romance. The choice is completely yours.
The biggest part of Arcade Spirits, like all visual novels, is of course focus on dialogue and the characters. Something as simple as what you say can change the course of the game – how people will react or how your ending will change. This was definitely one of the first times during a visual novel where I’ve really had to think hard about my choices. There are emotional moments and laugh out loud moments too. It’s got everything.
You can tell the writers put a lot of thought into each and every one of Arcade Spirit‘s characters because of the diverse group. Even your own character can be customised in a variety of ways including choice of pronoun, skin colour and body type. The characters also have their own voice actors/actresses so there are some fully voiced lines of dialogue rather than just the occasional “Hmm” or “Yeah!” like in other games.
As you speak with these characters and level up your stats with them they’re stored in I.R.I.S, your AI personal assistant. The stats that I.R.I.S takes note of are: Gutsy, Kindly, Quirky, Steady, Boldy and Basically, which will all build up as you make more decisions. All of these stats will affect the kind of person your character becomes at the end of the game.
Arcade Spirits is full of references to classic games and music and will really have you feeling nostalgic for those simpler times. The music itself will definitely fuel that nostalgia as it has a chiptuney feel and some newer sounding pop-ish stuff in there. Okay, I’m pretty awful at describing music, but trust me, it really fits the setting.
I had great time with Arcade Spirits, being one of the most fun visual novels I’ve played through. If the genre continues to bring games like this one and Monster Prom, it’s bound to continue to pick up and lift off even more in the coming months. I hope to see the genre do more adventurous things like Arcade Spirits has done by tackling big issues and giving you the option to ignore romance if you’re just in the game for the story.