Arcade Spirits is a successful experiment in creating an inclusive and immersive visual novel experience, it just needs to nail the "novel" part of that experience. Yet, for as flawed as the line-to-line writing of Arcade Spirits can be, I still found myself really enjoying the overall story of the game. Arcade Spirits already won a lot of points with me for being a relatively bite-sized adventure, but I also loved the cast of characters and the casual nature of the entire experience. Unfortunately, a lot of rough writing and dialogue in the game keeps me from truly loving it.
It doesn’t really bring any innovation into dating sim world but it is one I can easily recommend.
Arcade Spirits's warm heart can be felt under its clumsy exterior.
A great visual novel, with intricate and interesting writing, a distinct and detailed artstyle and a catchy soundtrack. Well worth picking up for fans of the genre and newcomers alike
A must play for any fan of not only visual novels or dating sims but the arcade game genre.
Arcade Spirits is a very inclusive and adaptive Visual Novel which gives the player a lot of freedom to be who they want to be. At its core, it’s a dating Visual Novel but without the forced necessity to actually date anyone if that isn’t what you’re looking for. If you’re not getting to know one of the friendly and unique characters, then you’ll be talking to IRIS, the AI who offers you Pizza facts and life-tips, or living out a unique day within the Funplex. There’s always something going on in the Arcade as the game has great pacing and lots of creative events. Also, the game allows you to pick your gender and sexual orientation without being forced down any paths you don’t wish to wander.
...I feel that I can still recommend this game despite its flaws. I mean, the key reason to play a game is entertainment, right? While Arcade Spirits may not meet my personal metric for “great visual novel,” it was still a highly-enjoyable game, and I would say it’s worth a look for fans of the genre.
Arcade Spirits is a game about working in an arcade while striving to balance practicality with idealism, but more importantly, it's also a celebration of gaming and all of the distinct but nevertheless overlapping subsets of gamers it inspires, articulating all sorts of familiar little joys and fears and motivations that are bound to reverberate with many—if not most—of us. This isn't even as heavy-handed as one might expect; Arcade Spirits' preoccupation with bizarre humor provides enough distractions that you'll rarely see emotional moments coming, and they never outlast their welcome.
Overall Arcade Spirits is well worth the price of admission for those seeking something a bit different but made with love to give the player a story to remember. It has a great soundtrack that matches the style of the neon glitz of the arcade and might just give you the feels.