CGR Undertow – ARCADECRAFT review for Xbox 360

CGR Undertow – ARCADECRAFT review for Xbox 360


The year is 1980. Yes, I know that was 33 years
ago, but follow me on this one. The year is 1980, and you’ve got a loan and a dream.
And a lust for quarters. Look, I’m not gonna judge, I’m just gonna let you get your arcade
management on. I realize there’s been simulation games in pretty much every genre, for every
conceivable notion, from theme parks to hospitals to towers. But I can honestly say this is
the first time I’ve ever been able to buy arcade games, set their difficulty and cost-per-play,
and stand them back-to-back with their own sequels. Which apparently improves the popularity
of both. I’m not gonna argue; if it’s driving people to play Protectian 2, so be
it. The games you’re obtaining in Arcadecraft
are, by and large, winks and nudges to the true classics: Contractor Twins, Escalator
Panic, Lady Phantom, Space Rocks, and any number of shoot-’em-ups with Xs in the titles.
Even in fiction, they’re thick on the ground. And these games make you MONEY, if you’re
diligent in keeping the coin boxes empty and the machines in good repair. ‘Cuz there’s
always some schmoe who’s upset he can’t knock down the high score on Creepers, and
so he goes berzerk (wait, can I say that?) and starts taking his aggression out on the
poor cabinet. If that happens, you’ve gotta pick him up and eject him bodily from the
joint. Hopefully he’ll only have screwed up the controls, which is a fairly cheap repair;
other maladies like blown monitors or bad rom chips take a bit more bank to fix. Oh,
and you might have a stuck coin slot, for which the solution is… pick up the machine
and drop it. Several times. They’re well-built cabs; they can handle it. You can tell there’s a lot of love in this
game, as the experience is enriched by the occasional gaming superstar who wants to get
some practice in on your dime (though he’s usually responsible for a popularity surge
on the machine in question), a Japanese businessman peddling rare imports you can’t get anywhere
else, and a collector who’ll pop up to take some older games off your hands for a bit
more than they’d fetch otherwise. You can recruit an employee to help unload the machines,
add color to the decor to suit your whims (and keep the place from getting too stagnant),
and exploit hot-spots in your traffic flow to give a particular machine a boost of attention.
Sure, I was -4 when the arcade boom hit, and such an enterprise would be economic suicide
in this day and age, but Arcadecraft allowed me to live out a dream, in a couple hours,
for just three bucks. That’s the important part. Sure, there are leaderboards for those
who wish to refine their arcade-owning acumen. But, at least in the first playthrough, you’re
just going to be running around with giddy abandon, keeping your underperforming Gorilla
machine around because you know Son of Gorilla’s just around the corner. And then the home
version’s released and your action takes a hit, but don’t tell me for a second you
didn’t see it coming.

26 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – ARCADECRAFT review for Xbox 360

  1. This looks strangely compelling, but I fear that it would only make me sad in the long-run. It's been YEARS since I've seen an arcade. :'(

  2. I'm not sure,but for some reason this game looks like a farmville clone which has as subject arcade game cabinets.

  3. Damn, i want to visit those classic arcade halls full of awesome arcade games and other cool stuff. <– Try to do that in here Finland

  4. This games awesome, it plays like a light management sim while having an arcade style leader-board element to it; I've been spending hours trying to get higher scores.
    It's hard to explain what this games like but it's totally unique, I just wish more Xbox Indie games were like this instead of Minecraft clones…

  5. This game is good for one day, Its too short and needs a the ability to purchase bigger premises as once youve filled it with machines and earnt a load of cash your done.

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