The arcade is a beautiful thing, and I’ll miss it when it goes. It’s in the past, but it’s still in the present too. We’re losing something unique here. Something that old-school gamers will only ever have in the present. We may never get it back, but we should try our best to save it.
It’s been a rough week for nerds: an arcade game named after a video game store that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in our beloved New York City, was destroyed by a broken door. It’s a shame, and I’m not sure how to fix it.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists amusement machines as a “low” priority for redevelopment in a city’s public housing. The machines contribute little to the upkeep of public housing and cost taxpayers millions each year, but most importantly, they are a reminder of just how important our nation’s pastimes are to our culture.
Robby is obsessed with video games. When he isn’t playing them, he is either talking about them on social media or persuading others to take up a controller. He’s on the internet so often that he could almost… Continue reading
- Button City is an adventure game with plenty of adorable characters and lots of entertaining interactions.
- If you like brightly colored graphics and an arcade-like environment, this is the game for you.
- To accomplish all of the achievements, you’ll need to play a number of mini-games and sidequests.
Button City is a charming and colorful story about a group of pals who are fighting to preserve their neighborhood arcade. You take on the role of Fennel, a young fox who meets new people, explores a layered diorama world, and plays arcade games in a nostalgic 1990s environment.
The bright, almost fluorescent visual style with low-poly components, as well as the adorable anthropomorphic animal figures, instantly catch the eye. The art direction is arguably one of the most appealing aspects of Button City, since it frequently seems like you’re immersed in a bowl of rainbow skittles.
The scenario is set in the late 1990s, when arcades were still thriving and children all over the globe were discovering the pleasures of gaming and connecting over their favorite games. It’s a period in my life that I recall fondly, and capitalizing on that nostalgia is a certain way to hit the target.
Play video games with your pals.
When Fennel, a timid young fox, comes into town, the tale begins. He goes to the neighborhood arcade, Button City, and soon meets new friends who ask him to play games with them. They’re in a competition where a four-player team is required, and he’s the one who has to fill that spot, whether he likes to or not.
The narrative is sweet at first, with simple motives, but it doesn’t shy away from more mature topics like not being accepted, health problems, and corporate takeovers. The competition to be the greatest at gaming develops into a battle between two competing teams to preserve Button City from being sold to a greedy businessman who just wants to replace it with a giant mall.
Although it isn’t the longest adventure, the rather straight thread you follow, coupled with the sluggish pace and some technical problems, made it seem longer than it was. If you want to slow down, there are lots of side activities to choose from.
Mini-games help to break up the monotony.
*Me, on my way to the shop after learning that PS5 systems were back in stock.
While there are a number of minigames that appear just once, such as making lemonade or listening in on a discussion from behind a newspaper, there are three that play a somewhat larger part in the game and enable you to challenge other NPC characters.
The first is a drifting around bends downhill racing game. Drifting increases your boost, and knowing how to use it effectively is crucial to your success. It seems to be entertaining, but since there is only one level, it quickly becomes tedious. Yes, you may duplicate it or add modifications such as dropping things that give you an advantage on the track, or adding additional opponents or cosmetics such as a big moustache.
However, the core experience is essentially same and lacks depth in terms of gameplay. To throttle, press A, and to boost, press B. The fact that these two buttons are right close to one other doesn’t make it easy to play many times in a row.
Foxy is on the go!
The rhythm game is the second, and my least favorite. Normally, I’m a big lover of these, and the picture on their shop website even persuaded me to give it a go, but it was a huge disappointment.
Each of the symbols above corresponds to a directional input on your controller, either the D-Pad or the A, B, X, Y buttons. However, they are arranged in a Plus form, whereas the on-screen inputs are arranged in a straight line. This single design decision is enough to muddle my mind and make it impossible for me to remember which button to click.
I’m also baffled as to why they used symbols rather actual button inputs, which just adds to the confusion. Players that utilize a keyboard on a PC will have an easier time since they may just use four keys in a row.
*EDIT: They released a controller update that now displays the buttons to use at the bottom, which helps a little but not enough for me to be able to perform a whole song without making errors.
Sugar Content of Watermelon
The last minigame is the most significant in the narrative. It’s a four-on-four team brawler in which you gather fruits and throw them into the center mixer while avoiding your opponents doing the same.
You may play as a variety of Gobabots, each with their unique capabilities such as ranged attacks or the ability to absorb more hits before having to restart from the beginning.
However, since this game just has a single level layout with all essential components constantly in the same place, it doesn’t take long for it to get old. I haven’t lost a single game, and devising a strategy that the AI couldn’t counter was very simple, making the whole mini-game pretty dull.
Ascending the corporate ladder
The earth is a square planet.
What I liked most about Button City is the way you travel from one place to the next. Each location is represented with a tiny square diorama that can be rotated. You may also teleport to another location by pressing B at any moment when standing outdoors.
This isn’t simply a matter of taste; the people that live here are well aware of the situation, and they warp away in the middle of a discussion as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
The Right Analog stick can be used to rotate the globe in most places, which is useful for seeing objects and people that are otherwise hidden. It provides a lot of variety to the game and is one of the features I enjoyed the best.
Stop. Just a moment.
I nearly forgot about the banana peel.
On the other hand, the button to interact with items only appeared to activate when the car came to a complete stop. In comparison to other games, it seems strange and slows down the pace even more. When you wish to go up to Chive’s chamber, for example, you must:
- The Mal-Mart is now open for business.
- Enter through the rear door.
- Make your way to the elevator.
- Take a look inside the apartment.
- Go inside her room.
Because you have to position yourself and the camera in such a manner that you can see where the door is situated and make sure you aren’t moving at all to open them, those five basic movements seem like they take forever. It’s a slog and a bad design decision. Especially considering the amount of retracing.
Depending on how many sidequests you do, the game should take you about 4-5 hours to complete. Completionists will need to put in a few additional hours to complete specific Achievements, such as playing the lemonade mini-game 10 times or locating every object in the game.
You’re wrong, Sorrel!
Button City: Final Thoughts
Pros Visually appealing style The array of characters is cute and intriguing, and teleporting between levels is entertaining. Minigames are shallow and go at a snail’s pace. Unusual design choices
Final Rating: 3.5/5
Button City shines with its vibrant visual style and adorable cast of characters, but the story’s sluggish pace and odd design decisions dull the thrills a little. I still feel good about my time with the game, but it’s difficult to overlook what might have been.
From the intriguing diorama stage designs to the punny interactions that make you feel like you’re back with your pals in the ’90s, fans of light-hearted adventure games will undoubtedly find plenty to love here.
Button City is available for Xbox Series X|S, Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC for approximately $19.99. (Steam). I tried the Xbox One version and was disappointed to discover that it was not accessible on previous-generation systems. After all, the game doesn’t seem to be particularly difficult.
*Disclaimer: This review was conducted on an Xbox Series X. Examine the code that the developer has given.
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