Coin-Op Kingdom is an arcade tycoon game where you need to make the perfect arcade for a world full of animals!
That’s right, in Coin-Op Kingdom you are looking to make an arcade that satisfies the needs of human-esque animals of all different shapes and sizes. Between the clever animals, wonderful looking arcade machines, and general openness of this tycoon game, Coin-Op Kingdom had the pieces to make a really lovely game.
I had the chance to check out an earlier demo of Coin-Op Kingdom at Insomnia earlier this year, and wrote about that experience. I’m afraid, even though it has fully released, Coin-Op Kingdom still feels a lot like that original demo.
In the full game, I found so many little problems that it made this otherwise wonderful idea less than wonderful to play. You start off in a huge room with loads of empty space, following a hard to read tutorial with white font on a bright yellow background. Once you have completed the tutorial (or given up, like me, because you are unable to easily read it), you can start to play the game yourself. Sadly, you cannot add walls or divide up the space apart from laying out arcade machines, meaning this huge empty space is doomed to look empty for a while. You are able to pick a variety of different wall colors and flooring that can make the arcade the color you wish.
You do start with a large amount of money and have a few new goals to aim for, however, they seemed to be very buggy for me. Goals that wanted me to place ‘4 Puzzle Machines’ in my arcade only logged the exact same machine (despite there being several machines within the puzzle category) being placed 4 times. Once you do pass a goal, you are given a new goal, which may or may not count what you’ve done prior. It seemed like cash related goals kept in mind the money you had prior to receiving the goal, while hiring new staff or buying new arcade machines didn’t look at what you already had. Often, even when doing exactly what the goal wanted, the goal didn’t trigger and would stay on the screen.
When it comes to staff, they have their own stats, but those don’t seem to matter as your staff never need to go home. They just continue working their stand no matter what. There is little need to pay for more expensive staff, as there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference — this may reflect in the happiness of your customers, however, everyone seemed happy at my arcade with the cheapest staff possible. The staff also have a camera option within their menu — but this button doesn’t work and I have no idea what it is meant to do.
Many of the characters in Coin-Op Kingdom also glitch out, moving through the walls or becoming stuck on a machine far after their stats have drained. These customers have stats involving hunger, needing to use the bathroom, and being tired, which they can replenish through items you place around the area. Sometimes they get stuck in these areas — standing on benches for prolonged amount of time or glitching by the vending machine. You can kick them out of your arcade, which seems to only be made to fix these glitches, however that makes people quite negative when it comes to the overall feeling of your arcade.
There are a bunch of really awesome arcade machines that I’d personally love to play in real life, and each day the shop has deals, so that you can save money while you purchase them. Items that you cannot purchase, due to lack of money, don’t tell you the price you need to aim for so that you can save up for that item, instead forcing you to guess at what you want to save to buy them.
You are able to see a variety of different types of machines and change the prices it takes to play them. There are also larger items that can be placed like diners. I feel that the game would really benefit from more animation around these large items, instead of having your staff stay still during the day, yet customers come up to the line and pay, then go. It would be nice to see your staff cooking up and serving food, instead of standing still in the middle of such a big graphic.
You can purchase a larger area to your arcade, expanding it, but you might find that your arcade is full of machines that are all quite similar, as there isn’t a huge variety once you start filling that massive room. I found it super challenging to lose the game, as I couldn’t seem to do badly as long as I had a janitor and a bunch of necessities.
Personally, Coin-Op Kingdom was a game I wanted to enjoy. I saw so much potential in the game when playing the demo — I love animals and arcades. I’m quite sad at how lackluster the final product is. The game isn’t out in Early Access and seems to be fully release, despite the bugs and buttons that just don’t work.
If you’d like to pick up the game for yourself and see if you fare better with it, you can grab it on Steam.