HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewArcade Paradise Coin-Op Pack 1 Review

Arcade Paradise Coin-Op Pack 1 Review


If you thought you’d finished building your arcade empire with every available arcade cabinet in Arcade Paradise, I am here to politely correct you. There are three more units now available as part of the Coin-Op Pack 1, we’ve played them, and we’re here to let you know what they are like.

The Coin-Op Pack 1 has been teased on social media for a while now, with silhouettes giving small clues as to what is to come. The name even suggests that more will be on their way at some point. Given the variety on offer here, we reckon the developers at NoseBleed Interactive have plenty more ideas up their sleeve.

The three available in Coin-Op Pack 1 can also be purchased individually for £1.79 each, or altogether for £3.49. Their names are Empathy, Smoke ‘em and CyberDance EuroMix. As long as you have passed the first expansion in the game, you shouldn’t have any trouble placing these new cabinets. There may be the odd occasion where a story related cabinet needs to be placed instead, but for the most part there should be no issues.

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First up is Empathy, which can only be described as an endless runner that has been hidden away in a darkened room for a decade, with nothing but its own thoughts for company. It is about escaping your demons and doubters, learning to accept yourself and climbing that mountain.

The cabinet itself is a towering black monolith with nothing but two handles attached that would be your inputs. On a controller, you press the left and right bumper buttons one after the other in quick succession to climb a mountain. Your little sprite on screen will travel up this seemingly endless path to reach the top of the mountain. It sounds easy, but you will need to keep a decent speed up, pressing the buttons to avoid falling off the bottom of the screen.

Not only that but your doubts and doubters will appear on screen to distract you. Your own doubts will appear as musings above your sprites head. Your doubters will periodically appear at the side of the screen and lob boulders at you. Get hit and you will fall very nearly to the bottom of the screen and it becomes a literal uphill climb to gather speed and momentum again to avoid falling off altogether.

With a piece of music that sounds like it was ripped straight from a David Lynch film, it is one of the stranger additions to your arcade. But it is still just as compellingly addictive as all the others.

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Next up is CyberDance EuroMix – another dance machine but one that features faster paced songs than the original CyberDance cabinet. It is also playable in multiplayer.

This time around, the three songs you can dance to are Element 92 and Rave Paradise both by Bobby Freedom and Lunar by Mono Memory. Anyone who has already listened to these on the jukebox will know these up the tempo substantially.

If you have already unlocked and played CyberDance in Arcade Paradise – or indeed ever played an arcade dance machine – you will already know exactly how this works. Arrows crawl up the screen and you must hit the corresponding direction as they pass the outline. The closer to perfect, the more points you score.

Whether this needed to be delivered in an entirely new cabinet, or whether the songs could have been added to the existing one is unknown. It is however a better challenge for those more used to rhythm action games.

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Finally, there is Smoke ‘em, a light gun cabinet also playable in multiplayer. This one had been teased on the Arcade Paradise cover art for quite some time, so it is good to finally see it included. However, compared to some of the other cabinets available, it feels a bit lacking in comparison.

Those coming to Smoke ‘em expecting a Point Blank homage will be disappointed. Instead, you are given a minute to shoot targets as they appear. A grid will appear of sixteen circles and six will rotate to reveal targets. Shoot these as quickly as you can to reveal the next set of six and aim for the highest score.

Some targets will be gold and award more points, and some will have a clock on to award precious extra seconds. But some will have a skull on them. Shoot three of these and it will be game over. 

Unfortunately, that is all there is to Smoke ‘em.

All three new cabinets in Arcade Paradise have goals to aim for, and can appear on your to-do list, fitting in perfectly with the others in your arcade. Empathy offers something completely different from what is currently in the arcade, CyberDance EuroMix adds in some welcomed faster tempo songs – even if a new cabinet is a bit excessive – and Smoke ‘em feels a bit lacking in comparison to existing cabinets. But overall, new minigames in one of the best games of 2022 shouldn’t be sniffed at. They offer a chance to return to the arcade – not that you should have ever left it – with some new games. And we hope they’re the first of a few additions to come. 

Arcade Paradise Coin-Op Pack 1 is on the Xbox Store

Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
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