If you thought your food-serving or gem-swapping puzzle games were tough exercises, wait until you’re asked to play four different games – all at the same time.
And you will, if you’ve downloaded and played Arcadia Remix, a very clever – and increasingly challenging – retro arcade game with a few new and fun twists.
One thing’s for sure – you haven’t played anything like it before.
The best way to explain Arcadia Remix is to say it’s a collection of simple, "classic" arcade games not unlike the ones you played on an Intellivision game console circa 1981. You know, things like swinging a baseball in a pixilated baseball game, jumping over chasms and moles or shooting hoops in a crudely animated game of street b-ball. You do this by clicking the mouse at a given time or in a given direction (or both). Pretty simple stuff, actually. The catch, though, as I alluded to above, is that Arcadia Remix challenges you to play these games at the same time. Not long after the first level begins (and after you register your name with just three initials – how "old skool"!) you are asked to play two games at the same time, and then three games simultaneously and eventually four games at the same time as you work your way through the five classic arcade cabinets.
Juggling all of these games may sound intimidating – and yes, it certainly does get overwhelming at times – but players will grow comfortable with repetition and will learn how to multitask smoothly, while also using their peripheral vision to sense when one of the two (then, three and four) game windows require a click. I also found the difficulty is also related to which games you’re asked to play at the same time.
Other examples of arcade games you’d play include: a sniper sim, where bad guys pop up out of windows and you must avoid the innocent civilians; a space shooter that can best be described as cross between Tempest and Asteroids; a Frogger clone where you must cross a busy street; and a martial arts fighting game. The goal for each level is to earn the predetermined number of stars before advancing onto the next batch of games. Collect rainbow spheres during your game and you can earn power-ups; press the large button in the middle of the screen to activate it, such as a 2x points multiplier.
Play well enough and you can also unlock new game modes, such as an Endless challenge, with four games to play simultaneously as long as you can without losing all your lives by making mistakes.
The awesome retro graphics, sound effects and user-interface all fits the early ’80s arcade theme. The developer did a great job here – from the main menu to the four simultaneous game windows to the animated sequences while climbing the high-score chart.
And as you might have guessed by its name, GameLab’s Arcadia Remix is a sequel to Arcadia, but now features distinct levels to play through (50 in total), more games (now 16), power-ups, hidden Easter eggs and other goodies.
There’s not much to complain about with Arcadia Remix, but it is certainly not for everyone. That is, it will suit a certain demographic – arguably, guys in their late ’30s and older with a nostalgic leaning towards the golden age of games – and probably less for those who turn to casual games for a relaxed puzzle experience. Another minor issue is that depending on the game, the mouse wasn’t as responsive as I’d like; there were times I swore I clicked in a certain direction and when it didn’t fire (or fired elsewhere), I lost a life.
Overall, however, Arcade Remix is a blast from the past but with a fresh, multitasking twist – and you can keep your quarters in your pocket.