Arcade Paradise Review – 90s Laundromat Perfection

Arcade Paradise is a brilliant subversive story of growing, nostalgia, chores and arcade games. A game, somehow, that starts mostly with you doing laundry was more profound than many of the recent visual novels I’ve watched. The game is slow to start, with the primary focus on earning money and casually playing what’s available. Yet, as the game continues and more features unlock, it becomes something much more.

The basic premise is that you’re working at your dad’s laundromat. You clean, handle the drop-off laundry and collect cash from the coin exchanger. In the back is an arcade, where you can also collect the cash from the coin hopper. The first haul is huge, leading to an adventure to build an arcade in the rear of the laundromat against the dad’s wishes.

The game’s subversion, I’ll explain later, but first let me talk about the authenticity of the nostalgia.

If you’re curious if you should get it, at the end we basically say yes. If you’re curious why, read on.

Arcade Paradise on Steam ( (there’s also the High Score Edition which I’d suggest after you’ve played it a bit and want more arcade Arcade Paradise – High Score Edition on Steam (

Laundromats, Laundry and Nostalgia

The game respects the laundromat so well with how it’s designed and the general vibe of the era. The main benefit of most laundromats was the air conditioning along with the TV (if it was operating). Arcade machines were neat, but they were very expensive and more often than not a play just wasn’t going to be worth the cash. They were novel, but not the centerpiece of waiting for your laundry.

Arcade Paradise greatly respects this. A considerable bulk of the early game is handling the chores of the laundromat while sneaking in a bit of gaming here or there. Which feels pretty on-point, but later on the game opens a bit and gives you some more time with the games after you’ve earned it.

A quick history lesson. Laundromats dropped arcade machines because arcade machines evolved into more social activities and laundromats are often solo activities. Many laundromats attempted to do a net cafe type thing with a PC behind plexiglass with a keyboard and the Internet, but that was often short lived or too expensive to make it worthwhile.

Free wifi came along with cellphones, meaning that most that wait for their laundry today do so with their phone in hand. Hence, how rare it would be to see an actively working old school style machine running in a laundromat.

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Arcade Paradise

Arcade Paradise itself is well built when it comes to the simulation model. The game features what’s essentially a store. Your loop is to move laundry from one place to the next and to its final destination. That earns your cash, which is nice. The laundry is on a reliable 3-minute loop to start with. Plus, your watch can ping you when it’s ready. Based on how quick you are to move the laundry through its steps is what your rating will be, alongside how much money you get.

The arcade machines in the back are free and you can change their settings to increase/decrease your cash per hour. The best advice is to play with the settings, especially after hitting goals and see what makes you the most. This will greatly speed up your earnings (and is another fun simulation component).

The game makes you think that it’s a slow 90’s fueled chore simulator but it’s subversive, you can later solve a lot of those pain points by just keeping playing. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but trust.

The arcade machines are really cool, there’s a lot of variety and the game opens up with pinball later on which is neat.

Overall, it’s all well baked together, with voicemails and AIM-esq chats moving the story along. The graphics are No More Heroes style over the top while the game plays with chill vibes. Something I really dig.

Should You Buy Arcade Paradise?

I’d say yes, but that’s bit of a bias as someone who snagged a physical copy as soon as Limited Run released it.

Is it a full price grab? If you want smooth vibes and old school arcade gameplay (with specific goals) then I’d say absolutely. The game is fair, the mini-games are tight and the nostalgia is real.

I love Arcade Paradise and I’m excited to see more games in the DLC and more from Nosebleed Interactive.

David Piner, an accomplished video game journalist since 2001, excels in developing comprehensive guides and engaging content to enrich the gaming experience. As the esteemed former Managing Editor at TTH (as David "Xerin" Piner) for over a decade, David established a strong reputation for his perceptive analysis, captivating content, and streamlined guides. Having led skilled teams of writers and editors, David has been instrumental in producing an extensive collection of articles, reviews, and guides tailored to both casual and hardcore gamers aiming to enhance their skills. Dedicated to player-centric content, David meticulously crafts guides and articles with the players' interests in mind. He is a proud member of OUT Georgia and fervently champions equity and equality across all spheres.