Arcadegeddon is a colorful mashup of arcade nostalgia and roguelike action that mostly succeeds thanks to its vibrant style, frantic gameplay, and reverence for gaming’s past. Arcadegeddon is effectively if you took Risk of Rain 2 and removed the sadder overtones and replaced them with a Saturday morning cartoon gamer vibe aesthetic. The music is absolutely worth the price of admission alone. We recommend this game, if you’re wondering why read on below.
You play alongside Gilly, a likeable underdog trying to save his retro arcade from being bulldozed by the evil Fun Fun Co corporation. To drum up interest and funds, Gilly cleverly hacks together the greatest hits of arcade gaming into one super game called Arcadegeddon. However, Fun Fun Co retaliates by injecting a virus that corrupts the creation. Now it’s up to you and friends to dive in and exterminate the bugs overrunning Gilly’s digital dream.
The overall plot isn’t as important as the gameplay and a lot of it is skippable if you’re not into it. The overall theme is very Sunset Overdrive mixed with Fortnite and gamer, to make comparisons. It’s really neat? The design is actually quite enjoyable and don’t worry you can make any kind of character you want in the character creator. Speaking of…
Gamer Everything Overload
Hopping into Arcadegeddon’s pixelated portal instantly evokes a blast of bubbly 16-bit nostalgia. The bright colors, chunky character models, neon glows, and Tron-like landscapes fuse old school cool with a trendy cyberpunk aesthetic. Standing amidst the graffitied alleyways or flashy casinos truly feels like being immersed inside an ’80s arcade cabinet. Character customization brings even more flair, with outlandish outfits and skins to kit out your avatar from head to toe. The eye-catching presentation pairs perfectly with the punchy EDM soundtrack, making even simple menu navigation an energizing audio-visual spectacle.
Of course, looks can only carry a game so far; thankfully the gameplay provides plenty of chaotic fun once the bullets start flying. Arcadegeddon plays like a mashup between synthwave-flavored third-person shooters like Sunset Overdrive and roguelikes such as Risk of Rain 2. The emphasis is on non-stop run-and-gun action as you blast through procedurally generated levels filled with quirky foes.
A satisfying selection of pistols, shotguns, rifles and more bring the pain through various rarities and manufacturers that change up damage types and behaviors. Unusual standouts like the Pyrobat’s flamethrower and Captain Ahab’s harpoon gun add some delightful variety alongside more traditional fare. Shooting feels punchy and responsive across the board, though some spread-happy SMGs aren’t as enjoyable to use.
You’re incentivized to keep blasting as dropping foes generates coins for purchasing consumable buffs between rounds. These “hacks” bolster your firepower, max health, ammo capacity and more for the duration of a run. Chests scattered around levels provide additional random hacks and weapon drops to further augment your killing potential. The roguelike setup makes each run feel unique, as you hope to stack overpowered upgrades that let you push further against the ascending challenges.
A smooth difficulty curve ensures the action stays intense without getting frustrating, at least early on. Mobs of minions pour into the battlefield, so you’re constantly dashing around unleashing torrents of destruction. The performance of the game is very good and everything is tight and well put together.
Spread across the carnage are memorable boss battles that run the gamut from a creepy clown to a Pacific Rim-style mech. These multiphase slugfests squeeze every bit of challenge from Arcadegeddon’s simple mechanics, forcing you to keep moving and emptying clips while avoiding devastating attacks. The experience continues escalating as you up the World Tier difficulty, modifying encounters by adding phases and juicing up the punishment. In co-op, frantically coordinating strategy with friends during these epic clashes becomes an absolute blast.
The combat is very thrilling but it gets kinda familiar pretty fast. You’re mostly fighting foes in rather open arenas. There’s a lot of change with the procedurally generated levels but it doesn’t change the overall sameyness of the game. You’ll see bigger numbers, but you’re not going to really find a lot more of the game once you’re a bit into it.
Builds don’t really have a lot of diversity either. Once you get started, you’re pretty much just moving along with incremental power gains. Yet the game itself is designed around the “gamer vibes” so it being a massive grindfest should be expected.
There’s a lot of fun in all the different weapons too and optimization isn’t required if you’re not trying to overstep where you’re at difficulty wise.
The game’s low cost of entry and massive amount of overall content and gametime, amazing musical score and tight combat makes this a extremely fun gamer themed romp through a digital world. It’s rather inexpensive, it plays well and it’s definitely worth it if the trailers and screenshots interest you.
Arcadegeddon tells a heartwarming tale of indie dev passion and community triumphing over corporate greed. That same spirit radiates through the vibrant art direction,’ earworm soundtrack, and waiver gunplay. While the repetitive run-and-gun grind turns monotonous over time, the sheer style and personality bursting from Illfonic’s arcade love letter make it hard not to smile. Minor issues aside, fans of frenetic shooters owe it to themselves to give Arcadegeddon a spin.
If you’re interested in joining the community for Arcadegeddon, check out these links provided by Illfonic: