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PS4 / PS5 Game Review

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Arcade Spirits
The New Challengers


Format: PS4 / PS5
Publisher: PQube
Developer: Fiction Factory Games
RRP: £15.99
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 27 May 2022

In the distant future year 20XX, an alternate timeline where arcades never went away... you're an aspiring gamer searching for esports glory on the Fist of Discomfort 2 Pro Tour. Seeking a partner to play with, you join a team of players who hang out at Good Clean Fun, a combination pizzeria / laundromat / arcade. It's up to you to rally the team, learning more about who they are and how best to support their dreams along the way. Defeat rivals, conquer tournaments, build relationships, and uncover a strange arcade conspiracy as your team walks the road to victory...

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Engage in a retro dating sim set in a futuristic parallel universe

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers is the follow up game to 2019's Arcade Spirits. It's a retro dating sim visual novel game set in a futuristic parallel universe where arcades didn't die a death in the '80s. The result is an '80s vibe future where arcade games are all the craze (oddly still with retro graphics).

You start the game with a customisable character as you seek to join a team of players in order to take part in a huge arcade tournament. It's a bit of a slog, if you're not a fan of text based games, with the occasional multiple choice decision, but those that enjoy the genre will find much to get on board with here.

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Start the game with a customisable character

If you didn't play the first game and have no idea what you're getting into... It doesn't really matter as this is a standalone game. However if you have played the previous outing you can import your character into this game.

There are romance paths for you to wander down and while some of the characters can be a little standoffish, it's not difficult to go through the game without really disliking any of them. They all have their quirks, but all have genuine reasons for being the way they are.

Build your own championship legend and let your relationships blossom into beautiful friendships... or perhaps more? The New Challengers throws a sense of classic arcade competitiveness into the mix. Take on the world in Fist of Discomfort 2, a tactical fighter interwoven within the narrative.

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Let your relationships blossom into beautiful friendships

And if you're thinking "Fist of Discomfort 2" has double double entendre qualities... Well this sort of humour is sprinkled throughout the game, so it's more than likely that this was the designers intention.

It's not a game for everyone, but if you love investing time and effort getting to know your character and the other characters in the game's world you'll have a blast.


Nick Smithson

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£20 Playstation Network Card