Regular readers might be a little confused, since I'm actually writing about a Visual Novel that I actually played despite them not usually being something I usually enjoy. Arcade Spirits actually won me over.
Note: Key provided by the developer.
It's probably the writing as well as the setting that actually helped me enjoy it here, as a gamer the arcade certainly speaks to me of course. The writing though was a genuine surprise, even early on I thought it was really quite good and somewhat amusing too.
There is some pretty good voice acting in it too. It's a little odd though, as you only get small parts of the game voiced while others aren't and you're just reading. Still, it's nicer than no voice acting at all for such a game and helps pull you in a bit more being able to put a voice to the characters which for me is quite important to get engrossed in it.
More about it:
Arcade Spirits, a romantic visual novel, follows an alternate timeline set in the year 20XX where the 1983 video game crash never occurred. After a turbulent work history, you are granted employment at the Funplex, a popular arcade, home to a host of unique personalities and customers. Where will this new-found employment take you? Who will you meet along the way? Will you find the romance you're seeking?
- Design your own character from the ground up - pronoun, hairstyle, skin tone, hair color, eye color and more are completely customizable and are reflected throughout the game in both gameplay and artwork!
- With roleplaying-based choices, you will be able to grow your personality and relationships in any way you desire; Friendship, Platonic or something more intimate! Work hard and build the relationship you desire with a total of seven romanceable characters!
- The Identity Identifier System, or IRIS, can track your relationship statuses with all characters throughout Arcade Spirits as well as your personality traits, from Quirky, Steady, and Kindly, to Gutsy and Basically.
- Everything you choose in Arcade Spirits, from your relationships to your personality, your crisis management moments, and a myriad other decision will have an effect on the future of your arcade!
No issues found with the Linux version, everything worked pretty much perfectly. That was also a surprise, as it's made with Ren'Py which I usually have all sorts of issues with but they did a really nice job here.