Arcade of Neon

Other than a really annoying soundtrack, Arcade of Neon seems like it would have fit right at home on the Atari 2600.  This is one of those “dodge most everything, except the stuff you’re not supposed to dodge” games.  It’s loaded with play modes and can be addictive in a hypnotic “am I really having fun or am I being brainwashed into buying products I don’t need” kind of way.  It reminds me of my parents while they watch the Vampire Diaries.  Yes, my parents, ages 63 and 44, watch the Vampire Diaries.  Shame of my life, obviously.

It's not much to look at, but really, it can be fun.

It’s not much to look at, but really, it can be fun.

The concept is you’re a circle that has to dodge other circles.  Alternatively, you can absorb like-colored circles for points.  In the main mode of play, switching which color you are is handled with the face buttons and their corresponding colors.  So Y would be white, X is black, B is like a dark grey.. hey wait a second.  Oh, that’s right.  I have one of those controllers.  Well if you have a normal controller, you can look down for reference.  For whatever reason, my brain refused to retain that Green = A.  The other colors I could use fine, but for whatever reason my personal wiring refused to allow me to adjust to green with quick reflexes.  There’s probably some complex reason for that, but I’ll just save everyone some time and say that I’m an idiot.

There’s a ton of modes here that change-up the formula, including a game that I think was funded by SPECTRE with the aim of creating the ultimate weapon of boredom.  It’s like Pong, only it’s single player, you can’t possibly hit the ball past the computer, and the object is to keep returning the volleys.  Sometimes when the AI hits the ball back, it changes color, and you have to match the color with your paddle.  The problem is, the paddles are huge and the ball NEVER GETS FASTER!  I played it for like ten minutes and it was the most excruciatingly boring ten minutes of my entire life.  That’s not hyperbolic.  I’m dead serious.  We need to get scientists off the Hadron Collider and have them study this thing.  It’s the most remarkably bad game mode I’ve ever seen in my entire life and after ten minutes I was temporarily insane from it.  I set off a small fire in my office and had an extended conversation with my coffee table.  How does anyone come up with a game like this in 2013?

Avoid having sharp objects within reaching distance when attempting to play the Pong mode.

Avoid having sharp objects within reaching distance when attempting to play the Pong mode.

The rest of Arcade of Neon isn’t nearly that bad.  In fact, it’s a perfectly acceptable waste of a few minutes and at times fun.  But there’s a couple gigantic problems here.  There are ten modes of play available, but only one hi-score slot is present.  This is one of the biggest brain farts I’ve seen from a developer in a while.  Ten unique modes, one hi-score space that they all share together.  It’s really disappointing because I know the developer reads me and I figured I at least had enough influence (ha!) to make people second-guess such no-brainer choices.  Apparently he got no feedback from people saying “you know, if there’s ten unique game modes, people might want to know what their best score in each mode is.”  I’m so pissed about this that I’m banning him from further game development until he writes “I will use my head for something other than a hat rack” 100 times on a blackboard.  I don’t think I actually have that authority, but I don’t know if he knows that.

Another problem is I sort of already played a game that’s very similar to this, called Dot Dash Episode 1.  Although Arcade of Neon offers more play modes and a larger variety of objectives, Dot Dash had better graphics and play control for the same price.  Considering that Dot Dash barely landed a spot on the Leaderboard, I guess Arcade of Neon ought to miss the cut.   But my only real criteria is having fun, and I did have fun with Arcade of Neon.  I’m into twitchy arcade-style games, and it offers that.  It offers that in a no-frills, shitty package that doesn’t even offer more than one hi-score spot for ten modes of play, which I can’t stress enough is about as dumb as asking a narcotics officer for directions to the nearest opium den.  So yea, I guess I do very, very, very mildly recommend Arcade of Neon.  Just not the Pong mode.  Seriously, don’t touch that thing.  Don’t even think about it.  The Chinese are replacing their infamous water torture with it.  True story.

IGC_ApprovedxboxboxartArcade of Neon was developed by Ivatrix Games

80 Microsoft Points heard Devil Blood and Send in Jimmy breathed a sigh of relief in the making of this review.

Arcade of Neon is Chick Approved, even though in its case the Seal is affixed with the rancid snot of a walrus with the flu, and it’s ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  Barely.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

2 Responses to Arcade of Neon

  1. I’ll get to writing out those lines straight away Ms.IndieGamerChick. On a serious note I’m happy with worst of the best/best of the worst, at least I got a ranking this time so that’s an improvement…right? Hopefully my next game may be average among the leaderboard, or maybe even above average! I guess we will see when it’s finally done, but first I have to start it. I promise I will use my head for something other than a hat rack, although I’ll have difficulty finding a blackboard, those things haven’t been in schools round here for a while now you old timer. Thanks for the review!

  2. Pingback: Indie Game Round-Up: Gingerbread | The Indie Game Magazine - Indie Game Reviews, Previews, News & Downloads

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