A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Co-op play encourages communication and teamwork, and player-versus-player inspires friendly competition. Anti-capitalism themes run through the story, which promotes individuality and self-expression.
Positive Role Models
The player's character is clever and loyal, intent on doing right by their friends and family. Non-player characters show a range of behaviors and attitudes, from bullying and shallowness to mentorship and friendliness.
Players can modify their avatars to appear masculine, feminine, or non-binary via clothing styles, face shapes, and body types. Skin tone options skew fantastical, including gray, blue, and purple, but appear to be meant to depict diversity.
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Ease of Play
Controls are intuitive, relying on a fairly standard third-person shooter interface. A playable tutorial leads players through the basics. Mastery, especially when playing with/against other people, requires time and practice.
Violence & Scariness
Players use an enormous range of guns -- pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, sci-fi blasters -- as well as melee weapons (like bats) from a third-person perspective to take on robots and the avatars of other players. Some attacks result in pink, blood-like liquid smeared across the environment. But all of the action takes place in a video game within the game, so no one is really hurt.
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Text dialogue includes words like "ass," "damn," "hell," and "sonofabitch."
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Products & Purchases
Players can use real money to purchase game currency that unlocks cosmetic upgrades in the game's store.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One non-player character is seen passed out and hiccupping, presumably drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Arcadegeddon is a downloadable third-person shooter for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Windows PCs. It's about an evil mega-corporation trying to shut down an arcade that plays host to a new indie video game by attacking it with a virus. The arcade's owner is the player character's uncle as well as the game's designer. The player's avatar can be customized, with players able to choose skin color, body type, and cosmetic items. Play -- a mix of co-operative and competitive missions against other players and computer-controlled bots -- is focused pretty much entirely on fighting in the game within a game, with players using a wide range of guns, melee weapons, and special powers. No one in the game's real world is hurt, but enemies within the game sometimes leave colorful pink streaks of blood-like liquid on the ground when dispatched. Parents should also note that dialogue contains a bit of mild language, including words like "damn," "bitch," and "hell."
Is It Any Good?
It's not particularly groundbreaking, but when everything clicks, this colorful shooter can be pretty satisfying. Arcadegeddon doesn't get bogged down in story, preferring instead to keep players neck deep in shooting action. It's absolutely loaded with imaginative weapons that fire sawblades, tracking bullets, bursts of electrical energy, and rounds that freeze enemies in place, and they can be leveled up and visually customized. The neon environments are splashy and dynamic, with fun features such as energy springs that make getting around a little more exciting. That said, the adventure mode stages do start to feel a little same-y after a while, regularly recycling objectives and bad guy types. Bosses add a bit of flavor, but aren't nearly as creative in design or behavior as those seen in similar games.
Battle mode provides a good distraction should you get bored of the story. It almost feels like Mario Party done shooter style, with the mini-games lasting just a few minutes each, players randomly grouped into teams in certain games, and points tallied across games in order to crown a final winner. It helps, as well, that players are provided a constant stream of objectives, such as opening a set number of chests or earning a specific total score in Battle mode, ensuring there's always something to focus on beyond just winning the current match or mode. In the end, though, your chances of sticking with this one will likely rest on whether you can find people you know to play with you. There's fun to be mined from Arcadeggedon, but you'll likely need the help of friends to dig it out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.