It’s Monday and with it comes another Melanin Friendly game! For those of you just joining the party—every Monday here on Blerdy Otome I spotlight games that feature black and brown characters for anyone looking for titles with a bit more representation. It started as something I did just for myself, since growing up as a nerdy Black kid in the south, I didn’t really get too many characters that looked like me in the games I played. Things are so much different now, and I want to celebrate each and every “Melanin Friendly” game I find!
This week, I’m spotlighting Arcade Spirits, an 80’s themed romance visual novel developed by Fiction Factory Games. Set in an alternate timeline where the 1983 video game crash never happened, you play as a new hire at the Funplex game arcade. It’s your job to keep the peace in one of the most popular arcades in the city, while trying to figure out your next step in life. At Funplex, you’ll meet a whole host of unique characters and maybe even find a little romance along the way.
Right off the bat, Arcade Spirits offers players a chance to fully design their own player character by choosing their preferred pronouns, hairstyle, hair color, skin tone, eye color, and clothing color. Games with customizable protagonists are like a dream, giving player a chance to create a representation of themselves in the game, so it really feels like “you” are apart of the action and not just a casual observer. But, I especially like that your customizations are reflected in all of the artwork in the game as well!
But the representation doesn’t end there—Arcade Spirits features a diverse cast of characters to befriend and/or romance. Each character has their own unique vibe and attachment to the arcade and it’s just so much fun getting to know them all, even if romance isn’t really what you’re after. There’s a neat in-game system called IRIS that gives the option early on to choose whether you’re looking for romance or something more platonic and I can’t tell you how refreshing that is for a game like Arcade Spirits. Your choices determine your personality and how your relationships with each character develops and the ultimate fate of the Funplex!
All in all, Arcade Spirits is a game brimming with wit and charm… and more than a few pop culture references—most related to gaming and the 80’s. But, there is a nice balance of lighthearted and serious moments in the game, that gives the story and the characters some emotional weight. So, if you’re looking for a fun melanin friendly game to dive into, look no further than Fiction Factory Games’s Arcade Spirits!
I’ve got a tag “Melanin Friendly Game” that you can use to find content about other games like this one here on Blerdy Otome!
Available On: Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam | Nintendo Switch | PS4 | XBox One
Thank you for reading and supporting Blerdy Otome! Have you played Arcade Spirits? Share your thoughts! Got a Melanin Friendly Game you think I should spotlight? Send it to me! 🙂