ReviewsReview: King of the Arcade

Review: King of the Arcade


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The gaming industry is a competitive animal. As such, if you are a gamer, you’ll play to win. What’s more, players of all ages have a chance to shine. Consequently, when King of the Arcade tells a sombre story of a man that is down on his luck, it makes you sit up and listen. Luckily, though; the plot isn’t too heavy and this arcade-loving title is mainly a lighthearted affair. 

Developed and published by Super Villain Games, this is an adventure arcade experience. Moreover, it is witty, competitive, and can be enjoyed solo or with another. Furthermore, it is distinctly old-school and comprises some classic and original games. Therefore, there is something for everyone in this short but amusing endeavour. 

The hero cannot escape his gaming destiny.
The hero can’t escape his gaming destiny.

King of the Arcade tells a fall from grace. 

Everyone loves to see an underdog fulfil their potential. Yet, what isn’t so popular is when you witness their subsequent fall from grace. Sadly for the protagonist in this tale, this is exactly what happens. However, there could be a sting in the tale as the hero could redeem themselves and save the day. 

You are Mac McCormick, a gaming prodigy who reaches his peak at the age of 13. Having won the King of the Arcade competition, his life then takes a downward spiral. 20 years on from that life-changing experience, Mac fid himself broke and desperate for work. As such, he enters Castle’s Arcade where he must prove his worth if he is to be employed. But this fateful encounter sets off a chain of events that could have devastating consequences. 

Gus tells you that you must complete 7 challenges.
7 challenges, is that all?

80s gaming at its best. 

I love retro gaming. Therefore, I felt very comfortable with every brilliant arcade game on offer. The action is divided into 2 modes. There is the story option or a private arcade to enjoy. The latter choice allows you free rein of every game, handheld device, console, or computer. Furthermore, you can enjoy most of the machines with someone else and that was great fun. 

The body of the experience, however, is the excellent, albeit short story mode. Here, you must prevent a hostile takeover of Castle’s Arcade by overcoming 7 challengers and defeating a final boss. Each task incorporates a unique genre, and the “tough” and obnoxious characters wonderfully capture each clichéd personality. 

Each title is astonishingly 80s in its design and this enhances the arcade theme and the retro style. Moreover, you’ll enjoy racing, air hockey, football, a claw grabber, plenty of shooting, platformers, and a punching bag game. Alongside this, some addictive and simple titles beg to be experienced. Accordingly, this straightforward affair offers plenty of variety during its short playtime. 

King of the Arcade is gloriously low-poly. 

Low-poly graphics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, when it comes to retro gaming, they are a must. As such, I loved the boxy shapes, the garish colours, and the silly character models. Furthermore, the rough graphics and even rougher edges were fantastic. What was even better was how smoothly each title performed. Yes, they are extremely simple games, but I didn’t experience any issues. However, the same can’t be said for the protagonist’s movement. Disappointingly, he walks like he’s soiled himself, and bumping into the furniture is unfortunately a given. Accordingly, this should have been much better even if it wasn’t game-breaking. 

80s gaming requires an upbeat and aggressive soundtrack. Thankfully, there is a fantastic choice of songs to listen to, and a retro jukebox is available to let you pick your favourite track. On top of this, you can “enjoy” some horribly shrill and apt sound effects. Whether it was the distorted sound of a crowd cheering, the tinny noise of bullets, or the crass noise of failure, it was amazing. 

A black and green race car fight one another.
That is some aggressive driving.

Excellent controls 

Other than the aforementioned movement issues, the developers got their controls spot on. With responsive inputs, easy-to-understand layouts, and thorough tutorials, you’ll be enjoying this in no time.

Though the story is short, and that was annoying, there is still replay value and longevity. Thanks to the private arcade, the leaderboard, and the multiplayer action, there is plenty to do. What’s more, there are over 40 games to try out, so it is great value for money. 

King of the Arcade is a tongue-in-cheek title that will tickle you. 

There have been several games that have tried to replicate the arcade experience. Sadly, most of them fail and the action feels shallow and pointless. Luckily, King of the Arcade doesn’t take itself too seriously, and this helps its cause. Moreover, most of the games are great fun and this helps things further still. Yes, I wish the story was longer, but I still had an enjoyable time, nonetheless. Accordingly, I recommend that you buy it here! Your path to redemption has come to the fore. Can you prove your worth in the gaming arena and save the day? Take on each challenger, obtain every high score, and prove that you are the King of the Arcade. 


King of the Arcade is a fun 80s-inspired romp. With colourful characters, interesting games, and an underdog story, this will make you laugh throughout. I adored the unique take on classic arcade titles and the short but sweet plot. My only complaint is that it isn't long enough. Consequently, I hope the developers add more content.

+ A vivid colour palette.
+ The Rocky montage is excellent.
+ A fantastic soundtrack.
+ Amusing and cliched characters.
+ Plenty of genres to try.
+ A fun story.
+ The ability to play with others is fantastic.
+ The private arcade option was great.

- The hero walks as if he has soiled himself.
- The game is not long enough.
- Not enough depth.

(Rating: PEGI 16 Strong Violence Release date: 12/04/2023 Price: £6.69)

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One.)

Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email:

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>King of the Arcade</em> is a fun 80s-inspired romp. With colourful characters, interesting games, and an underdog story, this will make you laugh throughout. I adored the unique take on classic arcade titles and the short but sweet plot. My only complaint is that it isn't long enough. Consequently, I hope the developers add more content.</p><br/> + A vivid colour palette.<br/> + The <em>Rocky</em> montage is excellent.<br/> + A fantastic soundtrack.<br/> + Amusing and cliched characters.<br/> + Plenty of genres to try.<br/> + A fun story.<br/> + The ability to play with others is fantastic.<br/> + The private arcade option was great.<br/> <br/> - The hero walks as if he has soiled himself.<br/> - The game is not long enough.<br/> - Not enough depth.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 16 Strong Violence <b>Release date:</b> 12/04/2023 <b>Price:</b> £6.69)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One.)</p><br/>Review: King of the Arcade