E3 2018 IMPRESSIONS: Arcade Islands: Volume One

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

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Arcade Islands | Logo

I know Mastiff for a couple games in particular – Moon, a fantastic horror FPS developed by Renegade Kid, but also for bringing the delightful Gurumin 3D to the 3DS. So when I looked at their roster shown at E3, I tried to find something that caught my attention. While the VR horror of Home Sweet Home looked terrifying and compelling, my colleague Quentin tackled that. For myself, I thought I’d try my hand at a new party game, Arcade Islands: Volume One.

Arcade Islands | Tropic

Arcade Islands is a compilation of 33 different titles for both PS4 and XBox One. That was pretty much all I knew going in. I quickly learned that up to 4 people can play against each other simultaneously, as well as there being online leaderboards. While it’s true the games are simple, that’s not the same as being easy. Learning the mechanics may be no big feat, but mastery is a whole other deal. There’s as much variety and complexity as you might find in a game like Mario Party.

Arcade Islands | Super Vegan Anaconda

I played a handful of different games to see how it worked. There was one called Lava Golf, where you have to hit a golf ball up increasingly irregular slopes to sink a hole in one. Initially I was rocking it, but it quickly got to Sonic levels of curve mastery. There was also a real head scratcher called Block the Bug, which involves using stones to try and keep a bug from escaping to the periphery of the screen, which is much trickier than it sounds. There was even a game called Super Vegan Anaconda, which is much like the classic Snake game, but with some quirks like getting an axe powerup to chop off segments and with a few lives to spare. Another noteworthy minigame was Lava Bridge Builder, where you hold the button to extend your bridge to cross chasms over molten lava, and overextending or underextending results in your fiery demise.

Arcade Islands | Block the Bug

Having only played a handful of minigames, I can say with confidence this will be a great party title. While it’s true Arcade Islands: Volume One is simple, and teeters on the casual side, it’s also far more challenging and fun than I anticipated. I could see this being a great game to play with friends whilst making the loser take a shot between rounds. Best of all, there’s a lot of replay value, since your performance is rewarded with up to 3 stars, and you’ll always be incentivized to beat the highest score on those online leaderboards.

Arcade Islands | Lava Bridge Builder

While I don’t believe there’s a release date for Arcade Islands: Volume One yet, it is slated to release in 2018. If you have a PS4 or XBox One and are looking to play with a good group of friends, be sure to check it out. You can also watch the E3 sizzle trailer below to see a taste of what to expect from Mastiff’s current lineup. And stay tuned for Quentin’s coverage of Home Sweet Home and accompanying interview with the team as well!

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Review Manager he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his spare time he counts the days until Mega Man 11, TWEWY Final Remix and Wargroove release.