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Gamescom Previews – Arcade Paradise, The Last Worker, Tin Hearts, Gori: Cuddly Carnage

Wired Games had an impressive line-up of titles at this year’s Gamescom, with a bunch of titles from wildly different genres. During the week, I spent an hour with devs the studio brought along, trying out their latest games.

From business management sims to a dystopian nightmare, here’s everything I played at the Wired Games booth this year.

Arcade Paradise

Ever wanted to run an arcade? Ever wished Geralt was your dad? Then Arcade Paradise is the simulation game for you! And Christ, there are a lot of simulation games this year, so it helps to narrow them down. Thankfully, Arcade Paradise has charming, nostalgic visuals in its favour – as well as the aforementioned voice acting from Doug Cockle – which is enough to stand out from the crowd.

Even though I only got ten minutes with each game, it was clear that Arcade Paradise is some good, easy-going fun. It’s admittedly a little on the basic side, especially compared to other business management games I saw at the show, but it doesn’t need to push the genre forward to be worth picking up. Plus, this was the only one that let you piss about on arcade cabinets when you get bored of running a business, which helps if you’re feeling burnt out on games like this.

The Last Worker

Given the tragically short demo I got of each of Wired Games’ offerings, I only really spent enough time with The Last Worker to get a feel for its vibe – but what a vibe it was. Catharticly dystopian, The Last Worker sees you play as the titular final employee of a fictionalized Amazon, working at a fulfillment centre long after the climate emergency has wrought havoc on the planet. The first-person adventure game explores our real-world reliance on automation, seeing workers – already mistreated – losing their jobs in megacorporations that have already destroyed small businesses. The premise is enough to get my attention, and is worth checking out when it launches early 2023.

Gori: Cuddly Carnage

If you thought High on Life was cringe, look away now. Having been one of its defenders, however, I didn’t mind trying out Gori: Cuddly Carnage – a game that is proudly stuck in the 2000s.

Gori: Cuddly Carnage is truly a game from a simpler time – when the whole genre of “cute creature says the fuck word” was still breaking new ground. Hell, the soundtrack is even dubstep, just for that extra time period authenticity. But honestly? Skating around as Gori, slaughtering evil unicorns and doing sick skateboard tricks as you take down a boss is a lovely little trip down memory lane. I just hope the gameplay stays fast-paced throughout, otherwise it might overstay its welcome.

Tin Hearts

While clearly made with a lot of charm, puzzle game Tin Hearts failed to leave much of an impression during my short time trying it out. It has an interesting premise, as each stage takes place in a different part of a toymaker’s home, gradually telling you the story of his life. But in terms of actual gameplay, it was a tad repetitive, and despite the large stages, didn’t leave much room for experimentation in how you solve each puzzle. Later stages admittedly improve upon this, but by that time, I can see the task of guiding toy soldiers to the goal becoming a bit tedious.

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