You'd think a game about arcade games with an adorable cast of furry characters would be great so let's explore Button City.
When I first watched a trailer for Button City, I was completely smitten as it features some of my favourite things in the world: arcade games, a cast full of adorable animals, gentle humour, and cute graphics with a beautiful pastel colour palette just like this humble website. After playing it for about an hour, I started wondering when the actual game would start because there was a lot of dialogue. Sure, I was enjoying reading the silly banter and learning about each animal chum but I didn't realise at the time that this would comprise most of the campaign. Should I be so bold as to call this excessive amount of dialogue self-indulgent? Yes; I think I shall. It's too much. Don't get me wrong; it is full of heart, distinct personalities, and gentle jokes but I was kind of expecting more arcade gameplay.
Speaking of which, the inhabitants of Button City's world are obsessed with a game called Gobabots and thankfully, you actually get to play it. However, it's not really anything to get obsessed over as all you do is control a robot while gathering fruit then throwing the fruit into a centre blender for points. As you do so, you can attack opponents to steal their fruit and unleash a special move whenever it's full. Considering there are many different kinds of robots, your attacks will vary although the core gameplay remains quite unchallenging and simplistic. Plus, there's no multiplayer support in Button City whatsoever which is a huge missed opportunity.
In addition to Gobabots, you can also play a couple of other arcade games. First, rEVolution Racer is a basic racing game where you charge your boost by drifting. It's very short and repetitive but you can implement different modes and power-ups after unlocking them which adds a bit of variety. Next and finally, there's Prisma Beats which is a rhythm game where you tap or hold 4 buttons. To be honest, I found it to be quite difficult but that's probably because I'm not very good at rhythm games in general.
Outside of playing these games, you'll spend the vast majority of Button City's campaign exploring its unique world that's composed of rectangular areas. While you casually stroll around, you can talk to NPCs and complete quests for them, gather collectibles and currencies, and purchase unlockables from various shops and vending machines. It's all very laidback stuff that verges on unengaging although there always seems to be some sort of busywork to do. For example, I quite liked dressing up in acquired costume parts.
Last but not least, the camera in Button City is something that I ended up struggling with far more than I thought I would considering how simple of a game it is. Plenty of times, I couldn't figure out how to interact with something because I was off by a pixel so I'd move in the other direction which would make it go off again. Sometimes, the camera completely clunked out such as when I quit the racing game in the arcade then the camera was in my house and zoomed through a few parts of the city before returning to the arcade.
Button City is one of those games that I really wanted to love but ended up displeased by its clunky setup and subpar mini-games. There is still a good time to be had in its cute world, though, especially if you don't mind taking the bad with the good.
- + Adorable game world that's bursting with furry friends and cute locations
- + Full of heart and gentle humour
- + Lots of goodies to collect
- - The mini-games aren't all that enjoyable
- - Dialogue can get rather excessive
- - Plenty of odd camera issues