Announced back in June of 2020, Button City immediately stood out to me with its cute, bubbly, charming, introduction into it’s colorful world. Developed by Subliminal Button City aims at offering players a relaxing, silly, narrative experience while staying very true to it’s non violent approach.
Fish Out Of Water Story
The story of Button City is fairly simple; you play as a new kid in town Fennel who becomes acquainted with the town full of quirky characters. You come to find out that the local arcade is going to be shut down and banded together with your new best friends you put a stop to the plan.
I particularly like the names of each character as most of them are foods similar to that of the Cartoon Network cartoon Chowder. The dialogue exceeded my expectations as well with an amazingly charming and often hilarious way of silliness that is somewhat lost in translation in other games of it’s kind. Extra dialogue options are also a welcomed addition although to be frank they don’t really have much weight on the entire story and are more there to add on to the overall world building.
One Button Is All You Need
When the game takes the focus off of the cute characters inhabiting Button City you will find yourself wandering aimlessly around the city vertically in an insanely intuitive quick travel system or enjoying your time within the arcade playing one of its few games.
The story tends to revolve around the arcade game Gogabots as you find yourself playing this throughout the story whether its to practice with your newfound friends or when challenging some rivals along the way.
Gogabots is played similar to that in vein of a MOBA in a way(see League of Legends/Pokemon Unite) with the objective is to work together to collect fruits to deposit and the team with the most fruit is the winner. I didn’t have much fun with this because this was a clear oversimplification of the idea with a one button layout that offered no real challenge in each iteration of it through the story.
Personally there is nothing in this game that holds a candle to Revolution Racer, the racing arcade game within Button City. The controls for the car are slippery in an insane Initial D kind of way and I could not help grin every time I saw the drift animation for the car. Its a very fun side game that otherwise should be a full game on it’s own.
The final game in the arcade was Prisma Beats which is an Osu! styled rhythm game when notes fly towards a certain point on the screen with the objective of hitting the corresponding button at the correct timing. This game wasn’t anything to really write home about, the background dancing is cute and luckily this as well as Revolution Racer is not required to further the main story.
Subliminal made great strides in making sure the world of Button City was not too hard for anyone and I respect that. There are upgrades within the game in the form of Fluff Buffs that can help you within arcade games and the journal system within Button City that are extremely helpful and should be implemented in more games.
The real winner of this game however is whoever decided on the aesthetic because it is undeniably cute. Subliminal absolutely nailed an art style that absolutely compliments the tone of the game in every conceivable way. The worlds color scheme is very bright while each of the characters are unique and easy on the eyes. Geometrically the games graphics aren’t too pointy and not too round making this entire game an entire candy store full of visuals.
Button City is an incredibly quirky and visually uplifting game full of some really interesting critters. While parts of the story itself aren’t anything to write home about the game very much makes up for it with it’s confidence and charm. It may not be the deepest game but it is absolutely one of the most wholesome.
You’re not getting the most engaging game with revolutionary gameplay but I guarantee some laughs will be had and some tears may be shed on this adventure.