GGRecon's Best Indie Games Of 2021: Button City
For many of us, arcade gaming was the gateway to our modern obsessions with our home consoles and gaming on the go. Something about the cabinets that were designed to guzzle 50 pence piece after 50 pence piece made us forget that we were losing all of our pocket money in order to simulate clattering our mates in Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat.
Many games that we know and love are indebted to this era of wholesome gaming (or about as wholesome as performing a fatality can get), whether they know it. But it's clear this debt is still recognised by many, as one indie game served as a love letter to those very cabinets that brought us together in the first place.
Button City: Insert Fawn
Button City, a sugary-sweet adventure game helmed by Subliminal Gaming duo Ryan and Shandiin Yazzie Woodward, is one that repays its debt to the sacred cabinets in a story filled with love. You play as shy fox Fennel, a new arrival in town who is unsure on how to make friends in the area - before stumbling on the local arcade, Button City. Forging allegiance with a new team to play the legendary Gobabots cabinet with, you'll learn just what friendship means as you take on the capitalist fat cat (meant both in the figurative and literal sense) who wants to tear the arcade down.
The game's story and characters are a complete delight, and with the game's art design courtesy of Shandiin, the game is a gorgeous splatter of bright pastels that help to bring out the sheer loveliness of the game's heart.
Button City: The Gamer's Gaming Game For Gamers
Even aside from the welcoming plot and infectious addictiveness of even the game's smallest elements like picking up trash and finding hats to wear, the game doesn't leave you with little to do. The game boasts three brilliant mini-games that you can visit any time you fancy - with a highlight being the downhill racing game rEVolution Racer, which lets you scrape and drift around tough corners at incredible speeds, and Prisma Beats providing a Friday Night Funkin'-style dancing game that'll take the edge off of the game (as though you needed downtime from the relentless charm of the main story).
The game is also packed with some great efforts in the representation department, and each character has their own special quirks - so charming, in fact, that you'll fall for even the rival gangs that populate Button City and threaten your chance at completing Gobabots championship.
Button City is slow-paced and meditative, but all the better for it. It wears its heart on its sleeve and will win you over almost instantly, and with protagonists as lovable as Fennel, you'll be desperate for more time with them. It's a winner straight out of the gate, and Button City will remind you just what you loved about the good old arcade days.