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Date (or Don’t) Your Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers Teammates

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Arcade Spirits New Challengers fireworks

Sometimes you want to play the field. Other times, you just aren’t looking for romance and want to surround yourself with good friends. Giving players the freedom of choice, and a lot of choices at that, is what makes Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers such an enjoyable visual novel.

As the game introduces new potential partners, you’ll be presented with First Impressions. This determines whether or not you want to be friends, enemies, or keep things open for some quality flirting. I chose not to get tangled up with my rival Hunter. They’d been my online battling partner for so long that keeping things platonic made sense to me. When I showed up at the arcade to meet my potential teammates, I figured it best not to overwhelm myself. This meant sticking to the friendship route with Grace and Domino. Grace was just too sweet and reserved for me, whereas Domino’s off-kilter demeanor was a bit of a turn-off.

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers romance option

This meant things were open with the dashing Locksley, pulls no punches Zapper, pack parent Rhapsody, and the cool and mysterious Jynx. Early on, I focused on activities that let me get to know each of these four more. As I got to know my team members, I found myself leaning harder into the story threads offered by Rhapsody and Jynx. These two were my front runners for the first playthrough companionship. Making story choices that put me with either one were always the priority. This is how I learned of Rhapsody’s gamer block, their fall from grace as a pro player, and career pivot to shoutcasting. The loss of confidence in their gaming skills made me want to lift them back up, get them back up on the podium.

But then I spent more time with Jynx. I was already intrigued by this racing game enthusiast. The way she spoke of in-universe game Fast Cars reminded me of the days I spent attached to the Initial D machine at my favorite arcade. She introduced me to her cat, Mynx, which was clearly a huge step for her. We played Fist of Destruction 2 together whenever time to play the mini-game arose. When shit hit the fan, she smacked me back to reality.

Arcade Spirits New Challengers romance Jynx

Whether or not you decide to mix work with pleasure is your call. Managing and playing in an esports team is stressful enough. It’s completely understandable to limit your extracurriculars. And yes, this is an LGBTQ+ friendly experience. You can woo everyone or no one, and if you make just the right choices there’s even a polyamorous ending in your future. With so many options, there is no wrong way to enjoy this visual novel. I love that Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers never pressures you into flirting or dating. The understanding that not every person wants love injected into their visual novels makes this appealing to a wider audience. My positive experience makes me a little sad that I didn’t catch on to this series earlier.

Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers is available now for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Annette Polis
Annette is an avid gamer and obsessed with Nendoroids. She is that one person you know who actually likes Fallout 76. You may have spotted her streaming or writing about video games elsewhere. Annette contributes reviews and playtests for Siliconera and assists with contests and giveaways.