Whether the Wii or oil prices are to blame, Sega and Namco are pulling the plug on a number of arcades in Japan. Disappointing news, but where does this leave Namco’s indoor theme park Namja Town? Namja Town contains a handful of machines like Taiko no Tatsujin, Time Crisis 4 and a room of UFO catchers, but it isn’t an arcade. It’s more like a date spot mostly filled with restaurants, Ice Cream City and a Gyoza Stadium.
The attractions don’t even use Namco’s classic characters like Pac-Man or Mr. Driller. Replacing them is a family of custom cats who only appears in the park. Actually, the only reference to a Namco Bandai franchise is Gaust Panic, an event where park goers carry a device searching for magnetic points, which is obviously related to the Japan only DS game Treasure Gaust. Walking through the park’s narrow hallways you can use fortune telling machines, enter a haunted house, ride a merry-go-round and get a massage. There really is a section of freelance masseuses covered in a forest. When I was at Namja Town the place was fairly empty. While I found the change of pace quite refreshing from the crowds at Sunshine City, I can’t imagine that being a good sign for the eleven year old indoor amusement park.