Button City

Those who know me know that I love burritos — so much so that I think they should be included in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. The reason I like burritos is because, when done correctly, they’re filled with multiple tasty items that combine to make one giant tasty item. But the cool thing about a really good burrito is that you can usually taste each ingredient just about evenly. Button City from developer Subliminal, which was highlighted in the Wholesome Games show during this year’s E3, might very well be a video-game burrito.

Sure, the game looks more like a cake, with its pleasant pastel color palette, but it comes together more like a burrito. That’s due in large part to the way Button City combines its various mechanics. At the heart of the game’s story is a fox named Fennel. Having moved to a new town, Fennel discovers the local arcade, the titular Button City. Here, our shy protagonist will meet friend and foe while attempting to save the arcade from closing down.

The Button City Steam demo gives a nice glimpse into the game’s themes and world. Your first quest is to assemble a team with three NPCs to take down the undefeated Scrub Squad. This group of hooligans holds the title of Gobabots (a game within Button City) champions, and you have to change that.

Button City

At the arcade you’ll meet a few different characters. Most of these characters are reluctant to join your squad unless you complete certain objectives. One character only wanted to join my group if I recruited two other specific characters — I immediately moved on and decided that, if I wasn’t good enough for him, then he wasn’t even worth the trouble.

Another character was more reasonable — she’d lost an item and requested I find it. “Okay, I can work with that,” I thought to myself. After all, it’s not like this character cared who else was on my team. She was willing to lend a helping hand, but first she needed to acquire her lost item. This meant I needed to talk to other characters to get clues as to the whereabouts of this lost trinket.

After wandering the arcade for a few minutes and talking to most of the NPCs, I was able to retrieve the lost item, securing a teammate to help take down the Scrub Squad. A few character interactions and a couple minutes of wandering later, and I had a full team.

Button City

Character interactions and dialogue in Button City are fairly breezy. There are tiny bits of humor, but more than anything, the game just has this relaxed, chill vibe to it. Aside from being a video game burrito, I’d say Button City is also a good candidate for being considered a “recliner game.” You know, something you sit back and relax with.

The other part of the gameplay is a bit more action-driven. Once I’d put together my team of four, we challenged the Scrub Squad to a round of Gobabots. This was basically a four-on-four hack-and-slash game where players have to collect fruit — off the ground, from trees, and so on — and take it to a checkpoint at the center of the stage. Each fruit delivered grants one point for the team, and the team with the most points when the timer runs out is declared the winner.

Long story short: We whooped those fools and dethroned them, becoming the new Gobabots gods in the process.

Button City

The Steam demo ends there, but if these initial moments are anything to go by, Button City could be a really fun narrative adventure with some cool minigames thrown in to mix things up quite nicely. One look at the game’s trailer and screens, and you’ll see racing and rhythm minigames, among others. I’m excited to discover the many surprises that the arcade has to offer, as well as learning more about Fennel and his gang of pals.

Based on the playable Button City Steam demo and the game’s reveal trailer (posted at the bottom of this article), the ingredients for this particular burrito are as follows:

  • 4 tablespoons of narrative adventure
  • 2 cups of character dialogue
  • 8 diced minigame mechanics
  • 4 slices of pure, raw charm
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of chill vibes
  • 1 giant tortilla made out of colorful graphics, warmed

Now, I might be off by an ingredient or two, but that’s what I think Subliminal used to whip up Button City. Don’t believe me? You should definitely try out the demo for yourself! It’s really fun, and really tasty! Just remember: It’s not a cake; it’s a burrito.

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