Gut Check – The Coin Game

Describing The Coin Game is going to be fairly tricky to be honest, mostly because even after playing over an hour of it, I don’t know what to say.  In the simplest terms, The Coin Game is a virtual arcade experience where you get to play crane games, drive go-karts, play laser tag and more, in one of the strangest worlds I’ve ever seen.

The Coin Game is an early access title, which I mention because the experience itself, while supremely interesting, is a little thin.  You start off by picking either a male or female avatar, both of which are so horrible to look at, I’m thankful the game is entirely in first person.


After making your grim decision, you find yourself in front a dingy arcade filled with games.  Games and robots.  From what I can tell, in The Coin Game, you’re the only human around and everyone else is some sort of egg-shaped robot on wheels that spouts random nonsense at you whenever you get close enough to them.

But once you get past these ovate androids, you walk around this arcade and just play some classic arcade games.  Things like claw machines, whack-a-mole, and more are pretty lovingly made, with the physics usually holding up their end of the bargain and providing an, oddly enough, realistic representation of these attractions.  Just like you’d expect, doing well at these games grants you tickets that you trade in for prizes, that you’ll use for some unknown purpose.


Now stick with me here, because if you didn’t think it was before, it’s definitely about to get weird.

The Coin Game is confoundingly an open world game with multiple arcades in it.  You go between them by taking the bus, a limo, or my favorite, your own personal golf cart.  Should you choose the golf cart, you have to stop at gas stations from time to time and refuel.  There’s also an option for a survival mode, which is perhaps the most terrifying prospect.  I did not attempt this mode.


Most of the locations are incomplete, brandishing various forms of “coming soon” signs or “under construction.”  There’s a pawn shop that isn’t currently available, which makes me think that selling your prizes for cash will let you buy food and supplies necessary for human survival, but I’m just speculating.

What’s currently in there however is still pretty weird.  From buying energy drinks, to having a dart gun and flashlight on you at all times, down to being able to just buy scratch off tickets are all weird things, that are for some reason in The Coin Game.


You can also visit your home, which might just be the strangest place of all.  It looks like a normal house, and is decorated like one too, with one major exception.  You have a pet goose.  I don’t know why, but you do.  You can feed the duck if you want, but mostly it spends its time watching TV.  There’s also a room in the house that’s dedicated to the goose.  I won’t go into specifics, but you should check it out.

The Coin Game is so delightfully weird and a little unsettling in a way that I’m totally a fan of.  It revels in its strangeness and wants you to embrace it as well.  The entire time I was playing, I kept thinking that it was going to have some sort of horror element to it because the atmosphere is just so off-putting in places, but luckily for me there was no terror to be found.


Like I said at the top, The Coin Game is a thin experience right now, boasting a few dozen arcade games, some bigger interactive experiences like go-karts and bumper cars, along with some truly lame rides that don’t really do anything but strap you in place and let you look around.  It only took me about an hour or two to touch every attraction in the game to give you an idea of its longevity.

All things considered, I really like what The Coin Game is laying out.  It’s very incomplete at the moment, with missing locations and attractions, any sort of story or motivation, full control support and more, the game earns its early access classification.  I’m extremely curious to see where it goes from here and what delightful weirdness they continue to inject into this thing, but for now, I’ve kind of spent as much time with it as I think I can get out of it in its current state.

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