Upon first seeing it during the Wholesome Direct as part of this year’s E3 / Summer Games Fest festivities, Button City was among the more colorful and cute entries. Now available, Button City features a simple and light-hearted story that is brimming with cuteness, but it stumbles to hold your attention as soon as its main story ends.
What Is It?
Button City is a third-person game that’s primarily a narrative experience. You play as a shy little fox named Fennel who moves into town with his mother. Encouraged to go out and explore his new home, Fennel comes across other furry friends at the Button City Arcade and forms a group to play Gobabots, a sort of moba experience that’s all the rage at this particular establishment.
Why Should I Care?
At its core, Button City plays like Animal Crossing, as you really don’t do much of anything save for a few minigames in the form of the games you play at the arcade, this lemonade-making game, and a part near the end that feels like a simple Zelda dungeon.
It’s really the story that pulls you in along, and the sidequests that have a similar loop. The problem is that since the sidequests are so much like the main story where you’ll constantly be told by your friends to gather a bunch of items, they don’t offer a lot of variety. By the time you roll credits, there isn’t much of a desire to do anything else in the game. Sure, the sidequests give you a chance to get to know the other characters better, but there’s not much of an incentive aside from the trophies to do that.
To make questing a little easier, each area in the game is accessible via Quick Travel. While it’s nothing special, this form of traversal is pretty charming as it showcases each little level in diorama form, and as you get to the end of the game, it makes what happens to the game’s bad guy even more hilarious.
If you’re looking to completely finish the game–aside from the aforementioned sidequests that hardly respect your time–you also have to prove formidable in the three games available at the arcade. There’s Gobabots, a racing game called REVolution Racer, and a DDR clone in Prisma Beats.
REVolution Racer is a polygonal racing game that’s hard at first, but once you get the hang of corners and utilizing your boosts, you’ll start to master it. Prisma Beats is pretty much impossible and the timing with the arrows is terrible. This is the main reason I gave up on getting Button City‘s Platinum trophy.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
If you’re looking for a quick and cute experience that you’ll finish in less than four hours, Button City should be right up your alley. There’s promise in this kind of game, but it lacks the polish that definitely could’ve benefitted from more time in the oven–especially with how needlessly difficult the arcade minigames are. There are even random times where some door prompts won’t appear to let you open them, which you correct by going into your console’s home screen, so it’s a bit weird. All in all, Button City is a game that I would consider waiting for a price drop on before diving in.