It’s my birthday, and my uncle is footing the bill. My birthday is today. And tomorrow. My birthday stretches from now and into infinity, spilling out over the horizon. My birthday eats the sky and the stars, it laps up the morning light, and spits out fries and soda. On this island of knock-off Chuck E Cheese arcades and dimly lit roadside gas stations, I can spend as much money on credits as I want and play games like skee-ball until my skin is bread crust. In The Coin Game, it could well be my birthday until the day I die. These are the perks of Birthday Mode.
The Coin Game doesn’t readily give off the impression that it’s a simulated, ongoing episode of The Twilight Zone. A quick look at the Steam page, and you might get the idea it’s a one-man passion project, an Early Access release that uses stock assets to prop up a simple ode to mechanical arcade games. And it is. You can play The Coin Game as a simple Chuck E Cheese analog. You can exchange tickets for cheap toys. You can catch a live performance from an animatronic band, Teddy and the Ticket Stealers, featuring a Rastafarian banana. You can ask your uncle for more money as often as you like. But I want to go outside. So I do.
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