Arena Renovation Preview: Restoring Fallen Sports Venues

Arena Renovation combines cleaning and creativity in a janitorial job. Clean sports venues and renovate them to your liking. Fully fixing a venue is tedious and involves concepts you aren’t told about. But it’s a great outlet for your creativity with several venues to renovate as you please.

Arena Renovation Preview: Restoring Fallen Sports Venues

Do you love going to sports venues? Does it break your heart seeing them in abject disrepair? Would you do something about it if you could? Arena Renovation hears your concerns and puts you in the position of almighty janitor. You go around to sports venues that have seen better days, suffering from large amounts of neglect and damage. But with some hard work and monetary investment, you can restore these venues to their former glory or fully renovate them.

Cleaning venues is your biggest job, as renovating a place while it is in disarray isn’t possible. Small venues are easy to clean, but you aren’t told that big venues require additional work and ways to reach high places. Making a venue spotless is also difficult because the visual indicators aren’t too clear. But for any sports-minded fans who don’t mind cleaning up, the reward of customising your venue is hard to beat.

Arena Renovation is currently in Early Access and is available on PC for USD 14.99.

Destroy Rebuild Renovate | Arena Renovation Gameplay | First Look

Story – Venues in Serious Disrepair

You step into the shoes of a nameless protagonist whose job is to fix up a local table tennis building. After fixing the building, you gain access to more venues which are in greater states of disrepair. While cleaning up is the bulk of the job, you must go around and fix some of the venue’s more serious problems. A lack of power or a missing basketball net hurts a venue more than broken rubble on the floor.

There isn’t much of a story beyond cleaning venues that have fallen into disrepair, similar to Plasma. The reason behind the venue’s collapse isn’t important because you are focusing on the future. Fix up the venue by removing the trash and cleaning the walls to make it presentable. Then take your efforts further by renovating the venue to your liking.

All you know is that these places are a mess, and they need fixing.

All you know is that these places are a mess, and they need fixing.

As venues are fixed up, you unlock new venues to fix which have their own problems. But other than having special quests that are unique to a venue, there is no coherent story. That’s not bad as this game is essentially a sandbox, but there’s no storyline other than fixing up locations.

The real draw of the game is its gameplay, which can be relaxing and fulfilling if you like doing simple cleaning and decorating.

Gameplay – One Part Cleaning, One Part Renovating

Arena Renovation is split into two parts: cleaning a venue and then renovating it however you like. Every venue you encounter will be ruined in some way, while having unique problems of their own. Every building is in a state of disrepair, and your goal is to make it look brand new. This means manually cleaning everything, from polishing the walls and destroying the trash. After that, you re-plaster the walls and fix up the ceilings. Then it’s up to you to give everything a new coat of paint and add new objects to make the venue come alive.

Buying new furniture isn’t cheap, though simple tasks like throwing out the trash and emptying the dumpster earn money. It’s odd, but great for condensing the game since adding other sources of money would ruin the fun.

Painting walls gives you money and provides more vibrancy.

Painting walls gives you money and provides more vibrancy.

Your options for renovating are limited when you start out. As you clean up more venues, new skills make the cleaning process more convenient or boost the money you earn. You also earn star points which go towards new decorative options. They aren’t mandatory, but they do add more variety when the existing options feel boring after a while.

Each venue has a unique set of problems, such as a tennis court might not have power and its net needs fixing. While it doesn’t make a big difference in the scheme of things, it does highlight how every sports venue has its share of problems.

If you love cleaning up and renovating buildings, there’s plenty of variety that will keep you entertained for hours. However, some parts of the game aren’t properly explained. This tends to happen when you go for full building cleans, which aren’t mandatory but satisfy a completionist’s desire.

Concepts – Some Left Out

Similar to Contraband Police, you play in the first person and go through a detailed tutorial. The basics are properly explained, and you can always review anything you forget. This is great when you leave the game for a few days and forget something simple. You shouldn’t have a problem doing basic cleaning or disposing of objects.

The real problem comes when you must do more in-depth work, such as cleaning high places. A place isn’t considered clean until it is clean from top to bottom. There are also objects such as metallic beams that can be plastered if they were walls. This isn’t mentioned and they are tough to select, making it easy to forget.

You have no idea it's there, and it doesn't help get to the ceiling.

You have no idea it’s there, and it doesn’t help get to the ceiling.

This gets irritating when you believe you have cleaned everything, but your percentage isn’t at 100%. It’s not until you look up after using the scanner that you realise high places are also included. While there is a skill that lets you reach further, it takes a lot of work before you unlock it. Until then, you must reach it with scaffolding. You aren’t told about scaffolding at all, apart from it sometimes being left around the venues you explore. For extremely large venues, you need tall scaffolding just to reach high places, and even then you must jump to reach it.

Doing a complete job is supposed to be rewarding, but it’s made unnecessarily hard. It’s still early and it can be addressed, but it seems odd to leave things out.

Audio & Visuals – Appreciating Your Work

There isn’t much in terms of audio for Arena Renovation, as it’s mostly ambient music and the noise from your work. The real strength is in the visuals, which are crisp and clear. The variety of objects and colours match what you would find in actual sports stadiums. Even objects such as switch boards and trophies have good detail to be as realistic as possible.

When you first step into a venue, the place is understandably dirty and ruined. Cleaning it up makes a big difference and you can actually appreciate your work. Even if you aren’t good at furnishing a room with proper furniture, the difference is night and day. It makes the act of renovating a venue worthwhile, going beyond just cleaning the place up.

Arena Renovation was previewed on Steam with a code provided by Freemind.Games.

While it is still in the early stages, Arena Renovation is a good mix of cleaning and renovation. You must be dedicated to making old venues shine and sports-worthy, getting better with each venue you clean. Some parts of the experience fall short, such as cleaning high places which are missing in the detailed tutorial. But with some experimentation and work, you can turn even the most ruined buildings into beautiful venues for athletes.
  • Can rebuild venues in your image
  • Tutorial that is easy to understand
  • New venues have unique problems to solve
  • Some concepts aren't properly explained
  • Plastering over a wall is faster than cleaning it

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