Part one of 198X, a genre-spanning arcade game with a story about growing up, is out now. It takes around an hour and a half to finish, and in that time you’ll play a Streets of Rage-style brawler, an old-school racer, a side-scrolling space shooter, a hack-and-slasher and a dungeon crawling RPG.
198X tells the story of Kid, a young person “stuck between the limitations of innocent youth and the commitments of unavoidable adulthood”. He discovers comfort in a local arcade, switching between different games and uncovering significance behind each one. Expect plenty of cutscenes to separate the action as you pursue Kid to school, to his home and around town.
According to the remarks on Steam’s talks page, a few players weren’t aware that 198X was going to be episodic, and they’re not satisfied. It’s not mentioned prominently anywhere yet developer Hi-Bit Studios has been discussing it in the page’s remarks section for a while.
Each individual game looks polished, and the early Steam surveys are promising. Part one covers the majority of the class the devs have mentioned during development, so ideally they’re ready to blend it up for part two, which is due next year.
198X is a heap of ’80s-inspired games, from a back rear way beat them up to a glitchy dungeon crawler, all associated by transitioning yarn set inside a suburban arcade. It’s a story told through various genres, with a teenager getting away from their real-world inconveniences through 5 arcade cabinets highlighting a quintet of playable games. It’s expected out next month, however, in the meantime, you can watch the previous trailer above.
Each distinct arcade game highlights different stages, giving you a chance to cut up your way through demonic hordes as a ninja for a couple of levels before switching gears to racing sports cars. I’m very excited about the portrayal of the racing game, which reads like an advert for the douchiest of cars.
Take your deluxe sports car for an incredible ride. Race the setting sun to achieve the city you had always wanted, brilliant as a gemstone in the dark. Journey with attitude as you overwhelm nobodies and become one with the beat of the open road.
The art style likewise bounces from game to game, however, it looks reliably great. The games look somewhat flashier than what you’d find in the arcade back in those days, yet the settings and mechanics should be commonplace. Expect, in any case, some “unique twists and turns”.
By assuming the difficulties of the arcade, ‘The Kid’ becomes stronger, yet 198X is probably not going to be a game about a teenager having a stunning time in the arcade and afterward simply returning home and having a very normal life. The line between reality and the games will begin to obscure, developer Hi-Bit Studios cautions. Somewhat as somebody doing Fortnite dances in public.