Under the Radar – 198X

198X is ready to take you on a journey down memory lane

One look at 198X will have any kid from the late 80s and early 90s feeling nostalgic for the 16-bit era of games. Hi-Bit Studios have perfected the 16-bit aesthetic with their incredible pixel art to create brand new, yet oddly familiar titles for their Kickstarted game: 198X.

198X is set in a town called Suburbia, right outside of the City during the 80s. You play as a teenager named Kid who is in the awkward phase of their life, that period between being far from the innocent years of youth, yet not too far off the inevitability of adulthood. As Kid, you find an arcade which brings light to new worlds, each with their own meaning. Kid begins to feel powerful after beating each game which begins to blur the lines between the game and reality.

There are five games in this package: the Beat’em up, the Shoot’em up, the Racing game, the Ninja game and the RPG. If we had to guess what these games are based on, we’d have to say Streets of Rage, R-Type, Outrun, Shinobi and Phantasy Star. If you have to pick five games to centre a game around, you can’t go wrong with these titles! Each segment of the game lasts anywhere between ten and twenty-five minutes depending on how fast you take it. The developers state on the game’s Steam page that you should expect to finish the game in two hours.

As we mentioned earlier, 198X was originally posted on Kickstarter in early 2017. Within a month the game had already reached 1,920 backers, breaking their set goal by over SEK 100,000. Hi-Bit Studios is planning on releasing more chapters of this story, though there hasn’t been any time-frame given by the developers for when fans should expect to see the next parts.

You can purchase 198X on Steam for £9 and on GOG for £7.19. The developers added fourteen Steam achievements to unlock at the start of this week, so if you are a completionist you should have fun trying to get all of those. 198X is scheduled to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch later on in the year.

Written for the June 27th issue of DailyBits.