released on Jun 20, 2019

198X is not just a beat ’em up, a shoot ’em up, a racing game, a ninja game and an RPG. This is a love letter to the golden age of arcade games – yet with a scope that was never possible in the actual 1980s. It’s a story about finding yourself – and your self-confidence – in the world of video games. A coming-of-age story told through multiple game genres, worlds and characters. Feel the sensation of fighting, shooting, driving, jumping and role-playing – combined with emotional, cinematic storytelling.

And what happens when the line between reality and game starts to blur…?

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I dont think it was on purpose, but this game is the perfect representation of suburban teen melodrama. Like if there was a 16 year old out there somewhere who knew how to make ROM hacks, this anthology is exactly the game they would have made and released on Gamejolt or Newgrounds - and in that way, its actually pretty excellent.

Nostalgia for something I never experienced. Is recreating classic arcade games supplemented with romanticized suburbia making a good game? Maybe the nostalgia has to carry it. If not, it remains a well-working minigame collection with a calm tone.

I wanted to love this, and I think in theory I really could have, but boy the story just sucks the life right out of this otherwise pretty compelling game idea. The multiple arcade games are all fun in their own right, and the Outrun clone in particular is really good, but the trite cutscenes in between and overall lack of a statement this game makes besides "video games good escapism" bugged me to no end. With all that said, though, I would love to see 199X, because there's a lot of fertile ground for arcade machine ideas there to play with.

Completed with 100% of achievements unlocked. 198X presents a set of five arcade game stages, each in a different genre, strung together by brief story sequences about the experiences of a school-age child who finds solace in the arcades of his world. There's a nice range of genres on offer - starting with a side-scroller beat 'em up/brawler, the game then progresses through space shooting, racing, an auto-runner and finally a first-person RPG dungeon. The game's nature as a compilation means that none of these individual games are particularly deep or extensive, but as brief tasters of each genre they work well. There's certainly some scope for frustration from narrow failures given the relative lack of checkpoints, but that comes with the territory when we're talking about arcade-style games. The game's presentation is excellent, with well-drawn pixel-art throughout and effective if unmemorable music.
There's some limited potential for score-chasing and attempting 'perfect' runs, to add some longevity, but a single playthrough of 198X is likely to be a fairly short experience - around 2-3 hours is likely to be typical - so waiting for a discount before purchasing may be the best approach if the game appeals to you.

i think i liked this game when i played it but i really dont know how to say for sure. theres nothing really that makes me wanna go back and replay this game and i get a feeling i may not enjoy it if i go back but i cant really say for sure.

so it's a game about a "guy" who
- Spends time with escapist fantasies
- Sees a girl and thinks she's the coolest ever and never thinks of her again
- Is VA'd by a person with a feminine voice
- Dresses like a boymoder, and
- Doesn't have a father figure
and you're telling me it's NOT trans