198X | Mini Review

What is it?

198X is an arcade epic by Hi-Bit Studios. It is a coming-of-age story about a teenager from the eighties who struggles with the difficulties of growing up, with things like family issues and school life getting in the way. However, he finds solace in the mesmerizing world of arcade games. In between each cutscene are mini-games that pay homage to classic titles like Streets of Rage, Shinobi, and more.


PC, PS4, Xbox One & Switch

A compelling, well-written story that some people out there may relate to, or at least appreciate.
Pixel art and animations look jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Soundtrack is a potent mix of synthwave, chiptune and classic rock that makes for a great listen.
The Sh’mup has handy power-ups and plenty of baddies to shoot.
Fast reaction times and a long, tense chase makes the Sidescroller the best of the bunch.
Far too short, lasts about just over an hour.
Slow-pace and basic combat makes the RPG a bit of a stinker.
Driving game has facile gameplay and no real sense of urgency.
High scores contribute to nothing in the end.
Games can’t be played independently from the story; no additional levels.


198X looks gorgeous, sounds brilliant, and tells an intriguing story. However, the whole thing wraps up far too quickly. As it stands, the whole thing is like a visual novel with a few brief distractions spliced in between; there’s nothing here to encourage you to come back for more.


2 Stars


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