Part 1 of arcade epic 198X. A coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres. Experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting and role-playing in 5 full-blown arcade stages – combined with cinematic pixel-art storytelling.
Apr 14, 2020198X does a fantastic job of breathing some life into genres of old, paying homage in a respectable, loving way while achieving an identity all of its own. For me there was no weak link in the gameplay and the storytelling moments kept me engaged and looking forward to the next bit of exposition. Hi-Bit Studios’ 198X is a short experience but one I’m glad I’ve had. Here’s hoping for future instalments to build upon this solid foundation.
Jul 1, 2019For younger players, 198X may not open up in the same way as to us old farts. However, it’s like a museum of a bygone era when the budding digital entertainment was honest and ripe, rendered in a beautiful pixel art and channeled through a marvelous soundscape. Oh, and the ending pays a nice homage to Golden Axe – without the chasing part.
Jul 9, 2019The simplicity of 198X is endearing, and how it presents a compilation of sorts of an era is something that leaves a positive if not lasting impression. The story, although simple in its presentation does leave room for growth. We’re keen to check out the second part of the tale, and if the team Hi-Bit Studios can connect both the narrative and the individual games in a more meaningful way - then it has every chance to live up to its premise.
Jun 21, 2019198X is aesthetically pleasing. Its bright, accomplished pixel-art and synth-fueled music capture its desired tone perfectly. But if that’s all that 198X is, I’m not sure it’s worth anyone’s time. Even if you are interested in a pretty but empty 80s nostalgia drip, I’d suggest looking elsewhere; there are plenty of options.
Sep 16, 2019It's perfectly possible to finish 198X in under 2 hours. This is not a particularly long game, but the same could be said about Journey,It's perfectly possible to finish 198X in under 2 hours. This is not a particularly long game, but the same could be said about Journey, Portal, Superhot, The Stanley Parable, Dear Esther, Gone Home and countless other short, modern classics. When it comes down to it, it's not the lenght that counts but the experience itself and I can honestly say that this one will stay with me til the day I die. The sprite work is amazing, the soundtrack is absolutely perfect and the melancholic 80s atmosphere is takes me back to my own youth. Do yourself a favour and buy 198X. It's not expensive. It's not lengthy. But it's a ride like none other.… Expand
Feb 7, 2020I really enjoyed 198X, or at least the first instalment of it so far. Make no mistake, it's relatively short and not everyone's cup of tea.I really enjoyed 198X, or at least the first instalment of it so far. Make no mistake, it's relatively short and not everyone's cup of tea. It's a nostalgia trip, and if you don't share that childhood then you'll probably either love it for the art, or hate it because it's pointless to you.
I grabbed a bottle of coke from the fridge, turned off the lights, sank into my comfy chair, and got into the experience. Because that's what 198X ultimately is, it's modern love for retro arcade games, with a little bit of a story wrapped around it.
Difficulty: I thought that it was just right, but I can acknowledge that some people will find it too easy or too hard - there's no difficulty settings. If it's too hard for you then you need to keep trying and git gud. That's what I did and it was satisfying, albeit frustrating for a while. If you find it too easy then the game will be very short.
The game's interface is minimal, that's deliberate. It's just like dropping a coin into the machine and getting on the controls.
So, the graphics are excellent, as is the music. The retro aesthetic is beautiful and spot-on for the developers' creative vision. The gameplay is tight and the controls feel perfect. If that sounds like your kinda jam, you will probably really enjoy 198X.… Expand
Apr 12, 2020This game hits home on so many levels, probably with more power the stronger your connection to the 80s is. If, like me, that's when you lostThis game hits home on so many levels, probably with more power the stronger your connection to the 80s is. If, like me, that's when you lost your video game virginity you're in for a real sweet journey. "Kid" will be your chaperone for the ride, guiding you from one classic 80s genre to the next. All interwoven in a beautifully narrated and illustrated coming of age tale. A bit generic perhaps, but my guess is that the developers want you to substitute Kid's story with your own. Just as you made the games from the 80s, often lacking in terms of plot, your own adventures.
The first part of 198X ends way too soon, but not before leaving impressions that last for a lifetime. The graphics and music simply blew me away, adding infinite replay value. 8 Bit Studios have truly worked wonders with the 60K at their disposal (not 600K as falsely stated in a review below; the total pledged on Kickstarter is in Swedish currency). I do hope though that in the second part we'll be able to play more of each mini game, as they end as soon as you've gotten a feel for them. Perhaps Kid will eventually be able to roam freely around the arcade and we can set our own high scores.
But for the first part, pour yourself a glass of wine, wait until the twilight hours and let Kid lead you through a night that blurs the lines between dream, game and reality.… Expand
Jul 8, 2019I really wanted to like this game, but it would not reciprocate my feelings. The story is laughably short, you only play each "game" once, andI really wanted to like this game, but it would not reciprocate my feelings. The story is laughably short, you only play each "game" once, and one is just a reskin of an earlier game. There are two shoot em ups, one Final Fight clone, a racer, and a "maze" game. The "maze" has one path to each boss and one tiny loop. It takes longer because you have to die and grind to level up so you can fight [strike] your virtual dad [/strike] errr the boss.
The actual gameplay is less than 30 minutes but they make you listen to the Kid exposition for another 30ish minutes to extend the playtime.
The story that has no real link to anything you are playing other than "I was sad about family thing so I went to the arcade." That is it. The whole story. I would say I saved you from 30 minutes of exposition, but the cut-scenes are unskippable. Oh but do not worry the game ends on a cliffhanger so you can buy the next episode of this game. The only positive of the story is the voice actress does a great job with the lines they gave her.
In Summary: Save your money unless this game drops sub $2 usd. There are plenty of games on Steam that give you more content for less money in each genre this game covers. Oh did I forget to mention this is the price they charged after a KICKSTARTER for this game paid for development? Pass on this nostalgia grab and get something else.… Expand
Aug 29, 2019Yes its another Kickstarter scam. The devs raised over 600k of free money based on their lofty promises and excellent video but what we getYes its another Kickstarter scam. The devs raised over 600k of free money based on their lofty promises and excellent video but what we get is so much less. I wanted to say more but there is virtually nothing here at this time.
I’m a ready player one fan and had hoped this game would take a well written story and integrate it into video game. I loved a night in the woods and hoped that the story elements would be like that. Or life is strange or monkey island. But what we get is some boring but pretty cutscenes representing a poorly written generic character.
The lazily titled the kid (robert redford fan?) Is moody and has some family issues...maybe or something equally vauge and high school is tough and blah. Its really pathetic that they couldn’t come up with more or ask an adult of the 80s what it was like or at worse watch stranger things haha Moody kid finds an arcade and wow he can escape into 80 genre games...the end.
At this point the weak story could be saved but instead we get 4-5 (1 is a clone) fun but like the story and character, simple short games with little depth and little replay (but you cant replay so meh). One or two levels and none of the games finish.
And then the game an hour to two hours later....is over. That’s all you get. And you pay for this short game which costs the devs nothing to make. And they got to make their dream. But their dream is short and simple and pathetically childish and naive (though beautiful).
The latter be fine if it was made by a child but its made by adults who are meant to take their experience and fuze it with childhood memories and adult research to get a professional product. They havent done that at this time.
At this time because they forgot to tell everyone that the game is episodic which means this is intentionally a small part of a larger game. But those who paid for a full game will have to keep paying. It might have well been an epic store pc exclusive to really kill it’s chances.
If we imagine that this tiny simple game cost 600k then the other 3 or 4 parts to give it a decent run time , will bring the total budget of free money to 2.5 million for what will still be a short simple indie game. I cant imagine this will happen so instead we'll get 1 or 2 rushed short chapters which flesh out the games but add little to the barebones story.
It’s a scam as the devs choose to be sneaky and dishonest and greedy. If they has explained the episodic nature or made all additional chapters free etc then players be happy. Better still finish the game first and then make sequels.
I’m not a game dev but it doesn’t cost 600k over a few years for a few people to make a 2 hour game with 1 hour of gameplay. I feel they made the full game and gutted it for cash. Or worse this is what we get because they all took huge salaries. I’ve seen their social media posts and they’re snarky and unapologetic and will fully ignorant with few specifics and yet more promises..if you give them more money. Real poke in the eye for backers. This type of bs hurts Kickstarter too.
It’s a really bad first impression and a bad business model with the history of episodic being in the gutter now.
To fix this mess they need to release 4 more chapters with 45 mins of game play and 15 mins of cutscenes with a story with direction and actual relatable characters. The real world needs to seep into the games much more and each game needs to represent another part of the kids journey. The cutscenes need to be a point and click adventure or have some interaction and choices as the series progresses like late 80s games.
These chapters need to be free for purchase one and or 5 each etc. And there needs to be a guarantee they willbe made or refund. This is how you make a hit game and a beloved studio and get money for sequels.
What’s good about the game? Most of it actually but that’s irrelevant if it’s mis sold and too short and too expensive. Graphics art 8bit retro but beautifully drawn. The animation is basic but effective. The sound and music is spot on for 80s and really immersive. The game play is simple but fun. The lasting time ...virtually nothing..an hour of gameplay. And it's not quality over quantity as its only average.
Value...just a mess due to the way it was funded and mis sold etc.
Should you buy it? Yes if you have money as I’d like to see what the devs do with this. Should you be mad if you funded it? 100% as the devs have not delivered a full game. Should you avoid the game if I’m broke? Yes because it has little in it original or stand out that you need to play. Wait until the entire game is out ..If it ever comes out.
Overall a 4 for the 4 games (1 was a clone).… Expand
Apr 4, 2020198X is more of a short story than a video game. The game uses a series of 1980s-esque arcade games as a framing story for the coming-of-age198X is more of a short story than a video game. The game uses a series of 1980s-esque arcade games as a framing story for the coming-of-age story of the main character.
There's a major problem, though: the story is boring, generic, and bland. A 1980s teenager plays at the arcade and dreams about going to the big city, and uses video games as escapism after their father leaves. The end.
The story itself is incomplete (shock and surprise, given that this is supposedly an episodic game), but what is here isn't something that makes me compelled to play the other episodes. I don’t care about the main character (and they have no real personality beyond “generic 1980s teenager”) and I don’t care about the story. So what is there?
The gameplay certainly isn’t going to hold it up; the games are very simple and not terribly challenging (which makes sense) but without the story being fun, there’s really nothing here.
I managed to complete the whole piece in about an hour, and at the end of it, was left thinking “Is that it?”
Bad as a game and bad as a story, there's really nothing here.… Expand