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198X is a coming-of-age story told through 5 arcade games

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198X (opens in new tab) is a bundle of '80s-inspired games, from a back alley beat 'em up to a glitchy dungeon crawler, all connected by coming-of-age yarn set inside a suburban arcade. It's a story told through multiple genres, with a teenager escaping from their real-world troubles through five arcade cabinets featuring a quintet of playable games. It's due out next month, but in the meantime you can watch the new trailer above.

Each distinct arcade game features multiple stages, letting you slice and dice your way through demonic hordes as a ninja for a few levels before switching gears to racing sports cars. I'm very into the description of the racing game, which reads like an advert for the douchiest of cars. 

Take your deluxe sports car for the ride of your life. Race the setting sun to reach the metropolis of your dreams, brilliant as a gemstone in the dark. Cruise with attitude as you overtake nobodies and become one with the rhythm of the open road.  

The art style also jumps from game to game, though it looks consistently great. The games look a bit flashier than what you'd find in arcade back then, but the settings and mechanics should be familiar. Expect, however, some "unique twists and turns".

By taking on the challenges of the arcade, 'The Kid' becomes stronger, but 198X is unlikely to be a game about a teenager having a lovely time in arcade and then just going home and having a very normal life. The line between reality and the games will start to blur, developer Hi-Bit Studios warns. A bit like someone doing Fortnite dances in public.

198X is due out on June 20. 

Fraser Brown
Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.