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.