I was too busy not existing to go to any arcades in the '80s, but luckily my town's local arcades stuck around long enough for me to pay them a visit in the noughties and learn what makes a good arcade. You need a beat-'em-up, a shoot-'em-up, a racing game, a tough-as-nails 2D action game, and either an RPG you can hog for yourself or a fighting game you can share with your friends—all that, and pizza so greasy you can see your reflection in it. Astoundingly, retro mashup 198X has packed almost all of those things into one game (no, there's no pizza).
Swedish developer Hi-Bit Studios describes 198X as an "arcade epic" and "a coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres." It's currently on Kickstarter, and at the time of writing has raised $34,206 of its $56,830 goal with 25 days left in its campaign. It stars Kid, a teenager who falls in love with the five games at his local arcade in Suburbia, all of which exist as separate, playable games within 198X. Those games are:
- A beat-'em-up where you "you rid the back alleys of hoodlum filth and punk gangsters."
- A shoot-'em-up about fighting a "mechanical armada of automated death."
- A racer set in a moonlight-drenched city.
- A 2D "ninja game" which looks more than a bit like Ninja Gaiden.
- And an old cRPG where you "explore the labyrinthine circuits of a rogue AI."
Each game looks pretty cool on its own, and I do love a good bundle, so I reckon 198X is one to watch. According to its Kickstarter delivery date (read: tentative release date), it'll launch in early 2019. In the meantime, here are some screenshots of the rest of those games.