Pixel Ripped 1989, the VR game-within-a-game, is out now

Originally scheduled for release in 2016, Pixel Ripped 1989 has finally launched on Steam today. If you were paying attention to VR games three or four years ago, footage of its quirky premise may stir some memories. One scene has a Gameboy toting schoolkid trying to play her handheld while escaping the notice of her teacher. 

From what I can gather, "real world" protagonist Nicola (the aforementioned Gameboy-toting kid) must help "video game" protagonist Dot fend off in-game villain Cyblin Lord, who – to make matters more complex – has the ability to reach beyond the video game screen and affect Nicola's "real" world. Is that confusing? Maybe that's my fault. Here's what the studio writes:

"Pixel Ripped 1989 is a wacky multi-dimensional homage to the early days of gaming. The player embarks on a journey into the screen of a classic videogame and beyond. Set in the era of portable 8-bit consoles, this game-within- a-game follows the adventures of Dot, an in-game character who sees her world torn apart by the Cyblin Lord, a villain able to break through the video game screen and invade the real world. In the game, the player inhabits Nicola, a second-grade student who must help Dot save both realities from this menace by facing challenges in the retrogaming 2D world, all while distracting the cranky teacher and escaping from the furious headmaster in her own 3D world."

The launch trailer is below, and serves to demonstrate the gist of the game better than any clumsy words. If it piques your interest, check out this feature we published about the game back in 2015.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.