Swap horses and swords for kids on bikes in Kingdom Eighties

Kids on bikes fighting/befriending/escaping/pursuing monsters: One of the strongest resurgent genres of the last decade, and thanks to Stranger Things deeply ingrained to the 1980s aesthetic which first birthed it.

Now the acclaimed Kingdom series is taking it on with Kingdom Eighties, which will swap the fantasy trappings of the first three games for a setting that, surprise surprise, works just as well with the same antagonists. Those antagonists being the vicious Greed, who want to take your cool stuff and make you into a sad, listless person. Which is obviously the ultimate insult for a cool kid on a bike having the time of their life over summer vacation.

In the Kingdom games you build up a little town and economy, gathering and spending coins to equip peasants—or in this case younger kids—to produce more money and fight back so you can strengthen and upgrade your defenses for coming nights... because each night the terrible Greed attack, sending ever-stronger waves against your defenses. In Kingdom Eighties, however, you swap your horses and bears and unicorns for bikes and skateboards and your farms for kids mowing lawns and selling lemonade.

Kingdom Eighties has a demo that went live for Steam Next Fest, and doesn't take very long to play, that actually gives a nice slice of what the game is about. In the demo you get to see the game's opening cutscene, then jump to a level where you build up a little fort around the high school complete with dumpster barricades and target-shooting bows for the kids to hunt greed monsters with.

More than anything it gives you a taste of that delicious pixels and fancy lighting effects Kingdom art style used in a new range of colors, and the wubbering shrill intensity of the synthwave soundtrack Fury Studios has commissioned to go alongside it.

You can find Kingdom Eighties on Steam, where it'll release on June 26th, 2023. You can find out more about it and the other Kingdom games on kingdomthegame.com.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.