Review: 198X (Steam)


Part 1 of arcade epic 198X. A coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres. Experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting and role-playing in 5 full-blown arcade stages – combined with cinematic pixel-art storytelling.


  • Pixel art graphics.
  • 3374mb download size.
  • Controller support.
  • Multiple genre gameplay.
  • A strong, relatable story about first discovering video games and how they make you feel.
  • Game genres ape classic games like Final Fight, R-Type, Runners and Outrun.
  • Every game feels unique and despite aping classic games, they all feel different and fresh.
  • Difficult games that require multiple attempts and you learn the pattern.
  • Short game, just a few hours.
  • Decent voice acting.
  • Can replay levels with the level select.
  • Best played with headphones.
  • Soundtrack punches the story into the forefront and is sublime.
  • Gorgeous jaw-dropping pixel art scenes.
  • Thought provoking experience.
  • Fun.



  • No steam achievements.
  • Initial load.
  • No graphics option.
  • No tutorial.
  • Can’t see controls.
  • No checkpoints in the games.
  • Short game.


  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Sound - 10/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10


198X is a game, no wait it’s an experience that every gamer can identify with. That feeling you got when you first saw a video game or went into an arcade. What 198X does is allow you to not only relive that through someone else but also open up your own memories thanks to multiple game genres, strong well-written story and a blissful soundtrack worthy of recognition on its own. The games are faithful to the source material but with everyone has something that mixes it up and makes it fun to play. I did, however, find the Shadowplay game tough, playing as a runner I constantly hit my breaking point with (clearly my fault) bad jump sections and jumps not registering properly. The reason for it being rough is you have to replay the whole level again. Again it’s faithful to arcade games and is designed this way to teach you to memorize patterns, I didn’t like it but I got through it, I wanted to get through it as the story is relatable and told in such a way that I hung off every word, every transition. When they merged story telling with gameplay I couldn’t help but smile. 198X is something you owe yourself to experience and enjoy.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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