198x In-game Screenshot 2

198x: How it Inspires A Deeper Connection For Games People Create

Video games have the ability to tell unique immersive narratives that is unlike any other medium. Whether they are fictional tales like the father-son journey in God of War or the depiction of heroism during World War One in Battlefield 1. 198x explores the appreciation for video games and what they mean to us through the scope of retro games.

This indie title, developed by Hi-Bit Studios in Sweden, puts players in the shoes of a character that resonated with many, including me.

198x In-game Screenshot 3
In-game Screenshot

Why is 198x Important?

198x follows the story of the protagonist, titled The Kid, as they navigate the challenges of growing up and maturing into young adulthood. The local arcade becomes a refuge for The Kid, where they cope with the changes of life through the machines. The unique combination of story and character allows players to relate to the game and understand the protagonist’s emotions from beginning to end.

For me, 198x is an inspiring game that has changed my perception of gaming. It has shown me that gaming is not just a niche activity to be looked down upon, but a coping mechanism for many people. After a long day, gaming can provide a form of escapism, bringing players into a new world for the duration of the session. This sense of immersion inspires a feeling of confidence and acceptance, promoting gaming as a passion rather than a bad habit.

Playing through the levels of 198x opened my eyes to the gaming world and its transformations both on screen and behind the scenes. It was an experience that I had never considered before taking the game’s journey.

198x In-game Screenshot 4
In-game Screenshot

Appreciating the Past

In my perspective, there are two significant strengths associated with 198x. Firstly, it offers players a nostalgic experience of 80s/90s games inspired by real-life counterparts. Throughout the story, The Kid engages with five distinct titles that have universal appeal. Games like Outrun, Final Fight/Streets of Rage, and Gradius pay homage to the foundational genres of gaming. This significance lies in the beauty of nostalgia itself.

As a new generation of gamers emerges, it is essential to not only anticipate the future and the innovative limits games can reach but also to reflect on the past and acknowledge the games that laid the groundwork. By immersing oneself in the world of 198x, one might discover hidden gems and be inspired to explore the rich history of gaming. It is worth noting that each level in the game faithfully replicates a real-life counterpart, a testament to the developers’ remarkable tribute.

198x Night Driving Sega
In-game Screenshot

Understanding Emotion in Video Games

Another notable strength of 198x lies in its writing, which reflects the perspective of game developers who, at their core, are passionate gamers themselves.

Spoiler Warning: In the level “The Getaway,” which draws inspiration from Sega’s arcade racer Outrun, The Kid delivers a monologue. Imagine driving a sports car late at night, spotting lights on the horizon as the city comes into view. During this sequence, The Kid expresses, “Another life was just one credit away,” accompanied by captivating synthwave music, as you continue your journey towards the city. This moment resonated deeply with me, followed by the phrase, “Nothing could beat the rush of the highway. Speeding cars reminds me that there was a way out.” It felt as though the game understood my emotions.

Playing through this level, I experienced a sense of liberation, embarking on a long and thrilling adventure under the night sky. I sincerely hope that other players can have a similar experience, fostering a profound love and appreciation not only for the unique worlds crafted by games but also for the games themselves and the people who create them.

In addition to what has been mentioned, 198x also shines a spotlight on indie titles, which have been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. Despite its relatively short gameplay, this game has left an enduring impression on me, one that I will carry with me for years to come.

I will continue to keep an eye on Hi-Bit and eagerly anticipate more remarkable releases for others to enjoy. I sincerely hope that more people have the opportunity to play 198x and discover new genres along the way.

You can purchase 198x on Steam for US$9.99 / AU$ 14.50.

198x In-game Screenshot 1
In-game Screenshot

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