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Over-the-top arcade action meets coming-of-age drama, blurring the lines between game and reality. Welcome to 198X – where a new life is just 1 credit away.

About the Game

198X - The Town
The world, story and cast of 198X are brought to life by an elite team of talented pixel artists from all around the world.

198X is an arcade epic. A coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres, worlds and characters. Experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting and role-playing – combined with emotional, cinematic storytelling. This is a love letter to the golden age of arcade games – yet with a scope that was never possible in the actual 1980s.

The game is set in Suburbia, just outside the City, sometime in 198X. It follows the journey of Kid, a teenager stuck between the limitations of innocent youth and the obligations of inevitable adulthood. The story unfolds when Kid discovers the local arcade – finding new worlds, and new meaning, in video games. For every visit to the arcade – every game uncovered, every move mastered, every demon defeated – Kid grows stronger.

And what happens when the line between reality and game starts to blur...?

Arcade Games

198X is built around five distinct arcade games, each inspired by classic themes and genres. These fully playable games feature several full-blown stages with familiar settings and unmistakable core mechanics, as well as unique twists and unexpected turns.

The Beat'Em Up

Hard-hitting no-nonsense street fighting

Feel the rush of hardcore vigilantism as you rid the back alleys of hoodlum filth and punk gangsters. Expect bruised knuckles as danger lurks around every corner. This is inner city peacekeeping-by-force so lethal you’ll feel the pain yourself.

The Shoot'Em Up

Laser-powered outer space mecha mayhem

In the cold of the cosmos, a lone fighter dares defy the mechanical armada of automated death. Warp into the vast unknown and power up those plasma cannons, as the odds are stacked against you – big time.

The Racing Game

Pedal-to-the-metal midnight cruising

Take your deluxe sports car for the ride of your life. Race the setting sun to reach the metropolis of your dreams, brilliant as a gemstone in the dark. Cruise with attitude as you overtake nobodies and become one with the rhythm of the open road.

The Ninja Game

Sharp-as-knife's-edge acrobatic action

Put on your mask and sharpen that blade, warrior! Mythological monster slaying is on the agenda. Enter zen as you face fierce demons from ancient folklore, dodging and dashing, dislodging and slashing until no one draws breath but you. This is the literal bleeding edge.


Virtually virtual glitched-out dungeon crawling

Explore the labyrinthine circuits of a rogue AI and cut the code to its digital dominion. Battle cyber abominations stuck between reality and glitch, as you navigate the artificial but all-to-real grid in your desperate search for a way out – or a way in...

How to get 198X

198X is out now!

198X soon to arrive on the following platforms:

Xbox One logo

Xbox One

To be announced

The Team

Hi-Bit Studios is based in Stockholm, Sweden, but our creative team is spread out all over the world – from Bordeaux, France to Nagoya, Japan. The inspiration for 198X stems from our collective love for and deep knowledge of pixel art and the golden age of arcade games. Everyone in our team have their own unique experiences from working in or near the games industry – as artists, programmers, writers, editors, managers – for many years. Individually we have been involved in both indie and bigger budget game development, created critically acclaimed books and magazines, and founded Stockholm Museum of Video Games in order to preserve and celebrate the very art form we are now united and determined to contribute to.

  • Writer & Director: Tobias Bjarneby
  • Game Designers: Daniel Eyre & Victor Sjöström

  • Graphic Artists: Alexis Morille, Catherine Menabde, Tim Jonsson, Motocross Saito, Walter Samperi, Andrew Bado, Paul Conway, Riccardo Fiorini, Markus Karlsson Frost

  • Programmer: Johan Högfeldt, Alexander Lund
  • Music: Yuzo Koshiro, Anton Dromberg, Daniel Rosenqvist, U.F.L.
  • Producer: Daniel Grigorov


For publishing related inquiries please contact:
Daniel Grigorov, Producer 198X

Questions about the game? Feel free to get in touch with:
Tobias Bjarneby, Director 198X