Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure with gaming heroine Dot as developer Arvore takes us on a trip through time. Pixel Ripped 1978 transports us to the golden age of Atari, plunging us into the past when things were far more straightforward and easier going, hair was high, prices were low, and love was all around.
The series hasn’t been on my radar, but the trailers have proven excellent. Each entry in the series takes players to a different time, with the first game, Pixel Ripped 1989, taking us to the time of Madonna and DuckTales, and the sequel Pixel Ripped 1995, takes us to when Chrono Trigger and Batman Forever were around. The third entry, 1978, takes up to the year of Superman and Watership Down.
Pixel Ripped 1978 Has Some Great VR Moments
This latest installment in the Pixel Ripped series pays homage to various Atari projects and embraces them fully. 1978 the game proudly features Atari’s involvement and even bears their publishing seal. It’s a delightful experience to interact with iconic Atari characters like Yar and aid them in seeking revenge. Pixel Ripped 1978 strikes a perfect balance between nostalgic references and original ideas. While it’s enjoyable to stir up gamers’ nostalgia, the studio delivers more than a walk down memory lanes. Instead, Arvore crafts a clever meta-story that is as immersive as it is engaging.
As Dot, your mission is to confront the Cyblin Lord once again. Across different eras, your goal is to find him and defeat him. Each environment, including a standout disco city, boasts its own unique visual style. However, the level design remains uniform throughout, except for the standout boss fights. This uniformity extends to the gameplay mechanics, which unfortunately remain unchanged throughout the game’s early stages. However, new abilities unlock to enhance interaction with the environments, leaving you hanging for the rest of the game.
What truly stands out and keeps the experience fresh is the game-within-a-game concept. You control Dot through Bug, who plays video games at her desk at Atari. See, Bug has a wrist-mounted device which allows her to enter another dimension and continue as Dot. Guiding Dot in unlocking alternate pathways and abilities within this virtual world adds a unique twist to the level design. These advancements seamlessly transfer to Dot’s reality, enriching the overall experience. The game’s humour shines brightly in your office, where you’ll encounter exciting cameos through phone calls and engage in water-cooler conversations about games like Missile Commandor Breakout.
Although Pixel Ripped 1978 doesn’t introduce enough gameplay progress considering its runtime, it still delivers an enjoyable experience. For those deeply invested in the history of gaming, the game becomes an absolute treasure trove of nostalgic delights. Some of the NPCs, for example, are some of the standout conversations you’ll encounter. Dot will inevitably come across new skills and abilities, but combat is rather basic, and you can attack enemies at short-range or distances, but these motions quickly become underwhelming. There’s very little challenge outside the boss battles, which is easily a highlight.
Pixel Ripped 1978 takes players on an engaging and nostalgic journey, fusing the past with a clever narrative twist. Its homage to Atari projects, along with its originality, creates a harmonious blend that captivates gamers. While the level design and gameplay could do with more diversity, the game-within-a-game concept and boss battles are highlights of Pixel Ripped 1978.
[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]