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It’s back – and just in time for the Halloween season! We’re talking about the side-scrolling brawler, made famous through arcade games in the 1980s, and brought to life through the various console developments throughout the years since, even including a nod to them in online casino games. The swathe of new titles embracing the side-scrolling brawler shows that the genre is making a comeback, on all platforms and in all formats, and it’s giving us pure nostalgia.

Switch on to Side-Scrolling Brawlers 

The latest Nintendo console, the Nintendo Switch even places a high focus on side-scrollers. For example, a side-scrolling brawler game, inspired by classics Final Fight and Streets of Rage, entitled The Takeover was developed. The game updates the side-scrolling brawler with 3D backgrounds while retaining the fundamentals of the game format. As early as 2014, Wulverblade was teased – a Switch side-scroller focusing on British tribes fighting back against the Roman Empire. According to players of the game, the graphics and the gameplay lend themselves to the sometimes repetitive nature of the game when difficult levels require more strategy to get through, while the Stick it to the Man side-scrolling game utilizes the format by making it an in-game joke that the player doesn’t have a back, only a front and side!

Hack Armies of the Living Dead

The increase of side-scrollers on Switch, a major player in the console industry, shows that big game developers are turning their attention to renewing the genre. But, while the side-scroller brawler may have been out of fashion, one genre continues to run with it: the zombie genre. As evidenced by the Bloody Zombies game, the side-scrolling brawler continued to live amongst the living dead. The game features protagonists moving forwards through the levels as they battle the living dead, which is a genre illustrated through pile-em-high, kill-em-quick gameplay.

Online Casino Pays Tribute to Side-Scrollers 

Indeed, the zombie genre is one that marries perfectly with the side-scrolling brawler, in part due to the fast nature of the content created. This can be seen in the Lost Vegas slot game, which takes the side-scrolling zombie format and uses it to frame the slot game around. Indeed, the online casino gameplay mechanics and side-scrolling brawlers share a lot of the same functions, and as a result, a lot of the same people are likely to play them. As we read in this Casino Room review from Online Casinos Canada, a lot of online casino games are based around the traditional arcade games that were a way to play them, so it makes sense that the revival of arcade gameplay would be featured in online casinos, who love putting new spins on retro game mechanics, starting with slots and roulette themselves.

The increase in popularity of the side-scrolling brawler will likely give us more titles in more formats from video games, mobile apps, and even more online slots, as the gaming goliaths get wind of the direction the industry is heading in. While we would definitely appreciate being inundated with side-scrolling brawlers to get out teeth into, we are aware that the trend is just a passing fancy. Though, there will still be the trusty online casino formats that will keep the side-scroller ticking over when the consoles move on to the next revival.

Overall, it’s clear that the arcade-themed side-scrolling brawlers are back with a bang – but while the mass population are enjoying the renaissance, those who have kept them alive in the meantime will be enjoying more of a revival too. 

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