Creepy Brawlers is a retro-style boxing game that meshes together boxing and horror. It feels like an odd combination, however, it meshes together well.
You play as Little Mac – oh wait, I mean an unnamed boxer – who wakes up in a horror boxing tournament with no memory of how he got there. As you box your way through horror-themed opponents, the story slowly unfolds match after match. The tournament is high stake: you lose and your dead, game over. To an extent, it results in a horror survival game.
Each competitor has a pattern of attack. Once you dodge the attack it allows for a series of your own attacks. If your skills at bobbing and weaving are good enough and you dodge the right attack you earn a special more powerful attack.
The rules are that of a normal boxing match if a player’s stamina drops to zero they fall down. The referee who in this case, looks like Thing from the Addams Family, begins to count. If that player does not get back to his feet by the count of ten he is knocked out.
The opening tutorial will quickly teach players the basics. The controls reminded me of Punch-Out for the NES, with only slightly different commands. It is optional to watch and can be skipped.
Although I fully get the retro theme Creepy Brawlers has going for it, there were two main things I wish it would have offered; The record time for defending every enemy as well as the number of times an achievement was reached. Unfortunately when the software closed those two things were reset much like turning off a game on the NES. I fully see how this helps give the feel of retro gaming, but it still feels like a missed opportunity for players to be able to see what their previous victory time was for a match.
Creepy Brawlers is a decent retro-inspired boxing game. It is a good mix of horror and boxing making it a fun alternative to the more common horror shoot-to-kill survival game. At the cost of $4.99 (the same as NES Virtual console games on the Wii), it’s a deal that is a total knock out. If you really want the retro feel you can pick up an official NES Cartridge and artwork on the Mega Cat Studios website for $39.99.