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Local multiplayer has become an indie game staple, and with Brawlout, Angry Mob Games looks to meld those sensibilities with the likes of Super Smash Bros. in Brawlout. While there are different gameplay elements added to differentiate it from its spiritual predecessor, the Smash sensibilities are still there. Going to strong Smash events like Super Smash Con and EVO 2016, Angry Mob Games has been grabbing the attention of Smash players and traditional fighting game players alike.

While the “platform-fighter” genre was essentially invented by HAL Laboratories with Super Smash Bros, that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen other fighters try. PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale is a great example of taking the Smash formula and tweaking it. In the case of PSAS, however, too many deviations were taken, and without a steady supply of iconic mascots, enthusiasm for the game fell off fairly quickly.

Brawlout’s characters all represent different specializations within fighting games. Olaf can freeze opponents, setting him up for combo potential, while King Papu can hurl a spiked chain around for mobility. Visually and technically distinct, the characters all have a unique feeling to them under your control.

Visually, the game doesn’t look terrible, it’s just difficult for it to stand out compared to many other games. The game touts different meters as being central to the gameplay, but not in an annoying way, as was the case in PlayStation All-Stars. It works more like the rage mechanic in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, where attacks will get a small buff in this enraged state.

Brawlout is in closed alpha, with an early access release slated for early 2017. It will launch shortly thereafter on PC, PS4, and Xbox One with a roster of ten fighters. With the site teasing more traditional fighting game mechanics and heavy amounts of customization on the horizon, this is more than just a Super Smash Bros. clone.

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