What’s up, FanBros! I was lucky enough to sit down with Shawn Alexander Allen for his new, indie IP: Treachery In Beatdown City. A 2D-brawler with the art and aesthetic of Double Dragon or River City Ransom, but with a very welcome and surprising twist.
TIBC is a turn-based 2D-brawler! It’s style and tone from a distance looks familiar, but it actually feels like nothing you’ve ever played before. The exploration system of it’s map has the top-down look of the NES Final Fantasy games of old(just replacing goblins with street thugs). From the music to the tiny pixelated avatars, it welcomes a very familiar look.
Once combat is initiated, you’re in a side-scrolling battlefield where you move freely to attack your opponent(s). The combat system works by you approaching an enemy or object(each with their own weaknesses, like jabs or grapples) and access a list of commands. These include combat altering status effects like bleed or blindness, to gain advantage against your enemy. Even the direction your character is facing plays a factor. This takes the old-school brawler into a tactical realm where you must time your combat moves precisely so you have time to recharge your energy(that works like mana).
“I tried to fix the scale-up issue that many found in other brawlers,” said Shawn, one of the two designers. “I remember when Double Dragon 3 was one of my favorite games when I was younger. I loved how difficult it was. Now, I can’t even make it past the first level.” This system remedies that in a very unique and fun way.
The story captures the madcap style of many 80s side-scrollers: A dystopian future where the president is kidnapped brings our heroes to fight through the streets on a rescue mission. But, this created an amazing opportunity for progress in a very dated genre: “In all of the old titles, if they had a female character, she was usually ‘fast and weak’[in her stats]. This changes that by making Lisa(a Puerto Rican MMA fighter) the default ‘medium class’ hero.”
Treachery In Beatdown City is a welcome breath of fresh-air on the show floor and is a must-see for lovers of brawlers, RPGs and overall new games combining old concepts to try new ideas. TIBC is expecting a release later this year on PC and Switch.