Creepy Brawlers (Switch)

Halloween may be over, but you can still beat up monsters with Creepy Brawlers.  The main character in this game is watching a horror movie in the theater, but then gets sucked inside!  Now he must box his way to defeat all sorts of opponents, like a zombie, wolfman, vampire, and more!  It’s almost like a spooky sequel to Punch Out on the NES!  It even looks like an 8-bit NES game.  You can even get an actual cartridge of this for your NES, but you can also download it on Switch, which is the version reviewed here.

Play control is also very similar to Punch Out.  The A and B buttons perform left and right punches.  Hold up to do high jabs to the face.  Press left or right to dodge, and down to duck.  And that’s pretty much it.  Each enemy has special punches (or stabs or whatever) that they’ll telegraph.  Time your dodges after their attacks and your boxing gloves will flash.  When that happens, press a punch button to do a special move to really wallop your opponent.  Whittle down their energy and knock them out to win the round.  If you get knocked out, press buttons repeatedly to get back up.  You can beat monsters in a row in the Championship mode, or fight each one you’ve already beaten in Practice mode.  You can even earn in-game achievements.

The game has a neat presentation, as the main menu is a movie screen, the backgrounds are spooky, and even the referee is a severed hand like Thing from The Addams Family.  But I did have some problems with the game.  The play control felt a little sluggish, but I’m not sure if that was the game or just me being sluggish.  I’m not very good at Punch Out, but I can get farther in that game than I could in this one.  Also I don’t know how or if the game saves your progress, but it didn’t save mine so maybe it really is like a NES game!  But if you like horror movie monsters and Punch Out, you may want to check this one out.

Kid Factor:

Creepy Brawlers is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You can punch and knock down all manner of spooky monsters, like a zombie or a psycho stabby bride.  But characters just fall over when defeated, and the 8-bit visuals negate a lot of the graphic violence.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may find it a bit too difficult.

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