Just over a week ago, the Nintendo Switch was given Pac-Man 99, the latest in the now-trend of releasing Battle Royale versions of classic video games. Tetris 99 is arguably the biggest king of this spinoff, still getting thousands of viewers on Twitch. We just recently lost Nintendo’s foray into the subgenre with Super Mario 35 being removed from the eShop… reasons. But now we have one of gaming’s most famous icons to play around with in this frantic, addictive new game type.
Playing a few games last night (and really, by that I mean between losing round after round…) I started to think of what other games would be fun to play in this “99” subgenre. Are there other titles it would be fun to square off against other players in an all-out battle of dominance? I can see the fad dying out sooner rather than later, but until then I can hold out hope we see some of these potential new battle royale inspired releases.
Part of the success of games like Pac-Man 99 and Tetris 99 is their easy gameplay that can be artificially manipulated by the game itself: these games get harder as the game goes faster. Adding in more enemies amplifies this further. When the amplification of speed is determined by your standing in the round with everyone else, and the additional enemies are governed by the defeated enemies from other remaining players, you’ve got a recipe for a competitive game. Galaga would fit this mold easily: you’re trying to outlast 98 other players. Each successful wave of enemies defeated sends more enemies to your competing players. Clearing faster sends more enemies, and so on. Honestly, this list can end here, because I would love to see this game! (SIde note: Don’t get confused by the arcade game Galaga ’88)
Twisted Metal: Battle Royale
If you haven’t played the Twisted Metal series, you’re missing out on one of the original Playstation’s most iconic series’. The game has you battling other cars to the death, using anything from ramming, to guns, to rockets to blow up the competition. In the fictional Twisted Metal: Battle Royale, series maestro Calypso calls 99 players together to fight it out in their death machine. You can play as series stalwarts like Sweet Tooth, or you can create your own rider and customize your vehicle with a wide assortment of gun and vehicle loadouts. It’s like vehicle based Fortnite, what’s not to like?
Rocket League Smash
So you know how in Car Soccer (AKA Rocket League) you can drive into an opponent at full speed and cause them to explode? Psyonix needs to make a game where that’s the entire point: crash into other, collect wacky powerups, and try to survive yourself. I’m pretty awful at Rocket League proper, but if there’s no goal to shoot a ball into, I bet I’d be halfway decent!
Agent 47… of 99? Imagine a game where you are one of any number of other assassin’s, all with varying goals. Whichever assassin completes their set of goals first wins. Did you happen to notice something another assassin did, and you’re pretty sure they’re your competition? Just stealthily take them out. Easier said than done though, you’ll need to be sneaky in order to win this battle royale spin-off!
As if Overcooked couldn’t get any more hectic, now you’ve got to compete with rival restaurants! As you send out dish after dish, your restaurants patron count and income will go up. Failing to meet demand will drive customers away and lower your income. Hit rock bottom and you are out! As you successfully deliver dishes you will also attract visitors from your opponents restaurants, send flames into their place of business, and you might even be able to call over a health inspector to really wreck some havoc!
Mario Party 99
Nintendo, this is a no-brainer: Just make a Mario Party game modeled after the runaway success of Fall Guys. Imagine it: you and any number of other players all competing in gigantic Mario Party-esque mini games. Well, not so mini when this many players are involved! Survive each round and move to the next, with the goal of being the last player standing! You can incorporate your Mii as well, decking them out with Nintendo themed outfits and taunts, ranging from not only the Mushroom Kingdom but Nintendo’s extensive back catalog of IPs!
Sonic the Hedgehog Royale
Inspired by the somewhat lackluster competitive multiplayer mode in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, this new take on competitive Sonic involves dozens of players competing to survive. In a 2D game space, players need to race to the finish to qualify for the next round. Impeding them in their quest are all the other players. You can pickup powerups to boost you along, and also some to hinder your opponents: flipping their controls, turning out the lights for a short while, spawning more badniks, and so much more. Is it balanced, probably not, but it’ll be super fun!
Honestly, this was a pretty fun little list to create! While I would love any of these games to exist, I have to give a special shoutout to Mario Party 99 and Galaga 99. I really think Galaga is an easy one to make happen. With Mario Party 99, though, that game just seems like a ton of fun! Given the right love and attention, these two games, and any of the ones here, can really be something special in the battle royale spin-off genre!
What series’ would you want to see get the mega multiplayer treatment? I’d love to hear and dream on what we (might) never play.