Beat ’em up, or brawler games, is a type of games often found in arcades or video game settings. The goal is, as you may have guessed, to beat your opponents up (or down). The first game of this genre was 1984 success Kung-Fu Master, soon followed by Renegade. Beat ?em ups are different from fighting games however, as they do not involve fighting between any particular two adversaries (except for the occasional boss at the end of each level). Instead, they are mainly focused on walking through levels (often set on abandoned city streets filled with mutants or rival gang members) by beating up opponents using fists, kicks or melee weaponry.
When the FPS-genre made it big in the early nineties, beat ’em up games were pushed aside in favor of more realistic game play (though we’d find it quite hard to call DooM realistic) from a first person perspective. However, later years have seen a revival of these kinds of games with titles such as Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, God of War and Bayonetta. Though they definitely have a place in the arena, beat em ups will probably never regain their full success of days past as technology has enabled more and more advanced game play, not to mention all the different genres that have appeared that were not available in the eighties.