Spotlight: Treachery In Beatdown City

Spotlight: Treachery In Beatdown City

As I was doing my rounds at PAX East this year, I walked through the PAX Rising area and said hello to Brian S. Chung, who was showing off Exposure (which we’ve spotlighted here).  During our chat, he suggested I look at Treachery in Beatdown City, being shown off on the other side of the booth.

Boy am I glad I took his advice, because Treachery in Beatdown City was one of the most innovative game’s I saw at PAX East, taking two genres I never would have thought would work in the same room let alone game, smashing them together and garnishing them with a substantial dollop of nostalgia,


The US President, Blake Orama, is kidnapped in East Fulton by Ninja Dragon Terrorists! The billionaire mayor refuses to help. Three fighters – Lisa, Brad, and Bruce – take to the streets with an all new tactical-brawling system to fight through dozens of thugs, grunts, grapplers, punks, ninjas, terrorists, cyborgs and more on their pursuit to save the president!

Initially, I thought that Treachery in Beatdown City (hereafter TiBC) was a Double Dragon clone; it certainly looks like that is whats it is. The bright colors, pixel graphics, over-the-top hook and caricature characters all are steeped in nostalgia for the era of side-scrolling beat-em-ups.

However, once the fights actually begin, you quickly notice this is a vastly different experience. In a fight you can simply throw basic punches one by one, however you’re also able to use a system that’s a little bit like VATS from the Fallout Universe. You’ll be able to use your reserve of Focus Points to chain together combos, taken from a big list of moves, unique to each of the game’s three characters.

Different moves have different focus costs, and do different things. Some will simply be a flurry of blows, some might inflict status effects, and some might initiate grapples with an opponent. There is a HUGE amount of depth in this system, and a ton of potential for development and expansion.

I’ve never had a huge amount of nostalgia for the Double Dragon era of games, so it says a lot that I am so excited to play more of TiBC. Even without the rose-tint of memory, it’s a solid game with an interesting and fun combat system I cannot wait to dive into once it has released.

Treachery In Beatdown City is set to release on PC and Nintendo Switch in 2019

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Editor-in-Chief of With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.