Five Game Franchises that would work well as Battle Royale

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You know what I love? Well, not Battle Royale games at least! …Wait, why was I writing about this again?

Though I am definitely not the biggest fan of Battle Royale games such as Apex Legends, PUBG, and especially Fall Guys, I still find it an interesting concept that could work very well in specific situations. The ones that I love are ironically the single-player variants such as Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99. I would definitely like to see more of the latter two and that got me thinking: what game franchises would work really well with this genre?

There are a few rules that I have in mind for this list. Obviously, I am not a game developer so everything I describe here correlates to how I would visualize these games happening. Would it work well? Probably, probably not. For today, I also decided to look at existing game franchises instead of original game concepts. I actually have a brilliant million-dollar idea for a Battle Royale game, but I’m keeping that a secret for now before someone steals my idea and makes bank as a result. Developers, you know where to find me.

I’m also going to try and make as many varied choices as possible. The puzzle- and shooter genre respectively are very easy choices for a Battle Royale game, but I want to try and cover a different genre for each entry to spark as many ideas as possible. Furthermore, I want to stick to the main gameplay the franchises are known for. So while a Battle Royale with 99 Zelda characters using items from the franchise sounds awesome, it’s not what I’m looking for as that franchise has far more to do with exploration and dungeons. Would still be awesome though, and a fanmade project like this also exists!

Everything else goes so without further ado, let’s talk about five franchises that could work well as a Battle Royale!


WarioWare

WarioWare Image

This is the franchise that sparked the idea for this topic. The WarioWare franchise of games is a long-running Nintendo IP, designed as micro minigames that test your reflexes. The unknown minigame starts and you only have a few seconds to learn how to do the minigame and then solve it, rinse and repeat to get a high score or die trying. These games are definitely ones that I hold in high regard, due to the intense gameplay but also the many references it has to classic (Nintendo) games.

Why I think this franchise would work well:
Given how many minigames there have been over the years, the random aspect would be huge. With this large number, your reflexes are tested at all times. The microgames are also very quick, so each game shouldn’t last too long; if they do, the developers can probably think of something. Furthermore, the speed- and difficulty of minigames drastically improves the more minigames you complete, adding a serious amount of tension when only a few competitors remain.

How I think this game would work:
Every single player shares the same list of randomized minigames. Given that this list is huge and there can even be some added over time, it probably wouldn’t be a problem to have every list be completely new. I think it would be for the best to have a game-over after just one fail, but we could also work with the regular 4 lives. Finally, I don’t think there’s a necessity for interaction between players as the winner is simply concluded by who wins while everyone else fails, but you could possibly make it even more difficult by having random effects happen during minigames such as fog.


F-Zero

F-Zero Image

A beloved franchise by anyone except the people it should matter for, F-Zero is a high-speed intense racing game franchise by Nintendo. Unfortunately, this game series has not seen a single new game since the Game Boy Advance in 2005, even though fans have been begging for years to have the franchise be given a chance again. From their perspective, a lack of creativity is the reason we haven’t seen a game in so long. Well, I have an idea: just grab what worked and make it a Battle Royale!

Why I think this franchise would work well:
Technically, I could have used any (kart) racing game here, but I felt F-Zero is the most fitting due to its high speed- and skill ceiling, without too much dependence on any form of interaction with other players. For example, there are no blue shells to throw at the number 1. As much as I would like Mario Kart, the chaos would probably be too big for a Battle Royale. F-Zero has a lot of chaos too, but at least more balanced for a massive competition.

How I think this game would work:
Given that racing games are not only dependant on their racing mechanics but also the tracks themselves, there could be two ways to go about this: either a good number of tracks with more being added over time, or splitting parts up into segments that can be added to each other seamlessly so that no track is ever the same. This track is the same for everyone, and everyone races alone a la Tetris 99/Pac-Man 99. You lose by either not reaching the next checkpoint in time or being the last to reach it, or your vehicle taking too much damage. If we are still taking the actual battle part into account, they could probably do something with the segmented track as I mentioned earlier, or place objects on another player’s track by picking up an item on your own track or something.


Assassin’s Creed

Assassin's Creed Image

You could make the argument that Ubisoft loves to milk the everliving hell out of Assassin’s Creed and frankly, you would be right. But now that it has such a rich history of games spanning multiple eras, I think it would actually be a perfect candidate for a Battle Royale. After all, who better to take out an assassin than another assassin?

That said, I did take some liberties with this entry. While you could most likely grab the current engine and convert it into a Battle Royale without too much hassle, I want to bring out the potential the franchise is known for… sometimes.

Why I think this franchise would work well:
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has a wide variety of beautiful cities and places that could serve as maps themselves. Due to the stealthy nature and the vertical usage of levels, this could result in interesting battles as players can resort to more than just immediate combat. This Battle Royale would truly be unique as stealthy play is the way to success… while everyone is stealthy, so you have to watch your back at all times.

How I think this game would work:
This is the part where I’m going to talk about liberties. Now, we all know Assassin’s Creed and we also know that stealth isn’t always as prevalent as it used to be. So I’ve actually come up with an entire concept on how I imagine an Assassin’s Creed Battle Royale would work with an emphasis on stealth.

So the core gameplay would actually be similar to the bigger Battle Royales: There’s a map with a surrounding circle that gets smaller over time. Remain in the middle and don’t get killed to win, yada yada. Like I said, if you grab the engine from the latest Assassin’s Creed games and convert it to a Battle Royale, you would already be well on your way.

But what I would like, is to make stealth part of the core gameplay. More methods to hide and camouflage yourself, but not in a way that you can just hide forever. And while stealthy play would be rewarded, there should be benefits given for killing someone so that it won’t just be a game of hide ‘n seek–and punishment for killing an NPC suspected as a camouflaged player. Perhaps they could keep the leveling system intact for whenever you kill an enemy, and also spawn random buffs on the map for movement speed and other stealth-related mechanics like temporarily displaying other people. These are just some of the ideas I’ve had, but I want to emphasize that I think stealth can work well as a Battle Royale if done right, and also makes it stand out from the competition.


Touhou

Touhou Image

The Touhou franchise is one that I still have trouble understanding sometimes, mostly because (fan)games pop up left and right with a dangerously high frequency. Regardless, if Touhou is known for something that doesn’t involve the cute girls that have gained a massive cult following, it’s the bullet-hell gameplay. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the games, you might have seen some videos on YouTube showing some of the bosses on the highest difficulty with the need of extreme precision to actually dodge them. And given we are eighteen games in now–not including spin-offs and fangames–, I’d say a Battle Royale in the style of the ”99” games might work well.

Why I think this franchise would work well:
Frankly, I mostly chose Touhou because I haven’t played too many (bullet-hell) shmups outside of this franchise, or single titles that never became a series. And given that apparently, anyone is allowed to make a game for this franchise, it wouldn’t actually be unlikely for this project to happen. But putting that aside, it’s a franchise with a rich history in terms of (playable) characters, and also one where skill- and memorization are rewarded. And given the nature of bullet-hell games, it would be one hell of a Battle Royale to get your blood pumping. Oh, and the music would be awesome too, can’t forget about that.

How I think this game would work:
First of all, a note: I have played several Touhou games in the past and even on the higher difficulties, but I do not consider myself to be part of the true fans who play the games to perfection. So if I say something that would be considered heretical, please forgive me and let your own voice be heard down below in the comments!

Anyhow, the core gameplay would be pretty similar to what we’re used to from Touhou, with the main difference being that the stages are endless instead of separated for each boss. Of course, the bosses do still appear as they are where most of the difficulty lies. Actually, I think it would be cool to have the bosses’ attacks–and enemies to an extend–be influenced by the other players their actions, similar to how both Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99 handle it. This mechanic would appear on screen in the same way that power-ups drop from enemies, so there’s a risk to getting them but a worthwhile one. This is also definitely necessary to prevent the absolute top players from completely dominating every single game… even though they probably still will.

While Touhou is definitely difficult, half of the challenge lies in memorizing patterns, and I don’t think that’s something applicable to a potential Battle Royale unless it rotates between a few bosses without effects from other players. Randomizing everything would definitely be more interesting at least, perhaps starting with a random early-game boss from any of the mainline Touhou games, and then slowly working up to the harder ones. Bombs would also still be present, as well as all other default mechanics such as the before-mentioned power-ups. I am conflicted on what to do for playable characters and their types, as I feel it doesn’t affect the battle too much in general but could probably make the difference between a loss- and a win. Maybe give everyone playing the same random character and type?


Nidhogg

For the final entry, I wanted to go Indie. This was yet another game that inspired this list because Nidhogg is already an exciting multiplayer game. In this game, you try to take control over the camera in a 2D high-speed fencing match with another player who continuously respawns to prevent you from reaching the next room. It’s not just simple fencing either, as the weapon can be thrown as a tactic, and even close combat is allowed. The game was so beloved that it even ended up having a sequel, adding more weapons and levels with unique gimmicks.

Why I think this franchise would work well:
Nidhogg is a really fun multiplayer game that already has a tournament mode, so converting that to a Battle Royale with slight alterations would already do most of the job. It’s also a very easy game to get into because of the simple but fun gameplay, and the maps would make it random enough without the need for external mechanics like players interrupting. Most of all, the duels are accelerating and are a mix between actual tactics and RNG, but never in a way that you feel you couldn’t have won that duel.

How I think this game would work:
Nothing would really change to how Nidhogg works at its core; it will remain 1v1, and the goal is still to make it to the next room. However, you come across a completely new player every time you exit the room. The goal is pretty much to keep winning until only two players remain, dueling it out for the crowning achievement. I think it’s for the best everyone is allowed to lose three times, otherwise the game would be over very quickly. There would also have to be some sort of timer to prevent players from stalling the matches. The developers could probably come up with a better idea than I can regarding the matching.


And those are just five ideas that I’ve had for games that would work well as a Battle Royale. While I took small liberties with Assassin’s Creed by incorporating some elements that the franchise isn’t necessarily known for, most of these games would not have to make too many changes to have their own stand-alone Battle Royale game, or just a sidemode.

Frankly, I continuously came up with more ideas that I unfortunately wasn’t able to work out completely yet. However, if you did like this list and how I presented it, please let me know! I’ll gladly make a follow-up to this, as I can keep this train going for a bit longer. Heck, I could even share some of the original ideas I have for a Battle Royale concept that doesn’t involve existing franchises. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list and I will see you next time!

About author

Nepiki

A gamer and writer at heart who wants to combine his hobbies into one. I am 25 years old and I'm from the Netherlands. Having played many games over the years, I wanted to express my love for them, however obscure they may be!

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Aether

As some who doesn’t play battle royales or have any interest in battle royales, a Nidhogg Battle Royale sounds absolutely amazing. With the fast pace the game already has, and the twitch decision making it requires, it seems like it’s transfer over remarkably well.

For my money, I’d be interested in some sort of wrestling battle royale. Give me the Battle Royale Rumble.