Scrolling Down The Belt: Beat ‘Em Up History

Scrolling Down the Belt is a series that delves into beat ’em ups, brawlers, and belt-scrolling action games, in mostly chronological order! It began life as articles on this very site, but has moved over to videos!

It all began with Kung-Fu Master/Spartan X in 1984, and the genre has gone in some unexpected directions over the years, all while staying pretty true to its roots. Over time, this series will stretch all the way to some games that appear on modern platforms, though I can’t possibly cover every single beat ’em up that’s ever been released.

I’ve always loved this genre, despite its (sometimes) simplicity, so I hope you’ll join me on this exploration of it!