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The Battle Of The Beat-‘em-Ups On Antstream Arcade

This week sees the release of the sixth instalment of the legendary one-on-one beat-‘em-up, Street Fighter. The Street Fighter games have been delighting and exciting gamers for over 35 years, and with this latest game sure to be another mega-hit, what better time to head off to a deserted and mysterious island and stage the ultimate retro gaming tournament?

Who will be crowned champion of the fighters on Antstream Arcade?

To play all these fighting games for free and officially licensed, head over to And don’t forget you can chat with fellow Antstreamers about our vast range of fighting games and more on the Antstream Arcade Discord server:

Enough of the chatter – on with the tournament!

Round Of 16

Karate Champ (Arcade, Data East, 1984)


Way Of The Exploding Fist (C64, Beam Software, 1985)

The granddaddy of the genre, Karate Champ, swiftly proves it still has what it takes, delivering a powerful high kick. However, the smooth and supreme Way Of The Exploding Fist blocks the move and responds with a breath-sucking punch in the guts. Oof!

Winner: Way Of The Exploding Fist

Chop Suey (Atari 8-bit, English Software, 1985)


Tuff E Nuff (SNES, Jaleco, 1993)

The crowd is ready for this skewed face-off between the Atari 8-bit’s Chop Suey and the Super Nintendo tuff guy, Tuff E Nuff. Can the English Software game cause an upset? Err, no. An acrobatic flying kick from the SNES game puts paid to the 8-bit pretender.

Winner: Tuff E Nuff

Mortal Kombat (Arcade, Midway, 1992)


Clay Fighter (Sega Mega Drive, Visual Concepts, 1993)

Mortal Kombat! Clay, err, Fighter! The legendary arcade fighter holds all the cards here: special moves, gallons of crimson and a wide variety of brilliant characters. But wait – Clay Fighter has a bad Mr Frosty! Is it enough? No!

Body Blows Galactic (Amiga, Team 17, 1993)


Full Contact (Amiga, Team 17, 1991)

It’s the Commodore Amiga and Team 17 grudge match as these two combatants are pulled out of the hat to face off against each other. Despite the speedy moves of Full Contact, Body Blows Galactic’s crazy out-of-this-world antics win the day.

Beast Wrestler (Sega Mega Drive, Telenet, 1991)


Championship Wrestling (C64, Epyx, 1986)

Once more, the Antstream Arcade totally-random game selector™ pulls another juicy match out with this battle of two of our best wrestling retro games. With its diverse monstrous characters and moves, Beast Wrestler has an early impact before ceding to the technically supreme classic Commodore 64 wrestler.

Shadow Fighter (Amiga, Gremlin, 1994)


Street Smart (Arcade, SNK, 1989)

The next bout pitches Gremlin’s mysterious Shadow Fighter against the frantic tarmac-based Street Smart from SNK. This is a close match: both games are excellent, with Street Smart conceding in the variety stakes despite being a smoother and more playable experience. The Amiga game edges it with a spinning roundhouse putting Street Smart to the pavement.

Ninja Hamster (C64, CRL, 1986)


Fighter’s History (Arcade, Data East, 1993)

Ok, Ninja Hamster may have a catchy jingle and some quirky characters – but does this brave fighting rodent from the 8-bit era have any chance against one of the sleekest and most brutal arcade games of the early nineties? Amazingly, no – our furry friend is out of the competition.

Art Of Fighting (Arcade, SNK, 1994)


Fatal Fury (Arcade, SNK, 1991)

The final match of this round is a ferocious battle between two of SNK’s finest beat-‘em-ups of the nineties. Fatal Fury adopts a novel two-tier plane of action, but it’s Art Of Fighting new moves, specifically the dangerous ‘super attack’ that finishes off its rival with a crunching blow.


The old 8-bit C64 beat-‘em-up has done well to get this far – but it’s the end of the road. Tuff E Nuff’s depth of gameplay and fast moves are more than a match for Beam Software’s considered yet cumbersome play.

Winner: Tuff E Nuff


Few beat-'em-ups come as tough and gory as the Midway classic, and it takes its Amiga rival apart in this merciless quarter-final. Shove another coin in the slot – this bout is over!

Winner: Mortal Kombat


This fight is another mismatch as the creaky Epyx brawler stands trembling before the epic madness of Gremlin’s Shadow Fighter. A fatal special move finishes off the C64 game and thrusts the Amiga game into the semis.


It’s the battle of the mid-nineties arcade fighters as Data East’s Fighters History takes on SNK’s Art Of Fighting in this challenging and bruising QF encounter. Both of these beat-‘em-ups have spawned a famous series – Fighters History wins this mammoth clash by spotting a weak point and exploiting it – to the max!



Shadow Fighter

In the fight billed as the champion versus the pretender, Shadow Fighter jumps in with plenty of solid early blows putting the Midway icon on the back foot. However, the 1992 powerhouse hasn’t got its strong reputation today through luck: several quick and deadly attacks stagger the Amiga game before a gory FINISH move ends this semi-final.

Winner: Mortal Kombat


The Super Nintendo’s finest beat-‘em-up versus the arcade giant from Data East. It’s a close skirmish, with both games struggling to gain the upper hand. Ultimately, the SNES game is beaten into submission as Fighter’s History once more takes advantage of a weak point – Tuff E Nuff’s terrible box art!


And so we reach the final, with these two battered and bruised combatants ready for one decisive scuffle to determine who can claim to be the King Of Fighters on Antstream Arcade. There’s a feint from Fighter’s History as it seeks to exploit Mortal Kombat’s weakness – its relative lack of playable characters – but the arcade legend triumphs, finishing off the Data East game in a flurry of blood-spewing moves. Arms raised and bow – we have our champion of retro fighters on Antstream Arcade: MORTAL KOMBAT!

Don’t forget you can play all these fighting games for free and officially licensed at

And don’t forget you can chat with fellow Antstreamers about our vast range of fighting games and more on the Antstream Arcade Discord server:


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