I'm not a native English speaker. Could you tell me what us the difference between Beat'em all vs Beat'em up (if any)?

----- EDIT -----

I noticed the terminology of beat'em all doesn't exist in Wikipedia.

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    There is a much better StackExchange site for this, English Language & Usage – Chantola Oct 20 '14 at 1:42
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    @Chantola since it is a gaming term it is on-topic here as well – Rapitor Oct 20 '14 at 2:02

They are the exact same thing. Beat them all (or Beat 'em all) is a term mainly used in France for this subgenre. Another term for it is Brawler.

These three terms all refer to games where you advance through a side-scrolling level, fighting loads of appearing enemies (thus "them") simultaneously, usually with your bare hands and feet or slaying weapons. Shooting weapons are just temporary power-ups and not permanent equipment, otherwise it's a different subgenre.

Well known examples of this subgenre are the Final Fight, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage series.

This is the second most-common subgenre of fighting games, the most common one being 1vs1 fighters like Street Fighter, The King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat or Tekken. The difference is that 1vs1 fighters have you successively battling single opponents (sometimes: small teams) in a closed arena, while Beat 'em Ups/Beat 'em Alls/Brawlers have you fighting lots of enemies in a progressing level.

Some people also limit this subgenre to games using a playfield which has depth, meaning you can walk into four directions on the ground, compared to a planar playfield (like in Super Mario Bros.) in which you can only move left/right, but not up or down (other than jumping or ascending/descending stairs/platforms).

  • Does this answer your question? If not, let me know and I will elaborate. If it does, please accept it. – janb Dec 19 '14 at 12:07
  • Tekken, Street Fighter etc are also called Beat'em Ups, at least sometimes. I will not argue that it is a better fit for Final Fight etc. – Goodbye SE Nov 5 '19 at 10:48

The difference is like Double Dragon vs Street Fighter. Double Dragon is a game where one character per player cruises about beating up all the bad guys, typically in 1 vs many fights. Street Fighter is a game where one characters fights another character in a 1 on 1 setting.


because shoot'em ups existed first, it's a variation of that. it's just instead of shooting you're beating the enemies. with fists.

as for why, shoot'em ups came first and are usually called that regardless of if you're shooting up or right or left.

  • This seems to be addressing a question different than the one asked. "Why is it called a beat'em up" vs "Difference between 'Beat 'em up and Beat 'em all" – Waterseas Jun 7 '16 at 15:35

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