Broslike: Rivals Of Aether Hits Steam Early Access

Sure, nowadays we have Street Fighter, Dead or Alive, and loads of neat-o indie fighting games on PC, but one series it seems unlikely we’ll ever see round our away is the Nintendobox’s Super Smash Bros. (for the uninitiated, it’s Bros like the band). Still, this being PC, we can just make our own Broslikes. Which, obviously, people do.

One promising new entry in the genre is Rivals of Aether [official site], a Broslike offering fighty action with diddy animal people. The full launch is still a few months away, but Broshungry folks can get in now on Steam Early Access.

The full version will have local play with 1v1, 2v2, and free-for-all scrapping, a wave survival mode with leaderboards, a singleplayer story, and, of course, online multiplayer. The initial Early Access release is more limited, with local battles, a practice mode, and 1v1 online play.

But what is a Broslike? Ah. Well. You see. It’s a 2D platform-o-fighting game with multiple lives on stages with skyplatforms you can knock people off as you scrap. This is not a very technical answer but look, it looks like this:

Creator Dan Fornace – who you might know for free Smash demake Super Smash Land, or as lead designer on the new Killer Instinct – expects that the game will be on Early Access for six months. That half-year will be used to tweak balance and let people play while the team work on singleplayer and the rest.

Rivals of Aether costs £10.99 on Steam Early Access for Windows. Initial responses look awfully positive.


  1. internisus says:

    I’m very impressed by the creative character designs and their unique movesets!

    • GWOP says:

      Yup. It’s some really good minimalist pixel art.

    • The First Door says:

      While I’m totally up for a Smash Bros-like on PC, and in general I agree that they are cool designs, having two vaguely brown characters on fire with similar silhouettes seems like a terrible idea in a busy game. I was already getting confused between the two of them in the trailer! Maybe I’m just old and tired…

  2. MikoSquiz says:

    Mm. Smash Bros Melee is one of my favorite games of all time, but a key component that is that the design philosophy’s heavily oriented towards approachable pick-up-and-play multiplayer fun times, and actively tries to avoid being a ‘competitive game’. The worst thing about it is “no items, Final Destination only”.

    As such, the ‘Early Access’ part of the Steam page opening with “Rivals of Aether is a competitive fighting game” makes me very wary.

    • SuddenSight says:

      I can understand why you wouldn’t like it, but there seems to be a market for this. Competitive Smash Bros is a thing. The game plays very differently from Street Fighter or your other “competitive” fighters. Seems reasonable that someone would eventually make a game specifically catering for that audience.

    • EhexT says:

      They basically replaced the items with characters that have interesting moves. So instead of having to wait on random chance to grant you a pickup that does something interesting, you can just do something interesting. And your interesting thing will be different from your opponents (unless it’s a mirror match obviously).

      • rabbit says:

        ssbm had some great moves! roy’s combo special & ness’ sorta-secret-ability to use his aimed shot to propel himself out of the way of / or directly into / enemies , causing a heckuv a lot of kickback if he hit …. <3 ssbm

  3. Baines says:

    Please don’t try to make “Broslike” a term that people might actually consider using.

    It looks like the main thing that might set Aether apart from the ton of other party brawlers is that it appears to use the Percentage damage system of Smash Bros? That’s the one aspect that other party brawlers tend to avoid, for some reason. (The movesets also look strongly Smash-inspired, but that isn’t nearly as uncommon.)

    • SuddenSight says:

      I also dislike Broslike. Requires too much knowledge, and sounds like the contentious roguelike. Something like “knock-back arena” would get the point across better.

      Anyway, Megabyte Punch did the percentage thing on PC too. But that game was not balanced (though it was customizable, so I can understand why).

    • bb010g says:

      I’ve heard platform fighter everywhere else.

  4. EhexT says:

    It’s a fantastic game, but you better have a group of people to play it with – at least until the singleplayer is in in 6 months (and probably even then it’s possibly not going to be worth buying as a purely singeplayer or random online match game).

    It’s a fantastic game though – great character design, with unique moves and mechanics, smooth animations and lot of unnecessary stuff simply got cut (like blocking and throws – Smash-likes really don’t need that, since you’ve already got dodging).