Broforce – A fun spoof on 80’s – 90’s action cinema

A cult classic that has a long shelf life
Broforce’s official logo and artwork

While Broforce has existed for a while, it’s still a fun title to play, thanks to constant updates from the devs.

Initially released in October 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Broforce is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up platformer developed by Free Lives and published by Devolver Digital, the same company that publishes other notable titles such as the “Hotline Miami” series and the “Serious Sam” series.

In this game, players are able to assume a role as one of the different heroes (or ‘bros’ as the game would like to call them) in an American paramilitary organization known as the Broforce, an ‘underfunded but overpowered’ assembly of movie superheroes. Heroes in the game include characters from notable 80s – 90s flicks such as “The Matrix”, “The Terminator”, “Alien”, “Robocop”, “Evil Dead, “Spy Kids” and “Indiana Jones”.

6 of the most notable Broforce characters, along with their parody names. From left to right: Neo, Cyberdyne T-800, Ellen Ripley, Robocop, Ash Williams, Machete and Indiana Jones
Three main things in Broforce that matter the most.

Gameplay wise, it’s like what you would expect from other side-scrolling games. It’s fast-paced, challenging and full of unrealistic explosions. You start with only one life, and you’ll get more lives every time you rescue Broforce POWs and switch heroes. Occasionally, there are boss fights on each level, and the bosses themselves are pretty challenging. The bosses range from heavily armed attack helicopters to nuclear bomb proof tanks.

Speaking of the heroes, there are over 35 of them in “Broforce”. Some of the notable characters are Neo (aka Thomas Anderson), Cyberdyne T-800, Ellen Ripley, Robocop, Ash Williams, Machete and Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones.

Each character has their own weapons and special skills, and each character will either help you or kill your progression. For instance, Terminator is one example of a character that will help you progress throughout the levels easily, because of his weapon of choice:  a portable gatling gun. He also has the ability to become temporarily invincible thanks to the fact that he is an android. On the other hand, Indiana Jones is virtually useless because of his whip being his weapon of choice and his special skill is… well, he can shoot at least, but he only carries eight bullets, which can absolutely kill your progression.

One weakness of the game is the story. It is unclear what the Broforce’s ultimate goal is, whether it’s world liberation from aliens or world domination. Either way, it almost feels like this game has no plot at all, because most of the time you’ll only be focused on shooting aliens, laugh at your enemies’ defeat or rage because you just died for the tenth time.

As you progress throughout the game, you’ll notice that it gets harder and harder. The boss gets more challenging, and you have to respond to things more quickly. There are levels where you have to press forward as soon as you spawn, otherwise you’ll be dead by the nuclear bomb falling out of the sky. And the bombs are dropped onto random places, too. So you’ll never know where they will drop. For some, the escalating challenge makes the game more frustrating as if it’s not frustrating enough in the first place. For others, one might enjoy the escalating challenge

Online cooperative boss fight in the level ‘Hell’

Saving the world by yourself is fun, but having a sidekick or two makes the game even more fun. You can either invite up to four friends into your house for splitscreen co-op fun, or you can pair up with a stranger online and make friends while trying to save the world.

You can also deteriorate your friendship in ‘versus mode’. Versus mode is played similarly to fighting games like “Super Smash Bros”. Up to four players can fight against each other. Each player can pick their own hero, and they fight on a platform that collapses over time. Each player is given three lives and no extra lives can be gained.

Angus MacGyver fighting against The Terminator in versus mode.

Players could die if they’re killed or fall off the collapsing platform. The last player to survive wins. If you’re a hardcore gamer that likes to wreck and trash talk other players online, “Broforce” offers online PvP, as well. One concern about online play is latency. Since “Broforce” is a fast-paced game, latency matters. Lag is a main concern about online play that could really degrade your experience.


One last thing to note about “Broforce” is the level editor. While I haven’t played around with the editor much, I have seen many amazing user-created levels published in Steam Workshop. If you’re a person who’s seriously interested in game modding, Free Lives has provided all the tools required to make custom levels for “Broforce”. Please note that the level editor is still in beta at this point, which means there might be bugs here and there.

The world map, with Nelson Brodela as Broforce’s commander. Note that Indonesia is labeled as Arstotzka, a reference to the puzzle game Papers Please. This is just one of the many pop culture references that can be found in the game.

Overall, “Broforce” is an action platformer that I definitely recommend. It’s fun, fast-paced, challenging, full of pop culture references… and, most importantly, it has some of the best humor the platformer genre has ever seen. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a game that has a good narrative, this game is not for you.