Nintendo’s January mini-Direct aired last week following months of hype and intense speculation. As it always happens with these announce-athons, fans were either shocked by the reveals or disappointed with the absences. One question still on most people’s lips, however, is ‘when are we getting news on Super Smash Bros?’

Many had metered expectations for a port of 2014’s Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS (aka Smash 4). New entries in the series have taken up to 3 years to develop in the past, and considering Smash 4’s DLC only wrapped up in 2016 it made sense to anticipate a definitive edition for the Nintendo Switch.

But alas, here we are post-Direct with no more information and a huge platform fighting itch to scratch. They may not be exactly the same, but here are five more Smash-inspired romps to try  in the meantime.

1. Brawlout

Available on: Windows (Early Access), Nintendo Switch, PS4 (coming 2018), Xbox One (coming 2018)

Starting with the most recent, Brawlout released on Nintendo Switch in December 2017, is on Steam Early Access, and comes to PS4 and Xbox early 2018.

Differences to Smash

  • No shields or grabbing – as the name implies it’s all out-offence here.
  • Rage metre – instead of a ‘final smash’, you have bar that fills as you’re hit. It can be unleashed to save you from combos/falls, or to pummel your foes in a furious frenzy.

Pros:

  • Recognisable Indie fighters like Hyper Light Drifter and Guacamelee’s Juan.
  • Flashy, smash-esque visuals
  • Wavedashing returns!

Cons

  • 18 character roster features only 8 unique fighters plus 10 variants.
  • Unbalanced. Many of the variant fighters are superior to their counterparts.

2. Brawlhalla

Available on: Windows, MacOS, PS4

‘Brawl’ is the new black, it seems, but Brawhalla actually released a month prior to Brawlout in October 2017.

Differences to Smash

  • Free to play model
  • 2D graphical style
  • Weapons-focus – weapons fall from the sky mid-battle and dictate character abilities.

Pros

  • snappy controls
  • Free to play
  • various, casual games modes (like the football themed Brawlball).

Cons

  • weapons focus makes fighters feel derivative
  • health bar – instead of percentage, your health metre changes from white, to yellow, to dark red as you take damage. There’s just no way of telling exactly how much health this is.

3. Rivals of Aether

Available on: Windows, Xbox One, Switch (coming 2018)

This game is aimed more at hardcore Smash fans, which might be why it has developed such a dedicated competitive scene.

Differences to Smash

  • Hardcore combat – ’tilt’ moves from Smash are mapped to a third button and fighters are even distinguished by their weight, so prepare for some intricate fighting mechanics.
  • Character movesets – while there are slight inspirations from Smash fighers, this roster is all about environmental manipulation and applying status effects to enemies.

Pros

  • Guest character Ori (of Ori and the Blind Forest fame) spruces up the 12 character roster.
  • Story mode – with six unique campaigns with five stages each for the starting set of fighters

Cons

  • Less easy to pickup and play for your casual gamer friends

4. Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends

Available on: PS4, Xbox One

Even movie tie-ins want to get in on the Smash Bros fun nowadays! It’s a platform fighter with all the things we’ve come to expect from licensed games.

Differences to Smash

  • Level of polish

Pros

  • It was a free PS Plus game a while ago
  • Features a largely familiar cast of characters from the films

Cons

  • Floaty controls
  • Characters and moves don’t feel like they connect in combat
  • Janky animations

5. Towerfall: Ascension (+ Dark World)

Available on: Android, PlayStation 4, Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Ouya

The most unique experience on this list is also the oldest, and Towerfall has become a classic in its own right for forging its own path.

Differences to Smash

  • Archery-focus. Your moves in this game are limited entirely to a bow, some arrows and power-ups.
  • One-shot kills – the only way to kill foes is an arrow to the face. If you fall off the edge you’ll loop straight down from the ceiling.

Pros

  • An entirely refreshing take on the genre
  • Easy to pick up, mechanical to master
  • Co-op missions in the base game, and a four player campaign in The Dark World expansion.
  • Short but sweet battles.

Cons

  • Pixel art is not to everyone’s taste.
  • No difference between characters. At all.

And there we have it. While these five games will never replace Nintendo’s iconic franchise, there’s certainly some fun to be had in exploring them and their differences. Got a different favourite? Let us know down below.