River City Girls

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a game by WayForward
Platform: PC (2019)
Editor Rating: 8.8/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Anime Games, Manga Games, Adult Beat 'em Up Games, Pixel Art Games, Beat 'em-Up
River City Girls
River City Girls
River City Girls
River City Girls

A cool throwback to some of the best old-school beat ‘em ups, River City Girls continues the legacy of its legendary series, bringing all the excitement of the 2D side-scrolling brawler to a new generation of fans.

Even if you’ve never heard of the series, the River City games have always been one of the most mechanically-competent side-scroller beat ‘em ups ever made, and River City Girls aims to replicate the formula that made its predecessors so popular in the arcades. Even though the controls can be a bit clunky at times, there are many reasons why this game is still a worthy holder of its iconic name.

A New Generation

Kunio and Riki, the heroes from River City Ransom, have been kidnapped – and it will be up to their girlfriends to do the rescuing this time around. Don’t let their cute appearances deceive you: these girls are as great brawlers as they come.

The decision to let the previous heroes sit this one out might seem somewhat inconceivable, especially when they’re such a big part of the series’ charisma. It would be like releasing a Street Fighter game without Ryu and Ken. However, the amazing character design and well-written dialogue makes Kyoko and Misako hold their ground as excellent protagonists of their own.

River City Girls features an updated look that will please even long-standing fans of the series from the 8-Bit era. The sprite art is simply fantastic: every character has excellent readability, and the backgrounds are colorful and crisp, like something that came straight out of the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.

In between stages, players will be pleased to see that the game includes anime and manga cutscenes which help a huge deal in developing the characters. Of course, not every character is new to the game: some fan-favorite characters from older River City games make cameo appearances from time to time; a pleasure to those looking for a quick nostalgia rush.

Living World

Just like in every other River City game, fighting bare-fisted is not the only option for Kyoko and Misako. Scattered all over the world is a myriad of weapons, assorted items, and power-ups that will help you take out the bad guys much easier.

The game is divided into six cities that each act as a hub world for smaller stages. Inside these cities, you’ll find shops and characters that will give you side-quests. This gives the game an added layer of complexity that has always differentiated this series from the likes of Fatal Fury or Street of Rage.

To make things even better, the soundtrack is an absolute blast. Featuring some of the world’s best chiptune composers, River City Girls’ soundtrack truly feels like a love letter to old-school gaming. The best part is that it doesn’t feel like it’s living on nostalgia alone, as it’s clear that the developers went the extra mile to make it very clear that this game would stand the test of time as its own thing, rather than a continuation to a classic franchise.


River City Girls is the perfect game for any fan of side-scrolling beat ‘em ups. Its fresh approach to the franchise, coupled with an amazing art design, makes it one of the best arcade tributes in a while.


  • Crisp and beautiful sprite art
  • Insanely catchy chiptune soundtrack
  • Deep and complex side-quests that add to the well-written story


  • Bosses can glitch at times
  • Controllers can’t be remapped

Download River City Girls


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Take to the streets and rescue your boyfriends in this crazy anime-inspired beat em up game! As a part of the River City series, River City Girls is a wacky spin-off with lots of action and even more personality. Playing as schoolgirls Misako and Kyoko, you'll explore town, defeat your enemies, and grow in power at the same time. With hilarious characters and lots of replayability, this is a beat em up you'll keep coming back to.

Main Game Features

  • Solo or cooperative story mode
  • Deep fighting system
  • Bonus unlockable characters


River City Girls is set in the same universe as the classic beat em up game, River City Ransom. As such, you'll explore River City, battling against the many gangs and ruffians who hang out around town. The story follows two students, Misako and Kyoko, who discover that their boyfriends have been kidnapped. Refusing to let their lovers be taken away, the brave schoolgirls use their fists and feet to fight back.

There are many characters you'll meet during your adventure, from brutish bosses to pesky stalkers. The story in River City girls is mostly basic, with the girls having to overcome obstacles as they track their boyfriend's captors across town. While this adventure takes you to some cool places, the story is ultimately disappointing. It's fun and exciting for the most part, but the ending sort of sours the rest of the story. Overall, it's a cool journey with characters you'll grow to love, but be prepared for the upsetting end.


River City Girls draws from the long line of other River City beat em up games and offers an action-packed gameplay experience that will have you button mashing with joy. Similar to games like Streets of Rage and Double Dragon, your main objective in River City Girls is to progress through each area, beating up any enemies who stand in your way. Defeated enemies drop coins, which can be spent at various shops around town to buy healing items and other goodies. You'll also earn experience as you beat more bad guys, unlocking powerful special moves and other handy techniques.

It might have a basic formula, but River City Girls elevates the experience with lots of replayability. Besides improving your chosen character to the max level, there are also collectibles to hunt, quests to complete, and secret characters to unlock. If you want to see everything this game has to offer, you'll want to play through it four times! Thankfully, the game supports local co-op for two players, so you can take your friends along for the ride.


River City Girls has some problems, but the game is so colorful and fun to play that it's hard to stay mad. The areas and fighting system are well designed, there's a lot of unlockable content, and the game has been made with passion.


If you want to beat up enemies in style, River City Girls is a fun choice that's great to play with a friend.


  • Graphics are colorful and cute
  • Fun to level up and buy items
  • Each character has unique moves


  • Tough difficulty at times
  • Gear doesn't matter that much
  • Disappointing ending

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

See Also

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