what was the first battle royale game

what was the first battle royale game

The Origins of Battle Royale Games

The immensely popular battle royale genre of gaming has become an international phenomenon since its formal debut in 2017. While most gamers think of titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite when discussing battle royale titles, these two entries only scratch the surface of what is actually an older, more varied genre. Despite its recent resurgence, the roots of the battle royale style of game have existed for some time.

What Was the First Battle Royale Game?

The first battle royale game, known as “Darwin’s Dangerous Dare”, was released in 1981 after a three-year development cycle. It was designed to demonstrate the power of the computers of the day, as the game simulated a handful of people competing against each other within a limited space such as an island, city, or space station. Each of the game’s participants must survive and be the last player standing, giving the game its name of “Battle Royale”.

Mechanics and Strategy

In Darwin’s Dangerous Dare, the 16 players must avoid falling into an ever-expanding pool of lava. As the game progresses, the players must strategically plan their moves and battle the other competitors using brute force and guile. Additionally, the players can collect weapons and power-ups, allowing them to become more powerful as the game progresses. The idea of collecting different items provided a much needed strategic component to the game, and cemented Darwin’s as a unique and engaging experience for users.


Since its release, Darwin’s Dangerous Dare has created a legacy that has touched many genres. The game is credited as an early forerunner of last-man-standing games, paving the way for games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Most consequently, the idea of “battle royale” has become an industry standard, fostering unique experiences for users both young and old.

Overall, Darwin’s Dangerous Dare is and forever will remain revered as the first battle royale game. Despite its age, its simple yet fun concepts have withstood the test of time and have become the basis for some of the most popular video games of the past few years.



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