Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy is a side scrolling arcade beat ’em up platform game developed by SNK for the Neo Geo in 1994. It was also released on the Neo Geo CD, and the Wii Virtual Console. The game has been re-released as part of SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, on May 1, 2008, and in the ACA Neo Geo series on PlayStation 4 on January 10, 2018. Its development team consisted of former Irem staff members.
It was one of the few Neo Geo games to be dubbed “the 100 mega shock”, due to the cartridge being just over 112 mebibits. This was large for the time, at over twice the size of the largest SNES cartridge (Star Ocean, with 48 mebibits). Later cartridges would routinely top 100 megabits so the branding was dropped. This was also referred to as a precursor to Metal Slug because of the cartoonish graphics and the robotic vehicles, which are very similar to the Slugs.
The gameplay style is similar to, and inspired by Double Dragon, The Combatribes, Joe & Mac and Spinmaster. The player, as Roddy (the second player plays as Cathy), must navigate through the area, collecting items, killing enemies, and defeating a boss at the end of each stage. The characters can also execute special moves, done by moving the joystick in certain directions and pressing the attack button, similar to Street Fighter and The King of Fighters fame. Similar to Fatal Fury, Top Hunter features a plane-jumping system: the game field is divided in two lanes between the background and foreground, which the player can jump between at any time to attack enemies or avoid traps. The two fields are not always at the same elevation and one of them may be blocked off at certain points.
The game is split into four planets: Forest, Ice, Wind, and Fire. Depending on what stage is picked first, the layout of the stage will change. For example, if the player picks the Ice world before the Forest world, the Forest world’s beginning layout will be different. After completing all 4 worlds, the player is taken to the final stage, where they must rematch with the four bosses and battle the game’s antagonist, Captain Klapton.
Players can change various settings such as game difficulty, and also reproduce the atmosphere of arcade display settings at that time. Players can also compete against each other from all over the world with their high scores.