Name a video game genre is a way of categorizing games based on their primary gameplay. This is different than video game styles – the latter refers to visual or narrative elements.
Role-playing games are centered on the player’s character, often including skill / ability unlocks, levelling up and experience systems. This genre also includes MMORPGs like World of Warcraft.
Action video games focus on fast-paced challenges that test the player’s hand-eye coordination and reaction times. They include genres such as first-person shooters, platform games, fighting or “beat ’em up” games and survival games. The action game sub-genre also includes clicker games or incrementals, which use repetition to generate in-game currency.
Role-playing games (RPGs) are immersive, often fantasy-based games with deep character development. They can be single-player or multiplayer, such as the massively popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft (2004–present). RPGs feature long-term obstacles and narrative puzzles that require a mix of combat and problem solving skills. The genre also includes the survival horror game subgenre, which features frightening characters and environments.
Adventure games are narrative-driven and often include some degree of puzzle solving. They can also feature a range of other elements, such as an inventory system and dialogue. Most adventure games allow for a branching story, though the player’s choices typically do not drastically alter major plot points.
The genre’s popularity peaked in the 1980s and 1990s, but it has experienced a resurgence in recent years thanks to digital distribution and episodic release models. It is popular in Asia as well, with games like Chunsoft’s Portopia Serial Murder Case series and FromSoftware’s Demon’s Souls featuring a unique gameplay cocktail. Most adventure games are text-based, but graphic adventures have been developed as technology has improved.
Sports video games are simulations of real-world events and can be played either competitively or cooperatively. They often feature professional athletes and teams, and offer various game modes. Some sports games are also considered fighting or action games, while others are part of the strategy genre.
Some critics question whether or not video games can actually be classified as sports due to their lack of a physical element. However, these games are popular among many people and continue to grow in popularity as technology improves.
The ‘Shooter’ genre, for example, has the player shoot enemies throughout the entire game, and some titles like Guitar Hero have even become cultural phenomena. Other examples include ‘Simulation’ genre games such as Cities: Skylines and SimCity, which allow players to simulate city-building or other world-building experiences.
Light gun games rely on a camera inside the barrel of a gun-shaped controller. These shooters are fairly simple, tasking players with aiming their gun at enemies or hostages.
The game’s camera looks for a small border around the video game screen and uses some image recognition and software trickery to figure out where you are pointing your gun. That information is then fed back to the video game to hit its targets.
In an age when the gaming world recoiled at Techland saying Dying Light 2 would take 500 hours to complete, light gun shooters seem like the perfect antidote. However, they remain trapped in the arcades as the light-gun controllers (like the NES Zapper or Konami Justifier) rely on old-school CRT technology that is no longer used in home television sets.
Programmable video games allow players to create and customize their own game content. They can also be used for computer learning and competitions. A programmable video game can be played on a general-purpose shared or personal computer, arcade consoles, handheld devices such as cellular phones, or server-based networks.
Programmable video game features were first introduced in the 1980s by companies such as Commodore with its home computer system and Nintendo with its Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES console (1985). These systems allowed programmers to design their own games using software and cartridges, encouraging the separation of game development from hardware design. This led to many genres of programmable video game, including the popular table-tennis format of Pong and shooters.
Arcade video games are typically designed to be addictive and easy for novice players to pick up. They usually feature short levels that are meant to keep the player engaged and encourage them to play again.
The genre is often used to describe a game that challenges the player’s reflexes and hand-eye coordination. Some examples of this include fighting, racing, and platforming games.
The roguelike video game subgenre features dungeon crawling through randomly generated levels, turn-based gameplay and grid-based movement. It also includes a permanent, irreversible death for the player character and high fantasy storylines inspired by tabletop role playing games. It was first introduced by Rogue in 1980.
Robots are one of the coolest and most impressive creatures to play as in video games. From a badass mecha in the Metal Gear Solid series to a demented lombax in Chrono Trigger, robots have a special place in our hearts.
Gameplay is the most important factor when it comes to video game genres. The defining characteristics of a genre often have nothing to do with the setting or story, but how the player interacts with the world in which the game takes place.
Simulative games, like The Sims and RollerCoaster Tycoon, have the player construct cities and experience life in those cities. Then there are action-adventure games, which blend the high physicality of combat with the narrative puzzles and long-term obstacles of adventure games.
The party video game genre consists of games that are designed to bring friends and family together. These games typically feature a collection of minigames that can be played cooperatively or competitively. The first party games were released in the 1980s, including Power Pad and Foot Craze for the NES and the Atari 2600.
Action video games are some of the most popular, and they challenge a player’s reflexes and hand-eye coordination. This genre includes a wide variety of sub-genres, such as action-adventure, which blends the elements of adventure with fast-paced action.
RPGs (role-playing games) are a cornerstone of the gaming industry. These games allow players to create and control a character, and they can level up by gaining experience.