Action is a diverse genre that encapsulates games where the primary appeal and challenge is to test the player’s physical skills, such as timing, precision, or reaction speed.
Action-Adventure games combine elements of Action and Adventure. A game in this genre might incorporate a strong storyline, exploration of the game environment, interaction with non-player characters, and puzzle solving, amongst other things.
Action RPGs give the player direct control of a character for use in combat. They typically feature real-time battles, which may or may not take place in static sub-instances of the game world.
The Adventure genre includes games where the player takes part in an interactive story. The gameplay typically involves gathering information and items to solve puzzles and advance a story driven plot.
These games give control over an aircraft, spacecraft, or flying creature in order to complete objectives or simulate an experience. Takeoffs and landings might be part of the game and depend on the degree of realism.
Arcade Racing games usually feature extra gameplay elements besides driving, often in the form of weapons, stunts, or spectacular crashes. Handling is usually simplified and physics tuned towards being fun rather than realistic.
These games give control over an automobile in order to complete objectives or simulate an experience.
Beat 'em up
Beat 'em Up games involve close-quarters combat against generally small to medium sized groups of relatively weak enemies which usually must be defeated before you can progress. Generally weapon choice is limited or non-existent and character/skill upgrade progression is minimal.
Card & Board
Card & Board games simulate the experience of playing on a tabletop by modelling game pieces, boards, dice, and rules. These are usually adapted from physical counterparts, although can be entirely original concepts too.
Casino games simulate gambling via games typically played at Casinos. Chance is usually a pivotal factor, although a knowledge of odds may provide a competitive advantage. Often the aim of these games is to accrue a virtual currency.
Collectable Card Game
Collectable Card Games involve proprietary cards which players collect and use to build personal decks. The different cards usually represent creatures with varying attributes and abilities, and can be used to battle other players.
Collection groups games which contain not one, but a group of titles or activities. These can range from sports titles to arcade collections.
Dance games have the player emulate dancing moves with the character by pushing a button combination or by capturing directly using a peripheral such as Kinect.
Dungeon Crawlers focus on the chase for better and better loot gained from exploring the environment and defeating enemies. Levelling your character and gaining skills is a means to increase your combat abilities and advance ever deeper into the world.
Educational & Trivia
Educational titles have an explicit underlying educational purpose. Their intention is to facilitate the learning of subjects and concepts.
Fighting games feature combat, usually one-on-one, between equally matched characters. Each character has individual strengths and weaknesses and a unique set of moves for players to master.
First Person Shooter
First Person Shooters test the player’s marksmanship abilities and use a perspective where the player is looking out from the protagonists eyes.
Hack & Slash
Hack & Slash games usually feature a single or small group of characters facing off against medium to large groups of enemies (sometimes hundreds at a time) and gameplay is usually quite fast paced. Upgrading of either weapons or characters is generally a strong point of gameplay.
Management games give the player high level control of an entity, such as a sports team or a business. The player must decide game strategy and deal with issues like resource limitations and periodic setbacks.
Mech games give the player direct control over one or more mecha, walking combat suits. Usually these games feature customisation options to modify the weapon loadout and configuration of the mech.
Massively Multiplayer Online games, or MMOs, are those that support large numbers of players in online worlds simultaneously. Depending on the game, players can compete against each other or band together in raids or parties to explore the game world and defeat enemies cooperatively.
MOBAs consist of games where player-controlled teams attempt to defeat each other by eliminating each team's primary objective. Computer-controlled units (often spawning and proceeding along set paths) assist the player, while their characters often have improving abilities.
Music games have the player emulate the playing or conducting of a piece of music, typically by using a peripheral to match on-screen prompts.
These games give control over a boat, ship, or swimming creature in order to complete objectives or simulate an experience.
On Rails games give the player limited control of their avatar, usually around the immediate screen. The player does not control the path their avatar takes, as though they are tied to a rail.
Party games are usually played in local multiplayer with friends and seldom played alone. The objective of party games is usually to gather a certain score or outdo your opponents in minigames or trivia contests.
Pinball games attempt to mimic the experience, gameplay mechanics, and physics of real pinball machines to some degree. Gameplay tends to be oriented toward attempting to score points or complete objectives with a limited number of pinballs.
Platformers feature obstacle course like levels in which the player must navigate from the start to the end, with physics-enabled traversal between platforms or over obstacles. Platformers require the environment itself to be a primary antagonist. Accuracy-based jumping challenges and endless runners are two common examples of Platformer. In all cases, correct timing is necessary (either to avoid death or serious set-back) to advance.
Point & Click
Point & Click are games are played scene by scene, with the player exploring each to gather items or discover objects of interest. These items and objects are often vital to advancing the story.
Puzzle games come in a variety forms. Be it a jigsaw puzzle, a combinatorial problem, a vocabulary or an arithmetic challenge, or even a physics based puzzle. These games conceptually challenge the player to use logic to approach and solve situations.
Real Time is a tag usually reserved for Strategy and Role Playing games to detail the pace of gameplay which creates a significantly different experience to Turn Based games. Real Time Strategy involves mechanics where all participants move and build simultaneously rather than taking turns while Real Time Role Playing sees you control a party of characters at once with the ability to switch between them, while one character is under your control the others run on auto-pilot to continue to attack and/or heal.
Role-playing games let the player take on the role of one or more characters and guide them through an extensive storyline during which they gain experience, new skills, and equipment. They typically focus on the story and player-experience, with the gameplay coming second.
Run & Gun
Run & Gun games incorporate a platforming element into the game and the player has to use this, together with often upgradable arsenal to defeat enemies while progressing through mostly linear levels.
Sandbox games feature an open world for the player to explore. While there is usually an overarching story, a hallmark of this genre is the ability to put this on hold in favour of exploration and free play, often differing largely from the main game’s style, within the environment.
Shoot 'em up
Shoot ‘em ups put the player in control of an avatar to be guided through an environment, while battling large numbers of weak enemies and dodging their fire. These games focus on reaction time and tend to feature scrolling levels.
Simulation games attempt to accurately replicate some current, or potential future, aspect of real life. Often the player is tasked with managing or caring for a system, although other tasks, such as driving or flying, may be encapsulated.
Simulation Racing games feature realistic handling and physics in an attempt to accurately portray racing. They often include drifting and tuning, but tend to not feature weapons or other unrealistic elements.
Sports games model an existing sport, complete with a set of rules and organized competition. They do not necessarily have to be simulations and may feature actions which are over-the-top, physically impossible, or not allowed within the real life activity.
Stealth games task the player with attempting to manoeuvre through an environment unseen and unheard by enemies. Detection will usually come at a cost, resulting in either combat, firefights, or other unfavourable circumstances. In the event of combat or a firefight the player is at a distinct disadvantage as you are much weaker than your enemies when fighting face to face. As such, the player will generally be rewarded for sticking to a more stealthy style of play and utilising any hiding and escape mechanics the game provides.
Strategy games give the player command of resources which must be used strategically to defeat enemies. Common gameplay elements include building and defending a base, directing offensive units against opponents, and upgrading technology.
Survival games give players limited resources to survive. While enemies may be present, the focus is generally on the player's own survival against a hostile environment.
Survival Horror games see the player placed into a horror-themed environment usually with graphic violence and/or a frightening atmosphere. While enemies can usually be confronted with combat the player is given limited assets such as ammunition, health or the ability to heal, speed and vision. Progress is usually stalled through the use of locked paths and/or puzzles that need to be solved or have specific items collected before being allowed to continue.
Third Person Shooter
Third Person Shooters test the player’s marksmanship abilities and position the camera behind the player such that the protagonist can be seen.
Tower Defence games require the player to defend an area or object against waves of enemies. Attacking enemies, placing turrets, and building walls to delay the assault are common ways of achieving this goal.
Turn Based is a tag usually reserved for Strategy and Role Playing games to detail the pace of gameplay which creates a significantly different experience to Real Time games. Turn Based games see you and your opponents act one after the other or in the case of some RPGs when an action bar is filled. Turn Based Strategy games generally have a certain set or amount of actions they can execute before the turn passes to the next unit or player.
Vehicular Combat games give the player control of a vehicle on land, sea, air, or space, with a focus on battles against other vehicles or targets. Combat scenarios vary from simple arena battles to large scale military operations.
Visual Novels consist primarily of static images accompanied by text or spoken dialogue, and generally lack gameplay challenges in favour of pure storytelling. The player is usually confronted with choices which determine the branch of the storyline shown.