Thursday, September 16, 2010

Game Genres

Since the days of old, from Pong to Donkey Kong to Sonic, and today, the world of video games has been split into genres of games.  The genres attempt to define a game's base elements, what it's focus is and how it seeks to present itself to the world.  The number of Genres continues to grow to this very day, and right now we are going to take a look at them.

Action - Running, gunning, fighting and seeking to make it to the end.  Action games tend to rely on weapon, lots of well, action and a lone hero facing off against overwhelming odds to save the princess, kill the bad guy, or save the world.  Examples of this include Contra and Devil May Cry.

Adventure - Adventure games tend to be somewhat puzzle solving games, where you don't win by strength or magic, but by wit and wisdom.  Collecting items, solving puzzles and outsmarting your opponents hallmark these games.  Monkey Island and Sam and Max are good examples of this genre.

Role Playing Games (RPG) - RPGs are hallmarked by the ability to permanently improve your character, by raising stats, gaining levels, new equipment and new abilities.  Most RPGs tend to have a story of some kind, involving the main character, saving the world, usually with a team of misfits or heroes to help them.  Any of the Final Fantasy series are good examples of this.

Racing - These games involve driving some kind of vehicle, trying to make it to the end of the track before anyone else.  Gran Turismo is a good example of this genre.

First Person Shooter (FPS) - This genre is marked by being a very competitive genre.  Players take the role of the main player, and it's name come from the view that players use while playing.  You see the game through the eyes of the main character.  Doom and Unreal are prime examples of this genre.

Survival Horror - One of my personal favorite genres.  This usually involves a character in a hostile environment, by themselves, outgunned and outnumbered as they have to run away and survive whatever force is after them.  Whether it be monsters from their own mind, alien horrors or flesh eating zombies, survival horror games are always a good time.  Silent Hill and Dead Space are two good examples of this genre.

Strategy - This is split into two main types.  Turn based and real time (also known as RTS).  Strategy games tend to involve the player being in command of multiple forces, and either through building towns, buildings or gathering resources, they gather more forces and engage their enemies in games of skill and wit.  Civilization and Starcraft are good examples of the two different kinds of Strategies.

Platformer - A platformer is any game where the character has to run, jump, fly, glide or somehow make their way to their destination.  These games are different from action games in that instead of an emphasis on combat, they tend to focus more on the actual travel and present obstacles in a players path to arrive at their destination.  Beyond good and Evil is a very good example of this genre.

Now, the next two are somewhat more new genres.  Turret defense and Defense of the Ancient clones.  Turret defense involves building building or training units to defend a specific location.  This is accaccomplished by defeating your opponents as they arrive, giving you more resources to defend your base.  A Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) clone is a very new genre.  It involves two or more forces controlled by the computer, constantly sending units at each other.  Each player gets control of a hero, who is more powerful then regular units, and thus able to turn the tide of the battle.  They use their heroes powers to either boost their allies, defeat large swaths of minions or kill other enemy heroes.

There are a few more genres, Multi massive online role playing games for example, we could talk about, but I think I've put down enough for one night.  So onto a few small announcements.  The schedule is still tuesday, thursday, sunday, expect the posts to go up late in the evening.  I'm planning to do a review of a few survival horror games around Halloween time, in keeping with the spirit of the season.  I'm also looking to write up a few posts about card game mechanics and a couple of board games that I enjoy.  Until next time folks.

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