Bonus Level 5

Game Genres

WELL HELLO THERE. Did you wander over here from Level 1? In case you are missed it, a genre is used to describe a category of something but a game genre is used to describe the type of gameplay. There are so many of them, I decided to put together a list of them for you.

Ever since the dawn of gaming, video games have been wildly diverse. Consider that the first three video games in existence were a sports game (Tennis for Two), a puzzle game (Noughts and Crosses), and a head-to-head shooter (Space War)! Diversity has been what makes gaming so great, and over the years, games have splintered off into many different genres and subgenres. In the following descriptions, italicized games are examples of the genre.

  • Action—These games require hand-eye coordination to play. The action genre has several subgenres:
    • Action-adventure—This combination of genres features an emphasis on combat, item collection and usage, puzzle solving, and long-term story-related goals. Legend of Zelda series, Uncharted series, Batman Arkham series.
    • Action-arcade—These games are presented in the style of early arcade games with an emphasis on “twitch” gameplay, scoring, and short play time. Kaboom, FantaVision, Nidhogg.
    • Beat ’em up/hack ’n’ slash—In these games, also called brawlers, players battle against wave after wave of enemies, increasing in difficulty. Double Dragon, God Hand, Castle Crashers, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
    • Endless Runner—In these games, the player character ...

Get Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.