Video-games are often divided into different genres – “guidelines” of sorts, to help us distinguish similar games. I will look into different game genres and describe them in, with examples.
You may have heard about most of the genres, like rogue-likes, RPGs, Metroidvanias, or Platformers. Before we delve into each of these in more detail, you have to understand that genres are in no way set schematics for a game – games can take some parts of one genre and other parts of a different genre. Some games even create whole new genres (although this is rare), some break the mold in their respective genre. When stating examples for the genres I will try to analyze today, I either follow general knowledge or go with what genre I think the game is most suited for. You may have different opinions, and that’s alright.
With that said, let’s look into some game genres.
A popular genre lately, roguelikes use random generation of maps, permanent deaths and sometimes permanent upgrades that you can apply between deaths. The genre is named after the original game “Rogue”.
Another surfacing genre, Metroidvanias follow in the footsteps in (you guessed it), Super Metroid and Castlevania. These games feature huge, interconnected maps, and a lot of back-tracking.
These games can feature puzzle elements, but some of them are just about precise platforming and learning the jumps perfectly; or just chilling out and jumping.
Whether first-person, third-person, class-based or not, multi-player or single-player, shooters have been a big part of gamer culture for a long time. Hell, one of the first 3D games, Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM were first-person shooters.
In these games, you shoot at enemies, avoiding their projectiles. Enemies can include AIs or other players. Some shooters, like Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch, use the class-based pattern. Players pick from an array of classes and fight with each other.
In this game genre, two or more characters fight with each other, using certain skills and moves of their hero. These games then split into two main sub-genres. In one, two characters are fighting with little to no usage of the environment. In the other, a group of fighters are put in a map and they try to push the other players out of the map.
Sneak around your enemies, in the shadows, don’t make any noise or they’ll notice! Stealth games rely on ninja-like abilities.
In this genre, the player has to scavenge for materials, fend off dangerous predators, survive out in the wild. The games usually feature harsh environments that the player has to fight against.
Listen to the beat and follow it with your actions. This is not as popular as some of the other genres, but there still is a great following.
Most of you have probably seen or played a game from this genre. In them, you have to survive a scary environment, full of monsters, great spooky atmosphere, low ammunition, and breakable melee weapons.
Visual Novel/Text Adventure
I put these two genres together, because they are, in my opinion, very similar. In a Visual Novel, a still image is shown to the player, along with a character and their dialogue. The player just clicks through the dialogue and reads it, very rarely makes any input such as making a choice. Text adventures are similar to that, only without the graphics.
Role Playing Games are not an easy game genre to cover. That is why I’m going to split it into different sub-genres to ease it a little.
Also called open-world RPGs, these games include free roaming around a world, completing quests, going through dungeons – this is the game most people will imagine under the term RPG.
These games combine the role-playing and action genres. This genre has varying definitions, so it’s especially hard to pinpoint what games to include. Games like Diablo definitely fit this genre, as they heavily focus on combat. Some may include games like Dark Souls, or the Witcher series.
MMOs, standing for massively multiplayer online games, these games are played by millions of people at a time. They include quests, level-up systems, pretty much everything normal RPGs do, but on a massive scale. Usually, these games take place in open-worlds.
Construction & Management Simulators
Build cities, manage limited resources, create communities, understand economics. In CMS games, you are tasked to create a city, or a theme park or something similar.
As the name suggests, relying on strategy, these games give the player a god-like view over the world, as he is controlling his units through the world to achieve his objectives. They can include RTSs (real-time strategies), or 4X games, where the player explores the world, expands their empires, exploit the surroundings, his enemies and allies and exterminates his foes.
This abbreviation stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and the genre is popular in e-sporting communities. The players form teams and battle together, using their surroundings to their advantage. It’s a really spectator-friendly genre of games.
A specific genre, requiring special technology, these motion-controlled games challenge the player’s physical skills. Games from this genre don’t have to put the player in the shoes of a sporting person – they can, for example, require the player to dance.
A relatively new genre, very popular in the mobile games community. They don’t have many game systems, as the player simply clicks on a thing, in order to gain points, so he can buy upgrades, so he can click on the thing some more. It’s hard to understand why this makes sense, but it does.
Most mobile games fit this genre, as the users play differently than on PC or consoles. On mobiles, players play in short bursts, and that’s why games like these are perfect. It’s hard to define a “casual” game, as it really is a wide term, but try to check out some games you have on your phone. Casual games can be easily picked up and put down
These are, of course, not all the genres. If you have any suggestions as to what genres I should add to the list, let me know!
What is your favorite genre of games and why? Let me know in the comments!