Created By: Kizor on December 25, 2011 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on October 22, 2012

Layered Gameplay

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Hold on a moment, I'm working on the description. But here's an important one for video games!

A game that consists of two or more different types of gameplay. The typical example is a strategy game that's about empire-building and resource management, but which moves onto the battlefield when armies meet.

zooms in on the battlefield and

See also Mini-Game and Game Within a Game. We'll have to come up with a way to tell the difference, but it's clear enough that Layered Gameplay is A Thing, and that X-Com and pals wouldn't fit into those tropes.

Redirect: Tactical Map


Other Turn-Based Strategy
  • The X-Com series and its derivatives. Interceptor did a lackluster job of combining management with space combat.
  • The Total War series.
  • Star Control, a simple space strategy game that turns into Spacewar! when battle starts.
  • One early-nineties space game took this to its logical conclusion and allowed resolving boarding actions in a squad combat game by the same company.
  • The Heroes of Might and Magic series.
    • The Disciples series.
  • Theatre Europe, a war-game with arcade
  • Star Wars: Empire at War and its expansion, Forces of Corruption'.

Role-Playing Game
  • King's Bounty, a precursor of Heroes of Might and Magic, which has the battle system but its strategy section is more of a "strolling around, killing things" section.
  • King's Bounty: The Legend and King's Bounty: Armored Princess, which furnish the overworld with quests, equipment and what not.

  • Archon: The Light and the Dark, a 1983 game that looks a lot like chess, but instead of capturing, pieces enter a battle arena for a franctic duel to the death. The color of the square gives a health boost to one side, and many of the squares change color over time, adding a whole new dimension to territory control. It's simple (most pieces just have a single, ranged attack) but was ported to just about everything, and still has fans today.
    • Archon 2: Adept, which features an element-themed board and revolves around power squares. Power squares generate mana, which pays for spells and for placing and maintaining pieces.
    • Archon 3: Exciter, a fan creation which we don't talk about.
    • Archon: Ultra, a 1994 remake known for being dull: the vast, isometric arena turns joystick-breaking action into attrition, and doesn't really support being able to aim.
    • Dark Legions, a 1994 Spiritual Successor which adds traps and magic items. Every unit type has some kind of niftiness, like creating One-Hit-Point Wonder copies of enemy pieces or turning killed enemies into zombies. Unfortunately it lacks depth and ends up being one battle after another.
    • The Unholy War, a 1998 Spiritual Successor for the Playstation, said to suffer from unbalanced sides.
    • Archon: Conquest (2009) and Archon Classic (2010), which add a campaign mode, problems, and that sort of fluff.
  • Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, an RPG/adventure that kept the first game's Spacewar! combat scenes. Star Control III is a crippled version of the same.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • December 25, 2011
    Compare Fight Woosh.
  • December 25, 2011
    The examples kind of need some details. Anyway, would Valkyria Chronicles count? It's a Turn Based Strategy, but when you use a character in battle, it becomes a third-person shooter.
  • December 26, 2011
    • Act Raiser is a combination god sim and platformy hack-and-slash game.

    (or something like that, i'm not sure, i never actually played the game myself)
  • December 26, 2011
    • In Spore, each of the different levels of evolution is played in a different way.
  • January 4, 2012
    Tactical Map?
  • January 4, 2012
    • The games of the Suikoden series can be desribed as equal parts role playing and real time strategy, with generous amounts of sim game elements.
  • January 5, 2012
    Can someone confirm - Brutal Legend is like this, I think with Real Time Strategy and other more platformer based game play? Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2) - has both dungeon exploration and world building elements Does Heroes Of Might And Magic count? It has Real Time Strategy elements with a battlefield where you control the monsters.
  • January 5, 2012
    Hmm Would puzzle platformers that mix elements of shoot-em-up games count? I believe there are plenty of examples there
  • January 5, 2012
    • Depending on how important you see it as, Final Fantasy VIII can be half Virtual Trading Card Game and half JRPG because of the rewards for the card game.
    • Act Raiser is equal parts Sim City and Beat-'em-up platformer.
    • Fallout3 is a direct cross between an RPG and a first-person shooter.
    • The Silent Hill series is traditionally a mix between solving incredibly thick puzzles and really awkward combat.
    • Legacyof Kain is also a mix between beat-'em-up combat and puzzle solving.
    • Resonanceof Fate has combat which is equal parts both turn-based tactical JRPG and real-time movement. It's kind of hard to explain. The overall game is also equal parts plot-drive JRPG and non-linear side-questing.
    • Fighting games are mostly known for the combos, but in truth, high-level play is equal parts strategy, combo memorization, combo execution, and learning how to mix these to adapt to the situation.
  • January 5, 2012
    This ykttw I have might count as a Sub Trope.
  • February 3, 2012
    Would Spellforce count? It's equal parts RPG and Real-Time Strategy. Then again, does any hybrid game count, or does it have to have two distinctly different game modes? Like Chocolatier has you going around the world, looking for the best prices on ingredients and selling chocolate, but setting the rate of production for a factory is action-puzzle based.
  • October 21, 2012
    @Smashing Melons 42

    I wouldn't call Valkyria Chronicles "layered", at least not the first game. Generally, since you can enter aiming mode to stop enemy fire while moving and since the player's own aiming talent only affects things if you are rushing things, with most attack accuracy determined by the character and the weapon choice, it is really a straight up Turn Based Tactics game, with two different views of the action.
  • October 22, 2012
    I saw a review in Game Informer a few months back for one that was a visual novel when the PC was awake and a platform puzzle when the PC was asleep. Anybody remember the name?
  • October 22, 2012
    Back when the storyline and gameplay of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was unknown to the masses, the official Rare website released a "Disinformation Central '08" on April Fools Day, hiding the real plotline among four fake ones. One of the fake plots is a war plot described as an "innovative RTS-platformer hybrid campaign".
  • October 22, 2012
    Dawn Of War: Dark Crusade is Turn Based Strategy on the worldwide map where you decide which province to attack next (each province gives a different bonus to the player, be it extra ressources or units or turns). Whenever a province is attacked, it switches to Real Time Strategy where you play a standard game against the AI (though some provinces have different requirements, like gathering ressources or killing enemies). Some defensive battles can be auto-resolved to speed things up.
  • October 22, 2012
    • In Giants Citizen Kabuto, one of the last Meccaryn levels consists of building a base in RTS fashion from a computer console in between running around as usual, hunting wildlife for meat, and defending against attacks by the evil fishmen.