Endless Running Game
A game about enduring an endless sequence of obstacles as long as possible
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(permanent link) added: 2013-03-17 22:04:33 sponsor: UltramarineAlizarin (last reply: 2013-04-17 02:36:04)

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(I'm confident enough in my initial search to ask How Did We Miss This One?, but feel free to point out something I overlooked. This proposal is subject to Rolling Updates. Please disregard the tags; I think we have enough wicks and a sufficient body of examples that Iím mainly looking for hats in order to launch.)
A genre of video games in which the player must dodge obstacles as they automatically and continuously scroll onto the screen, with the simple goal of not crashing into anything for as long as possible. When these games offer any sort of context as to why the player character canít slow down or stop, it's usually framed as an Escape Sequence.

A game in this genre is essentially one big Auto-Scrolling Level. In most cases the player character's position is fixed in the dimension in which the playfield scrolls, and the player controls movement in the other dimension(s). For example, in a 2D game with the screen constantly scrolling right, the player character doesn't move left or right and instead stays towards the left side of the screen, with the player controlling up-and-down movement only. The fixed scrolling typically leads to Difficulty By Acceleration. Furthermore, every run entails a sequence of randomly generated obstacles, so the player must rely on sheer reflexes and more than a little luck.

By design these games are Endless Games; the player never actually "wins", and instead the long-term goal is simply to earn a better high score. Many of these games also let the player collect virtual currency during each run, offering enhancements (consumable or permanent) that improve chances of a better score during the next run.

Most games in this genre are Web Games or Mobile Phone Games. Some started as the former and expanded to the latter through porting.

Compare Failure Is the Only Option. See also Ratchet Scrolling, where the player can backtrack only a very short distance, if at all. When a Platform Game adopts this kind of gameplay for a level, it's often Minecart Madness.

Examples:

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