Created By: UltramarineAlizarin on April 18, 2013 Last Edited By: UltramarineAlizarin on June 26, 2013

Long Jump Game

A game about making a subject glide as far as possible

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Formerly Catapult Game

Rolling Updates

Looking for hats

I don't suggest Launcher Game (or some other conjugation of "Launch") as a name because of the ambiguity with war games or spacecraft; the draft for Rocketry Game had a similar conversation. However, the Web Games page has a folder called "Launcher Games" which lists some of these examples.
This genre of games is all about flinging characters or other objects into the air and making them travel as far as possible. The method of launching may involve catapults, cannons, sheer muscle strength, or any other contrived contraption or circumstance the game designer can come up with.

The player controls the angle and/or velocity of the initial launch, usually with a moving meter of some kind. Depending on the game, the player may have the ability to interfere with the subject's trajectory mid-flight, usually in order to hit bonuses or dodge obstacles in the air or on the ground and thus add to the travel distance. Play ends once the subject comes to a complete stop.

Many of these games award currency to the player for each attempt based on the distance attained, which enables buying power-ups to be able to reach farther on the next attempt, which brings in more funds, and so on. Luck may also play a factor in performance if the game rearranges the sequence of obstacles during each attempt. Ultimately, these games are about striving for higher and higher scores.

Other common names for this genre include "catapult game" and "launch game", although those don't necessarily indicate an overlap with the Artillery Game or Rocketry Game genres.

Examples:

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  • Burrito Bison and sequel Burrito Bison Revenge star a masked wrestler soaring through a candy land.
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  • Catapult is about launching a stuntman over Norway. You must deploy his parachute in a timely manner; a botched landing means no score at all.
  • Catapult Madness by Armor Games involves a king catapulting peasants over an orc siege. The game gives a target distance of 50,000 feet (with the player's score based on the number of attempts) and unlocks an endless mode after accomplishing that goal.
  • Flight is about getting a paper airplane around the world. This game has an ongoing story arc that unfolds across multiple plays.
  • The "Home-Run Contest" minigame in the Super Smash Bros. games is one of these. The player has ten seconds to rack up damage on the Sandbag and then send it flying with a smash attack from the Home-Run Bat. More damage means more distance.
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  • Kitten Cannon is relatively simple in all aspects of the presentation: after firing the cat out of the cannon, the player does nothing more but hope to hit the right obstacles and keep going.
  • Knightmare Tower is unusual as a vertical example. Your knight starts his ascent through a massive tower on a medieval rocket and maintains upward velocity by bouncing off of monsters to keep ahead of a rising tide of molten lava.
  • The main character in Learn To Fly is a penguin who reads from Kiwipedia that penguins are flightless birds and sets learning to fly as its new goal -- with the help of different kinds of gliders and rockets.
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  • NANACA†CRASH!! is based on an H-Game. The "Crash" comes from ramming the target with a bicycle.
  • Titan Lunch Retaliation is about a Greek warrior who maneuvers through the air by stabbing and leaping from floating monsters in search of the creature that stole his lunch.
  • Toss The Turtle begins with firing a turtle out of a cannon and continues with the player shooting more guns to hit the turtle even further.
  • The decathlon sports game Track & Field includes the long jump, javelin throw, and hammer throw as events, all of which amount to propelling something through the air as far as possible.
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  • Turtles, Huh? is an iOS game with this type of gameplay as its main game mode. However, you have to play each of its eight minigames at least once to unlock the main game.
  • The original Yetisports (aka Pingu Throw) involves knocking a penguin through the air with a club. Sequels with similar gameplay include Seal Bounce (throwing up a vertical shaft), Flamingo Drive (similar to golf), and Penguins Revenge (which turns the tables by launching the yeti via penguin slingshot).

Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • April 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
  • April 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Also not to be confused with Artillery Games. For which reason, BTW, this may need a different name.
  • April 19, 2013
    TonyG
    Tiny Wings, where you play as a bird with tiny wings who wants to fly. Tapping on the screen causes the bird to drop, which, if timed correctly, allows it to slide down hills and gain enough momentum to fly further and higher. The goal is to go as far as possible before the sun sets.
  • April 19, 2013
    Generality
    • Flight, about getting a paper airplane around the world.
  • April 19, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Tiny Wings is not necessarily an example.

    Hmm ... Long Jump Game? Gliding Game?
  • April 20, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    I actually had Tiny Wings in my original draft of Endless Running Game until I realized it was kind of far off from the other examples. It seems to me it's a little more like a racing game when you have a timer and checkpoints -- you have to perform well enough in each leg to get the time bonus to go further.

    I like Long Jump Game as a suggested alternative. I'm also trying to think of something that uses "Distance", though Long Distance Game suggests online or even play-by-mail games. Something with "Trip" might have a funny double-meaning (travel and ground-bouncing), though it can also conjure thoughts of games like Stair Dismount.

    EDIT: I also realized I needed to do some cleanup on the index to avoid complications later. This is also why Nanaca Crash and Katawa Crash are now separate.
  • April 22, 2013
    jokerisland
    Ten different games from the Yetisports series, all featuring penguins being thrown by yetis.
  • May 1, 2013
    arbiter099
    Is "launch a thing as far as you can" really a distinct enough subgenre from "launch a thing at something else" that they can't all be lumped together?
  • May 1, 2013
    arbiter099
    That said, probably the most "mainstream" of any of these "launcher games" is probably Angry Birds. I'm shocked it wasn't listed yet.
  • ^^ If you're referring to the distinction between this and the Artillery Game YKTTW, then I really do think they're worth separating. The fundamental goal is different for each, and the environment designs reflect that (a virtually endless stretch of obstacles compared to an area with defined boundaries).

    ^ That's listed under Artillery Game. If there's a bonus mode that involves shooting for distance, then that would qualify for an entry here.
  • May 2, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The videogame Track And Field includes the long jump, javilin throw, and hammer throw, all of which are basically "throw things as far as you can."
  • May 19, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    ^ After adding that example, and having a lot of the other examples involving throwing another body, I've decided that Long Jump Game is appropriate and less ambiguous than Catapult Game.
  • June 12, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Any hats or suggestions on what to add/change?
  • June 20, 2013
    TheTitan99
    A toy in the game WarioWare: Touched! "Air Dude" has you using the DS microphone to keep Air Dude in the air for as long as possible.
  • June 21, 2013
    MattStriker
    I've always called them 'Launch Games'.
  • June 22, 2013
    Alvin
    I remember one, though I've forgotten the name. It was like the above 'Flight' in that it involved a paper airplane ( I clicked on the link and I'm sure it's not 'Flight'), but it took place in a room with stuff in it( including things that would affect the plane's flight). I remember it ran on a Mac, and was made by 'Soft Dorothy' whose trademark was a topless woman.
  • June 22, 2013
    Alvin
    The game in my earlier post is Glider. I got help from the 'Remember That Show?' board.
  • June 23, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    ^^^ Like the description states, it's a common name for the genre but can cause confusion with other genres -- or the concept of Genre Launch or a "launch title" for a video game console.

    ^ I checked some gameplay of different versions of Glider and I don't think they fit. They lack that moment of initial launch that automatically drives the subject in one direction, plus the use of checkpoints and extra lives means that there's no tracking of distance across individual attempts.
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