[[quoteright:320:[[VideoGame/FrogFractions http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/on-mars-teaches-typing_8875.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Isn't [[BlatantLies learning math]] fun?]]

An UnexpectedGameplayChange is when the play style of a game is altered in the game itself. More often than not, it's tedious, it's awkward, and it really makes fans scream "Why can't we just platform/run and gun/stealth sneak through this game all the time?!".

Now take that concept to a global scale.

Imagine, if you will, a successful game franchise, where the control scheme and entire play style are completely different for each concurrent installment; the first few games might be your classic platformer, but the games after that go from being a first person shooter, to an RTS, to an MMORPG. Nothing is consistent, gameplay-wise, within the series, and it seems like the creators are desperately spinning the ol' ''WheelOfFortune'' in order to finally land on a genre for the series that'll stick with the fans.

That's GameplayRoulette, in a nutshell; the unfortunate habit of some franchises to switch up their gameplay as often as a hypochondriac changes their underwear in an attempt to revitalize itself with a gimmick that fans actually tolerate. It might be because the series is suffering from hitting the PolygonCeiling or CapcomSequelStagnation, or because the UnpleasableFanbase is filibustering their attempts at a fresh new direction by using a NostalgiaFilter to decry it as TheyChangedItNowItSucks...or it could just be for shiggles. The point is, the creators are trying to upgrade the franchise and make it relevant again...but nothing works, no matter how many times they reach into the bowl and pull out genres at random.

Because of the huge inconsistency and inconvenience this causes (having to relearn everything about playing a beloved character in each game surely grates on some nerves, after a while), some franchises give up and go {{Retraux}}, returning to their roots and producing future games in the same exact style as the ones from the early days of the franchise's history. That doesn't mean they won't try again in the future; it just means that they've realized the futility of it, and aren't prepared to expend the time, money, and effort into reimagining themselves every game. Others, though...

If a game franchise reaches this stage, prepare to hear cries from most of the fans that it's [[JumpTheShark jumped the shark]] and needs to be put out to pasture.

GameplayRoulette can also apply to individual games, if the style of play switches enough times. A rule of thumb for telling the difference between UnexpectedGameplayChange and GameplayRoulette: If you can point to one game style that's the "main" genre of that particular game, and the rest are all just deviations from the norm, then it's UnexpectedGameplayChange. If you ''can't'' say that any style is the main genre, then it's this trope.

Subtropes are the PartyGame and MinigameGame, which feature Gameplay Roulette almost by definition.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Franchises ]]

* The ''DigimonWorld'' franchise definitely qualifies. First: Raise your digimon at the gym and compete in real-time battles, the story is a young boy trying to piece together what has happened to the denizens of File Island. The second is a dungeon crawler, with turn based battles, the story being a young kid becoming a tamer, then fighting off the Evil Organization. The [[DigimonWorld3 third]] plays somewhat like a mix between Pokemon and Final Fantasy, the story reflecting this. And the fourth ditches humans altogether and brings back real-time battling and introduces co-operative playing in teams of up to four players.
* By this point, the only thing you can be certain about any new mainline ''FinalFantasy'' game is that it's some form of {{RPG}}. And the spinoffs will ''probably'' at least have RPGElements.
* As seen in the AVGN review, the NES/SNES/Game Boy Franchise/{{Godzilla}} games all fall under this trope.
* ''JakAndDaxter'' moved from a fairly light platformer to a gun-heavy DarkerAndEdgier pair of platformer/driving games to an all-out racing game by the time of ''Jak X''.
* The ''KeroroGunsou/SgtFrog'' games are, appropriately enough, completely random. For instance, ''Chou Gekijouban Keroro Gunsou Enshuu da Yo! Zenin Shuugou'' requires playing through ten different training missions before the final boss battle--and ''every'' mission is a completely different style of play from the others.
* {{Konami}}'s ''Knightmare'' (''Majou Densetsu'') series for the {{MSX}} started with a top-down VerticalScrollingShooter. The second game, ''MazeOfGalious'', was a platform-based ActionAdventure. The Japan-only third game, ''Shalom'', was an EasternRPG.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' was a sidescrolling platformer. ''[[VideoGame/MegaManLegends Legends]]'' made an action RPG out of it (moderately lucrative) and ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]'' is an RPG with a special battle mechanic (more successful than Legends, with sequels and a SpinOff, ''[[VideoGame/MegaManStarForce Star Force]]'').
* ''MortalKombat'' has attempted three times so far to make action-adventure versions of the games, with less than stellar results. The last two {{Fighting Game}}s, ''VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon'' and ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'', included minigames inspired from chess, ''PuzzleFighter'' and even ''VideoGame/MarioKart'', not to mention changes in the fighting, combo and fatality systems with almost each game. They even tried making side-story {{Beat Em Up}}s starring Sub-Zero and Jax, neither of which was very good.
* The ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' series began as [[VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusrAccoonus a platforming game]] with a focus on stealth. With [[VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves the second game]], the developers gave the other members of the PowerTrio playable-character status and shoved more combat into the game, throwing in many, many minigames for good measure. The result was a rather awkward stealth/platforming/actioner hybrid. [[VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves The third game]] stretches the mixture even further, with the end result that there's an UnexpectedGameplayChange every ten seconds.
** This is not to say that first game didn't do this to an extent, either; a little under half of the stages were minigames, and one of the bosses was entirely a ''rhythm'' minigame.
* The ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series is notorious for this effect. ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' was almost a literal roulette wheel, with six playable characters--each of whose levels used different styles of gameplay, from "run/platform to the end of the level" through "fishing minigame". ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' dropped this to run/blast things/find stuff, which was reused for ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)]]'' with Sonic, Shadow, and Silver's gameplay, respectively.
** Quadruply. Most people count the six playable characters as separate gameplay styles in and of themselves- but if you pay attention, there are even more beyond that! In Sonic's story alone, you didn't just run to the end in a 3D platformer- you also snowboarded, sandboarded, played pinball and slots, engaged in aerial combat, fought hand to hand (or spindash to spindash), and raced in a hoverkart. Not to mention you can raise artificial life forms here and play whack-a-hole/hedgehog there...
** This trope is less dominant as of late, as ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' and ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' each only have two types of gameplay, while ''VideoGame/SonicColors'' averts this trope, completely.
* All of ''VideoGame/SpaceRangers''. Normally a simultaneous turn-based space action-rpg, but then sometimes you shift genre into arcade shooter, or into an RTS which you can also turn it into third-person shooter, or a text adventure which might range from choose your own adventure to economic simulator. If you want to avoid those, be a bit careful on getting quests. Don't worry too much, though, all of them are fun.
* ''StarControl'' is a serviceable action/strategy. ''Star Control II'' is an excellent action/adventure. ''Star Control 3'' is a crap version of 2, with some odd colony management stuff thrown in for no discernable reason.
* The ''SuperMarioBros'' games tend to be more successful than most in this. They've successfully spun off into {{RPG}}, DrivingGame, PartyGame, and other franchises. Nintendo as a whole seems to love doing this. The secret to their success at not alienating fans is that these shifts are always explicit spin-offs; there's never any worry that they'll make another "normal" entry in a series as well.
* ''SuperStarForce'' for the Famicom alternates between ShootEmUp space areas and Zelda-style DungeonCrawling.
* ''{{Transformers}}'' suffers from this trope somewhat, with its myriad attempts to pump out specialized lines for specialized fans: the ''Alternators'' and ''Titanium'' lines for collectors, ''Go-Go-Gobots'' for preschoolers, etc. It has also not had a consistent genre for its video games, spanning from platformers to {{Fighting Game}}s to Action/Adventures.
* Practically every other game of the console ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' games attempts to break from the standard card game mechanic of its real-life counterpart by adding various levels of RPGElements, or Duel Monsters-inspired board games, none of which have been nearly as successful, especially when the former gets bitched out for changing the cards so drastically in order to fit into the new mechanics that veteran duelists can't fathom why they now work the way they do. The handheld games, on the other hand, stick largely to the card game mechanic... and the fans like it that way.
** There's also a few non-video game attempts to branch the ''Yu-Gi-Oh'' franchise away from the card game, two of which were featured as popular spin-off games in the anime. None of them caught on.
*** A third, called ''Yu-Gi-Oh! Hexors'', exists as nothing but a board game that had no mention in the anime or manga. It never even saw a second booster pack release, being cancelled after the starter sets failed to sell.
** ''VideoGame/YuGiOhTheFalseboundKingdom'' has almost nothing to do with the card game aside from the monsters used being taken from there. The gameplay is a mix of an [[RealTimeStrategy RTS]] and an [[RolePlayingGame RPG]]. Long story short, the heroes get sucked into a video game made by [[strike: Kaiba]] [[AscendedExtra Scott Irvine]], where they have to fight their way out using computer programs based off of monsters from the card game.
* The ''VideoGame/BitTrip'' series goes all over the place; from ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' to something like ''VideoGame/MissileCommand'', ''VideoGame/{{Canabalt}}'' to a ShootEmUp, and finally back to ''Pong'' in the finale.
* The ''VideoGame/ArmyMen'' series was often criticized by professional reviewers for its schizophrenic gameplay changes. The first two games were isometric strategy/tactic games, most of the other were {{Third Person Shooter}}s, but there were also a pair of isometric ''VideoGame/DesertStrike''-style flight games (the ''Air Attack'' series), a ''VideoGame/{{Robotron 2084}}''-style overhead shooter (''Green Rogue''), a {{RTS}} and even a ''Franchise/TombRaider'' ripoff (''VideoGame/PortalRunner'').
* One of several reasons that the ''VideoGame/StarFox'' series hasn't been as strong as ''[[VideoGame/StarFox64 64]]'' is that the gameplay has been constantly changing from RailShooter in the [[VideoGame/StarFox1 original]] and ''[[VideoGame/StarFox64 64]]'', ActionAdventure in ''[[VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures Adventures]]'', ThirdPersonShooter in ''[[VideoGame/StarFoxAssault Assault]]'', and RealTimeStrategy in ''[[VideoGame/StarFoxCommand Command]]''.
* ''Warlords'' is a series of turn-based strategy games. The spin-off series ''Warlords: Battlecry'' is a series of real-time strategy games.(Although one could easily say RTS/RPG, as the RPG part isn't just tacked-on like ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'', it's actually done better than a lot of RPG's). Then comes the spin-off ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest'' series of puzzle-RPG's... including ''Puzzle Kingdoms'', which is basically [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot puzzle/RPG/RTS]].
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' had several unsuccessful attempts to branch out into the video game world until ''Magic Online'', which was basically the game online. Some games, like ''Battlegrounds'' and ''Armageddon'', had RTS elements; others, like ''Tactics'', had Turn-Based elements. Consistently, however, the most successful video games in the series are the ones that emulate the real card game the closest (''Magic Online'', ''Duels of the Planeswalkers'').
* The ''Franchise/ShiningSeries'' was originally a first person dungeon crawler. Then it turned into a TurnBasedStrategy franchise before releasing one more first person game and deciding it wanted to be a action RPG. Even the action RPG games bare little in common with each other. It later turned into a fighting game.
* The DeptHeaven series has a different genre with each episode (but not spinoff). The only thing similar between the gameplay of the episodes is that they're all a type of strategy game. Except ''RivieraThePromisedLand'', which is a JRPG.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Individual Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Alone in the Dark}}'' (2008) included third person melee combat, first person shooting, platforming, and driving. All in one game!
* ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' has many styles of gameplay: beat-em-up vertical (both ways), horizontal with all 4 directions (belt-scrolling 3D) or just 2 (2D), high-speed obstacle courses, a racing level against three rats in succession, and even a (kinda) puzzle level that features snakes that move in insane patterns and you gotta stay on top of them. Sometimes the same level features more than one of these! And YES, this all forms a wonderful, cohesive experience.
* ''TheAdventuresOfBayouBilly'' is nominally a side-scrolling beat-em-up, but there are also on-rails shooting sections and driving levels interspersed throughout the game.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'' for the N64 starts off as a regular platformer, but throughout the game you'll be racing across lava, flying around picking up villagers for Dracula, third-person shooting at Teddie Nazis, and tearing cavemen apart while riding on a dinosaur. The final boss pits you in a robot suit fighting a Xenomorph. The player almost needs to learn a new control scheme for every level.
* ''Gunstar Super Heroes'', the GBA Remake/Sequel to ''VideoGame/GunstarHeroes'', has this in spades. Every level is practically a different game.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' does this somewhat, changing from FPS to third-person [[VehicularCombat vehicle shooter]], [[SimulationGame flight-sim]](Two Betrayals, The Arbiter, The Great Journey, The Covenant, the spacefighter and helicopter levels in ''Reach''), [[RacingMinigame obstacle-course driving]] (eg the Maw and Halo {{escape sequence}}s and the Outskirts tunnel), and [[StealthBasedMission stealth]](parts of AOTCR and The Arbiter).
* ''HavenCallOfTheKing'' had this as its entire marketing gimmick. "No other game has so many genres - it's like getting everything you like in one game!" The developers were so convinced that they had a new blockbuster franchise that they made ''Haven'' a trilogy and made the ending of the first game a {{Cliffhanger}}. The problem was, since the energy of the programmers was spread out over so many different game styles, no single one really excelled and the gameplay was decidedly average as a result. ''Call of the King'' tanked, and the remaining two games were canceled.
* ''TheImpossibleQuiz''. Usually, it's a straight quiz game (accounting for some bizarre logic), but then you have to do things like help Dr. Eggman mutilate SonicTheHedgehog's corpse, stroke a cat, or clip toenails.
* ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' includes multiple platformers containing different elements (Spring Breeze is a short remake of ''Kirby's Dreamland'', [=DynaBlade=] has a world map, Gourmet Race is a foot race against King Dedede, The Great Cave Offensive is the closest to a {{Metroidvania}} the series got until ''Kirby and the Amazing Mirror'', Revenge of Meta Knight has timed gameplay (which Kirby games generally lack), and Milky Way Wishes forces Kirby to gain abilities using methods other than his trademark inhalation) starring the title character, a BossRush, and minigames featuring completely different gameplay. The NintendoDS remake, ''Kirby Super Star Ultra'', adds even more sub-games (Revenge of the King is a remake of the original ''Kirby's Dreamland's'' hard mode, Helper to Hero is a BossRush featuring the PlayerMooks, Meta Knightmare Ultra has you go through most of the original platformers again as Meta Knight, and The TRUE Arena is a BossRush featuring the bosses created for the remake), and adds three new minigames (the original minigames, complete with their original graphics, are unlockable).
* ''VideoGame/MissionCritical'' at first glance appears to be your typical first-person adventure game with regular and timed puzzles. However, halfway through the game, the game switches to a space RealTimeStrategy, of all things, and back again. While YMMV, most reviewers agree that the blend of adventure and RTS was done very well and makes perfect sense in context (the player is the last surviving crewmember of a starship and is forced to fend off occasional attacks from the rival faction by personally commanding combat drones in RTS mode).
* ''ROMCheckFail'' turns this concept UpToEleven. Well, except that most of the genres are some kind of shoot-em-up.
* ''TheSimpsons: Bart's Nightmare'' for the SNES is another game that focuses on actively inducing this trope. The hub of the game is a standard - if odd - platformer, but entering the levels let you play as a super hero, a godzilla, Indiana Jones, a miscroscopic being in a blood vein and Bart being chased by Itchy and Scratchy. Each one has completely unique controls and gameplay. There was a sequel called Virtual Bart, but its gameplay and systems were more forced and it didn't do as well.
** Interestingly, Bill Williams, the man who designed ''Bart's Nightmare'', created many GameplayRoulette games for Atari8BitComputers. ''Alley Cat'' was about a cat who had to jump into the windows of a house and perform various cat-like tasks such as catching mice, knocking a bird cage off a table and chasing the bird, drinking milk out of saucers guarded by sleepy dogs, and other things. Though the core gameplay didn't really change. However, a more drastic change occured in ''Necromancer''. The first level had you planting trees and protecting them from evil spirits and creatures. The second had you navigating a dungeon with the ability to summon the trees you had planted and protected previously. The third had you engaging in a fight against a wizard of some sort.
** ''Virtual Bart'' features a literal case of this, as Bart's stages are chosen by virtue of him being strapped to a wheel.
* ''StarWars: ShadowsOfTheEmpire'' is a mix of [[SimulationGame Flight/Space Sim]](first and last levels), RailShooter(third level and first part of last level), ThirdPersonShooter(the majority of the levels), and [[RacingMinigame Racing]](Mos Eisley & Beggar's Canyon) gameplay.
** The ''VideoGame/SuperStarWars'' games did this too, eg the first game switches between sidescroller and free-roaming 3rd-person VehicularCombat, then to a first-person rail-shooter in its final stage, similar to the old arcade game.
* ''VideoGame/IncredibleCrisis'' is a sequence of ''completely'' different games for each level -- except one, which is replayed for three of the four characters. (Arguably, it's the most annoying of all the levels to have to play again.)
* As a very minor example, ''TheUnholyWar'' combines features from a Strategy game, but with combat played out as a 3D FightingGame with limited moveset.
* ''TheGuardianLegend'' alternates between vertical ShootEmUp and overhead action-RPG gameplay. Interestingly, there is a password that lets you play the game as a pure ShootEmUp.
* ''{{Rygar}}'' NES combines overhead and sidescrolling gameplay, ala ''Zelda 2''.
* ''VideoGame/BarbieSuperModel'', where you switch from being a side scroller where you dodge obstacles, to a matching game, to remembering the correct keys for Barbie's dance moves in a modeling show in the span of a few minutes. However, it was made for children who may have had shorter attention spans and needed the variety of gameplay.
* ''Ultimate Stuntman'', an obscure unlicensed NES game by Codemasters/Camerica.
* ''VideoGame/TheRocketeer'' (the SNES game, not the NES game), goes from [[RacingMinigame airplane/jetpack racing]] to ThirdPersonShooter(the Hangar levels), side scrolling ShootEmUp (Chase and Armada), and BeatEmUp (Zeppelin).
* ''VideoGame/{{NiGHTS|IntoDreams}}: Journey of Dreams'' goes from flight stages to [[PuzzleBoss puzzle bosses]] to 3-D style platformers all within the same game.
* ''VideoGame/{{D}}2'' has a mix of survival-horror style and Myst-style adventure segments, with a controller-based "gun game" combat system, and RPG-like stat advancement.
* ''Film/{{Nightbreed}}: [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames The Interactive Movie]]'' starts with a driving/stealth section, where you have to drive around a map while both keeping an eye on your fuel gauge and avoiding/smashing through road blocks until you get to a cemetery. Once there, you get chased around by one of the eponymous Nightbreeds; you have to click the mouse in time with the character's arms. After that, you end up back at the driving level, going back to the cemetery. And finally, the game switches to a dungeon crawler, where you wander around identical caverns while looking for five characters to rescue. And then there are all the minigames, from fighting off "Sons of the Free" to dodging laser sights, all of which have their own gameplay mechanics. [[NintendoHard You have to do all this on one life.]]
* ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'': The multiplayer is a straight-up RealTimeStrategy game. The single player is HackAndSlash, then WideOpenSandbox DrivingGame, with RealTimeStrategy thrown into the mix.
** The game experienced a severe degree of backlash because the demo and trailers mostly emphasized the HackAndSlash elements and most players picked it up expecting a Metal Themed ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' only to find the RealTimeStrategy to be the major focus.
* ''FamilyGuyVideoGame'' has a different genre for each playable character: it's a beat-em-up for Peter, a stealth game for Brian, and a platformer/third-person-shooter for Stewie. There are also short flashback minigames a la ''WarioWare''.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' does this every couple of missions. While the GTA series are known for shootouts, drivebys, and wild car chases, San Andreas stuffed every possible idea into the game's main storyline and side quests. This includes, but is not limited to:
** StealthBasedMission
** [[RhythmGame Dancing mini games]] (to impress a girl so you can steal her van)
** Learning how to [[SquadControls order your homies around]] (optional mechanic for free-roaming)
** Learning how to fly various planes and helicopters, a VTOL jet, and a jet pack (all of which have entirely different control sets) as well as [[ScrappyLevel miniature toy cars and planes]] (though these at least use similar controls to their full-size counterparts)
** DatingSim with several potential girlfriends (one of whom is necessary to the plot, although you can choose to [[TakeAThirdOption just kill her instead.]])
* Each subgame of ''[[Franchise/DieHard Die Hard Trilogy]]'' is a different genre: ''DH1'' is a ThirdPersonShooter, ''DH2'' is a LightGunGame, and ''DHWAV'' is a DrivingGame.
** The sequel, ''[[Franchise/DieHard Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas]]'', also did this, mixing up the gameplay types in its story mode.
* ''VideoGame/{{Incoming}}'' is pretty consistent about making you blow shit up, but how you do it changes constantly in the Story mode. A mission might make you play as a defense turret, an helicopter ferrying supplies around, a tank, a jet, and then go back to the turret again. This also applies to a lesser extent to its spiritual predecessor, ''Darklight Conflict''.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam: Hot Scramble'', in alternating stages, goes back and forth between an impressive RailShooter and a weak imitation of ''VideoGame/{{Thexder}}''. The second kind of stage was allegedly the result of ExecutiveMeddling, and was removed from one limited edition of the game.
* The levels of ''VideoGame/AbobosBigAdventure'' are each based on specific NES games -- [[VideoGame/DoubleDragon Double Drabobo]], [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros Super Mabobo]], Urban Chabobo (''Urban Champion''), [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda Zeld Abobo]], [[VideoGame/ProWrestling Pro Wrabobo]], [[VideoGame/MegaMan Mega Mabobo]], [[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra Abobo]], and [[VideoGame/PunchOut Punch Abobo]]. In Pro Wrabobo in particular, the first half of the level is based on ''VideoGame/BalloonFight''.
* Done deliberately in ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', where the entire gameplay style changes depending on the situation and story.
* ''VideoGame/NieR'' is usually a third person hack'n'slash RPG, but at times it changes to a ''Zelda'' knockoff (complete with ItemGet fanfare that's one note away from copyright infringement), a 2D sidescroller, a BulletHell rail shooter, and, of all things, ''a text-based adventure game''.
* To a certain extent, ''SpaceStationSiliconValley'' is a game built around this concept. You switch between many different animals with varying gameplay styles over the course of the game. Additionally, the last stage of each of the four environments is effectively a minigame, such as a boxing match or a shooting gallery.
* ''Mazin Saga: Mutant Figher'' for the SegaGenesis regularly switches between a decent BeatEmUp for the stages and a mediocre one-on-one FightingGame for the end boss battles.
* The first two ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' games had a couple of levels where you rode animals that were well received, but generally was mostly a platformer, ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'', on the other hand, has two scuba diving levels, four jet ski levels, four motorbike race levels, two tiger riding levels, and three airplane flying levels, of which the first two are about shooting down targets, and the third is a race. That's fifteen out of thirty two levels. Add in one boss who plays as a bi-plane shooter, and subtract that two of the bonus levels are just alternate entrances, and that's roughly half the game spent not on foot platforming.
* ''VideoGame/SpyroYearOfTheDragon'' has some sort of different thing to do in each level. To be specific:
** Each of the four worlds contains one level that must be played as one of the four characters you unlock: One's a Kangaroo who has ridiculously high jumps and gets a lot of platforming without gliding, one's a bomb dropping flying penguin who gets a lot of aerial assault type levels, ones a strongman yeti, who gets a lot of combat heavy sections, and ones a gun wielding monkey, who gets a lot of shooting stages.
** On top of this, each world contains a speedway where you're flying around either racing a set course, or trying to smash a bunch of items quickly enough. Hidden within these is a Hunter mission, which will have you doing aerial combat.
** Each world also contains a top down shooter for Spyro's dragonfly to go through, that needs to be done to unlock the Sparx power-ups.
** And then there's all the things in the levels themselves. Amongst other things you'll have to do for 100% completion there's skateboarding, yeti boxing, first person shooter sections, rail shooters, racing, cat hockey, submarine combat, turret shooting and other stages which changed the way the game itself played, such as sections where you had to do an EscortMission, fight a number of {{Mooks}}, make it down a really long slippery slope, a level where your fire breath froze enemies, turbo-charged running sections and a DualBoss that made use of an inifinite power up to be fought. There's probably others too. The developers all but admitted they had gotten very bored of making Spyro during the second game and decided to all out experiment with this one.
* Many European computer games of the 8-bit era (particularly those from the Spanish publisher Dinamic, e.g. ''After the War'', ''Army Moves'', ''Freddy Hardest'') came in multiple parts, each of which would load separately and offer a different style of gameplay, often even with a different-looking title screen and status bar. These disparate parts would be linked together by an ExcusePlot and passwords given in between.
** ''Army Moves'' (Dinamic) had Stage 1 as a ShootEmUp in a jeep driving from left to right, Stages 2-4 as a ShootEmUp in a helicopter flying from right to left, and Stages 5-7 (on the second load) switch to foot-soldiering action with a little platforming.
** ''Savage'' consisted of three levels: a side-scrolling action level, ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier''-style running-towards-the-horizon, and a flying exploration level.
* ''VideoGame/MrBones'' on the Saturn had this as its main schtick. Normally levels played as as a free-roaming sidescroller platformer, but occasional puzzle or even RhythmGame sections would mix things up.
* ''TraumaTeam'' is basically six games in one, but consists mainly of treatment games (which are rather like the other TraumaCenter games) and diagnosis and forensics, which are adventure games.
* The WarioWare series is built around this trope, throwing rapid-fire 5-second minigames with different controls and gameplay styles at the player (though fortunately the rules are always easy enough to be described in one or two words.)
* The second ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim'' game features a lot more variety in gameplay than the first, including an isometric shooter level, a recurring ''Fire!''-esque level revolving around bouncing Peter's many, many puppies across the stage with a giant marshmellow, and especially Villi People, which features a change in character to Sally the Blind Cave Salamander [[spoiler: who's actually Jim in a costume]] and changes gameplay three different times (starting with a maze, then a game show, then a game of Simon with pinball bumpers).
* ''VideoGame/{{Geist}}'' perpetually oscillates through first-person shooter, survival horror, puzzle and action-adventure. This is justified by the game's premise (spiritual possession), as the gameplay mechanics can change according to the current host character.
* ''The Desolate Room'' combines overhead exploration and Top-Down shooter, with RPG boss battles. Its sequel, ''The Desolate Hope'' removes the overhead exploration, while adding side scrolling shooter and Metroidvania aspects.
* ''VideoGame/EtherVapor'' occasionally switches between VerticalScrollingShooter, HorizontalScrollingShooter, and even behind-the-back RailShooter.
** Its SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/{{Astebreed}}'' looks to mix things up [[SequelEscalation even more]]. Even in the first stage, the perspective changes ''several times.''
* ''WURMJourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' combines sidescrolling shmup levels, vertical shmup levels, on-foot platforming, and first-person boss battles.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other ]]

* In ''{{Minami-ke}}'', the [[FictionalVideoGame video]] [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames game]] of the ShowWithinAShow ''[[ClicheStorm Sensei and Ninomiya-kun]]'' is an in-universe example.
* Parodied in a ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'' episode that suggested a GameplayRoulette for which each new part ''worked spectacularly'' would be the only thing to justify the amount of time ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'' has spent in DevelopmentHell.
* This trope is the entire point of the card game ''TabletopGame/{{Fluxx}}''.
* Among {{pinball}} designers, Creator/JohnTrudeau is noted for the wide variety of his layouts, which are so diverse that he does not have a definable SignatureStyle.
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