[[quoteright:297:[[VideoGame/SimCity http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/simcity.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:297:Looking down on [[HelloInsertNameHere City Name]].]]

From Wiki/TheOtherWiki: Isometric projection is a form of graphical projection, more specifically, a form of axonometric projection. It is a method of visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions, in which the three coordinate axes appear equally foreshortened and the angles between any two of them are 120 degrees.

In layman's speak, it's a way of faking perspective by squashing the vertical axes, thus forcing perpendicular angles to look wider. [[ForcedPerspective Also, close up objects appear the same size as distant objects.]]

In the days before true 3-D graphics, isometric projection was one of the ways artists suggested depth. [[OlderThanTheyThink Developed and formalized in the 19th century]] for technical and architectural drawings, it remains a popular way of creating 3-D-esque graphics in video games, especially for handheld systems.

Of course, in many cases in video games, the projection is not actually isometric in the mathematical sense, because a 26.57° slope is much easier to draw on square pixels than a 30° slope [[note]]a right angle triangle where one acute angle is 26.57° has a corresponding side whose length is exactly half of the length of the other side[[/note]]. But that would be nitpicking, so these games are called "isometric" anyway. The term can also refer to the vastly different Trimetric Projection (such as in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' and VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}} or ''VideoGame/SimCity 4''), where ''all three'' angles are different.

The weakness of Isometric Geometry is that the same sort of line can be either distance or height, or even [[DepthPerplexion both in some cases]]. Usually, it's easy to tell; but no proper [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_stairs Penrose staircase]] could be built without this concept.

!!Video game examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Action Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/AlienShooter''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bombshell}}''
* ''VideoGame/DGeneration''
* ''VideoGame/DarkSeal'' series (also known as ''Gate of Doom'' [first game] and ''Wizard Fire'' [second game])
* ''Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters''
* ''Fire Trap''
* ''VideoGame/HauntingStarringPolterguy''
* ''Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Action Game''
* ''Märchen Maze'' (uses the "trimetric" projection variant, except in the UsefulNotes/PCEngine version)
* ''Prikura Daisakusen'' (a SpinOff of the ''VideoGame/PowerInstinct'' series)
* ''Skeleton Krew''
* ''VideoGame/{{Paperboy}}''
* ''VideoGame/WarioWare''

[[/folder]]

* ''Ant Attack'', strong contender for the UrExample and an even stronger one for the TropeNamer in gaming (its creator, Sandy White, took the word "isometric" from his old work as an architect after he recognized the in-game city's similarities to Creator/MCEscher's drawings; the city was named Antescher in tribute).
* ''VideoGame/TheLastNinja''
* The GBA versions of the ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' movie games.
* Also, the [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSP]] version of ''VideoGame/LegoHarryPotter''
* ''VideoGame/{{Landstalker}}''
* ''[[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light]]''
* ''VideoGame/ScurgeHive'' has received the fan nickname "Isometroid" due to its isometric viewpoint and otherwise resembling another series. There actually was an Isometroid fanproject, taking the original game and displaying it from an angle, but as far as I know it never went anywhere.

[[/folder]]

* ''Airball''
* ''Altered Space: A 3-D Alien Adventure''
* ''Bobby Bearing''
* ''Get Dexter''
* ''VideoGame/KnightLore'' (the TropeCodifier to rightpondians) and other 8-bit games made with the [[GameEngine Filmation engine]].
* ''Monster Max''
* ''VideoGame/SolsticeTheQuestForTheStaffOfDemnos''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Stasis}}''
* ''Sweevo's World''
* The UsefulNotes/NintendoDS version of ''VideoGame/MySims Agents''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Maze Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/CrystalCastles'' (uses the "trimetric" projection variant)
* ''VideoGame/LodeRunner 2''
* ''Marvin's Maze'' (maze game by SNK superficially similar to PacMan)
* ''[[VideoGame/PacMan Pac-Mania]]'', sort of. Only the vertical axes are this, the horizontal ones are straightforward left/right.
* ''Saturn Bomberman Fight''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tibia}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Others ]]

* ''VideoGame/OneHundredPercentOrangeJuice'' uses this perspective for its boards.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Platform Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/CongoBongo'' (platform game similar to ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', but uses the same engine as ''Zaxxon'')
* ''VideoGame/SpyroSeasonOfIce'', ''VideoGame/Spyro2SeasonOfFlame'', and ''VideoGame/SpyroAttackOfTheRhynocs''.
* ''VideoGame/MysticTowers''
* ''VideoGame/SnakeRattleNRoll''
* ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3DFlickiesIsland Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island]]''
** ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles'' is another ''Franchise/{{Sonic|TheHedgehog}}'' game from this viewpoint.
** There's also the UsefulNotes/GameGear game ''VideoGame/SonicLabyrinth'' and the UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame ''VideoGame/SegaSonicTheHedgehog''.
* ''[[VideoGame/CoolSpot Spot Goes To Hollywood]]''
* ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'' uses this in certain areas, most likely as an {{homage}} to ''Super Mario RPG''. These tend to use ForcedPerspective when it comes to jumping on platforms and footholds.
* ''VideoGame/{{Whizz}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Puzzle Game ]]

* ''Contraption Zack''
* ''[=NekoBuro=]''
* ''Spindizzy''
* ''VideoGame/QBert''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Racing Game ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/BikerMiceFromMars'' (the LicensedGame for the SNES)
* ''VideoGame/EnduroRacer'' (UsefulNotes/SegaMasterSystem version only)
* ''VideoGame/RCProAm'' and its sequels
* ''RPM Racing'' for the Super NES, and its more famous sequel ''VideoGame/RockNRollRacing''
* ''VideoGame/{{Excitebike}} World Rally'' is in full 3D, but uses this perspective.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Age of Empires|I}}'' and ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''
* ''VideoGame/AttackOfTheMutantPenguins''
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' games ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2 Red Alert 2]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun Tiberian Sun]]'', compared to the top-down views of the first installments and full 3D of the third installments.
* ''VideoGame/{{Gangsters}}''
* ''VideoGame/GenderWars'', which also has ActionGame elements mixed into it.
* ''VideoGame/TheHorde''
* ''VideoGame/NetherEarth'' (trimetric)
* ''VideoGame/PlanetBlupi''
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'' has its maps organized like this, despite actually using square cells for building placement; leading to Artanis' StopPokingMe line, "I ''know'' it's not 3D!" while comparing ''Starcraft'' to ''Warcraft''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role Playing Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura''
* ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGate Baldur's Gate]]''
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGateTalesOfTheSwordCoast''
** ''VideoGame/BaldursGateSiegeOfDragonspear''
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII''
** ''BaldursGateIIThroneOfBhaal''
* ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' and its sequels (including the Nintendo DS sequel known as ''Lunar Knights'' in North America)
* ''VideoGame/{{Brandish}} 4''
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII'' and ''[[VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV IV]]''
* ''Dark Half''
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}} 1'' and ''VideoGame/DiabloII''.
* ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' uses this perspective when you visit Fourside, though it's a notable 45° instead of the traditional 30°-ish. This actually enhances the "city with tall buildings" effect.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' (both also use the Trimetric Projection variant).
* ''Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds'' (the first game used a trimetric variant that made movement somewhat awkward)
* ''VideoGame/IcewindDale''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' (the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance version, not the UsefulNotes/{{PS2}} remake)
* ''VideoGame/LunarDragonSong''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' and its successor ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''
* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''
* ''[[VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment Planescape: Torment]]''
* ''Rings of Power''
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' for the Super NES
* ''VideoGame/ShiningSoul'' and it's sequel ''Shining Soul II''.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' [[note]]Only some of them, and none of the original-timeline games. Hardware power seems to be the deciding factor: The UsefulNotes/PlayStation games use Isometric, while the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance games use a top-down perspective, for example.[[/note]]
** Ditto ''VideoGame/BattleMoonWars'', as it is an AffectionateParody set in the {{Franchise/Nasuverse}}
* ''VideoGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil: A Classic TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} Adventure'' uses this view; [[SpritePolygonMix the characters are polygons, but the backgrounds are 2D]].
* ''VideoGame/TitanQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}''
* ''VideoGame/TorchlightII''
* VideoGame/TormentTidesOfNumenera
* ''VideoGame/TheTwistedTalesOfSpikeMcFang'' has an isometric SlippySlideyIceWorld, though the player's movement controls remain locked to 90- and 45-degree angles.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' had what was probably one of the strongest and most distinctive isometric designs for all its graphics, which showed up again in ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Up ]]

* ''VideoGame/DesertStrike'' (and by extension, the rest of the ''Strike'' series)
* ''Future Spy'' (similar to ''Zaxxon'', except it has different controls and a different setting)
* ''H.A.T.E.: Hostile All Terrain Encounter''
* ''Highway Encounter''
* ''VideoGame/ReturnOfTheJedi'' (arcade game by Creator/{{Atari}} based on the movie)
* ''Viewpoint''
* ''VideoGame/{{Zaxxon}}'' and ''Super Zaxxon''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Simulation Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/ATrain III'' and ''IV'' (first two games were top-down; most later games are full 3D, though ''A-Train: City Simulator'' for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS surprisingly uses the isometric viewpoint again). The Western PC version of the third game predates ''[=SimCity=] 2000'' as the first isometric game published by Maxis.
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} II'' and ''III''; Civ 1 has a bird's eye view, while 4 and 5 feature a 3D world that generally hangs out at a 3/4ths view.
* ''{{VideoGame/Evony}}''
* ''VideoGame/GameDevTycoon''
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonBackToNature'' (though its UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance version, ''(More) Friends of Mineral Town'' uses a standard top-down perspective)
* ''VideoGame/{{Populous}}''
* ''VideoGame/SimCity 2000'' and its sequels, TropeCodifier
* ''VideoGame/TheSims''[[note]]only the first installment of the game; the sequels are in 3D.[[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/ThemeHospital''
* ''VideoGame/TransportTycoon''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}}''
* ''VideoGame/ZooTycoon''
* ''VideoGame/{{Farmville}}'' (and for that matter most of the Flash games run by Zynga for Facebook)
* ''[[VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen]]''
* ''VideoGame/RollerCoasterTycoon'', the first and second games. The third is in full 3D, but still has an option to view the 3D landscape at an isometric angle.
* The Childhood Mode of ''[[VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial Tokimeki Memorial 2]]''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Sports Game ]]

* The UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis[=/=]Mega Drive ''FIFA Soccer'' games
* [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} WWF]] Wrestling/{{Wrestlemania}} Challenge
* ''Zany Golf''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Strategy Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/BlackMatrix''
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor''
* ''VideoGame/EnergyBreaker''
* ''VideoGame/GenjuuRyodan''
* ''VideoGame/HoshigamiRuiningBlueEarth''
* ''VideoGame/LuminousArc'' and [[VideoGame/LuminousArc2 its]] [[VideoGame/LuminousArc3 sequels]].
* ''VideoGame/MajinTenseiII''
* ''Monstania''
* ''VideoGame/RainbowMoon''
* ''VideoGame/SummonNight'' has this for the main series, but none of the localized spinoffs.
* ''[[{{VideoGame/XCOM}} X-COM]]'' and its brethren.
** ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Survival Horror ]]

* ''VideoGame/ProjectZomboid''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Third Person Shooter ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Postal}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tower Defense ]]

* ''VideoGame/DesertMoon''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Turn Based Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/BattleChess''
* ''VideoGame/{{Culdcept}}''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' and its sequels ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''.
* ''TabletopGame/HeroQuest'' (both video game adaptations)
* ''VideoGame/MassiveChalice''; it's fully 3D yet the camera is constrained only to provide four different views, all giving the game this look.
* ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre''
* ''VideoGame/TacticsOgreTheKnightOfLodis''
* Most of the TurnBasedStrategy games by Creator/NipponIchi:
** ''VideoGame/LaPucelle''
** ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave''
** ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom''
** ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' and all sequels so far
** ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' features full camera rotation. However, the camera still starts each battle at the angle the rest of the games use.
** ''VideoGame/ZettaiHeroKaizouKeikaku''
* ''VideoGame/SakuraWars'' used this for combat sequences in the first and second games.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other Media ]]

* Several Comcast commercials feature people driving around in an isometrically projected city/town, most likely in {{Homage}} to ''VideoGame/SimCity 2000''.
* Creator/MCEscher used isometric projection to create many of his iconic AlienGeometries. The same sort of line can be used for height and distance in an IsometricProjection, and so Escher used the same line to represent both -- and left which one to the ever-shifting context.
* ''Habbo Hotel''
* ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' mainly uses this perspective.
* Japanese DJ Halfby's music videos by Groovisions use isometric projection. See [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lMsnj4AT78 here]], for instance.
* The art of pixel art group eBoy.

[[/folder]]
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