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

From 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. 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'').

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.

See also TopDownView, SideView and ThreeQuartersView.

!!Video game examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Action Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/AlienShooter''
* ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}''
* ''VideoGame/DGeneration''
* ''Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters''
* ''Fire Trap''
* ''Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Action Game''
* ''Märchen Maze'' (uses the "trimetric" projection variant, except in the PCEngine version)
* ''VideoGame/MichaelJacksonsMoonwalker'' (arcade version)
* ''Prikura Daisakusen'' (a SpinOff of the ''VideoGame/PowerInstinct'' series)
* ''Skeleton Krew''
* ''VideoGame/{{Paperboy}}''
* ''VideoGame/WarioWare''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Action Adventure ]]

* ''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/DeadlyTowers''
* ''VideoGame/TheLastNinja''
* ''Videogame/{{Cadaver}}''
* The GBA versions of the ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' movie games.
** Also, the {{PSP}} version of ''[[LegoAdaptationGame Lego Harry Potter]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Landstalker}}''
* ''[[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light]]''
* ''LittleBigAdventure''
* ''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]]

[[folder: Adventure Game ]]

* ''Airball''
* ''Altered Space: A 3-D Alien Adventure''
* ''Bobby Bearing''
* ''Get Dexter''
* ''VideoGame/HeadOverHeels''
* ''VideoGame/KnightLore'' (the TropeCodifier to rightpondians) and other 8-bit games made with the [[GameEngine Filmation engine]].
* ''Monster Max''
* ''Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos'' and its sequel ''Equinox''.
* ''Sweevo's World''
* the 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)
* ''[[PacMan Pac-Mania]]'', sort of. Only the vertical axes are this, the horizontal ones are straightforward left/right.

[[/folder]]

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

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

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Platform Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/CongoBongo'' (platform game similar to ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', but uses the same engine as ''Zaxxon'')
* ''SpyroSeasonOfIce'', ''Spyro2SeasonOfFlame'', and ''SpyroAttackOfTheRhynocs''.
* ''VideoGame/MysticTowers''
* ''VideoGame/SnakeRattleNRoll''
* ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3DFlickiesIsland Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island]]''
** ''SonicChronicles'' is another ''Franchise/{{Sonic|TheHedgehog}}'' game from this viewpoint.
** There's also the GameGear game ''SonicLabyrinth'' and the ArcadeGame ''VideoGame/SegaSonicTheHedgehog''.
* ''[[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.
* ''Whizz''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Puzzle Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/MarbleMadness''
* ''Spindizzy''
* ''QBert''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Racing Game ]]

* ''Enduro Racer'' (SegaMasterSystem version only)
* ''VideoGame/RCProAm'' and its sequels
* ''RPM Racing'' for the Super NES, and it's more famous sequel RockNRollRacing
* ''{{Excitebike}} World Rally'' is in full 3D, but uses this perspective.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Time Strategy ]]

* ''VideoGame/AttackOfTheMutantPenguins''
* ''CommandAndConquer'' games ''Red Alert 2'' and ''Tiberian Sun'', compared to the top-down views of the first installments and full 3D of the third installments.
* ''VideoGame/GenderWars'', which also has ActionGame elements mixed into it.
* ''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}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Age of Empires|I}}'' and ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role Playing Game ]]

* ''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/LunarDragonSong''
* ''Madou Monogatari'' (SegaSaturn)
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG''
* ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGate Baldur's Gate]]''
* ''Hero Quest'' (both video game adaptations)
* ''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''.
* ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood''
* ''{{Arcanum}}''
* ''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]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}} 1'' and ''2''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' (both also use the Trimetric Projection variant).
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'' (the GameBoyAdvance version, not the {{PS2}} remake)
* ''VideoGame/LightCrusader''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' and its successor ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''
* ''[[VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment Planescape: Torment]]''
* ''Rings of Power''
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' for the Super NES
* ''VideoGame/ShadowWatch''.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningSoul'' and it's sequel ''Shining Soul II''.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' [[note]]Only some of them, and none of the original-timeline games. Hardware power seems to be the deciding factor: The PlayStation games use Isometric, while the GameBoyAdvance games use a top-down perspective, for example.[[/note]]
** Ditto ''BattleMoonWars'', as it is an AffectionateParody set in the {{Nasuverse}}
* ''VideoGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil: A Classic TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} Adventure'' uses this view; [[SpritePolygonMix the characters are polygons, but the backgrounds are 2D]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Up ]]

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

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Simulation Game ]]

* ''A-Train III'' and ''IV'' (first two games were top-down; later games were 3D). 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.
* ''{{Evony}}''
* ''VideoGame/GameDevTycoon''
* ''HarvestMoon: Back to Nature'' (though its 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 Sims 2 and 3 are in 3D.[[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/ThemeHospital''
* ''TransportTycoon''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}}''
* ''VideoGame/ZooTycoon''
* ''{{Farmville}}'' (and for that matter most of the Flash games run by Zynga for Facebook)
* ''[[VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen]]''
* ''ReturnOfTheJedi'' (arcade game by {{Atari}} based on the movie)
* ''RollerCoasterTycoon'', the first and second games. The third is in full 3D, but still has an option to view the 3D landscape at an Insometric Angle.
* The Childhood Mode of ''[[TokimekiMemorial Tokimeki Memorial 2]]''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Sports Game ]]

* The MegaDrive ''FIFA Soccer'' games
* ''Zany Golf''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Strategy Game ]]

* ''VideoGame/BlackMatrix''
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor''
* ''EnergyBreaker''
* ''FinalFantasyTactics'' and [[FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance its]] [[FinalFantasyTacticsA2 sequels]].
* ''VideoGame/HoshigamiRuiningBlueEarth''
* ''LuminousArc'' and [[LuminousArc2 its]] [[LuminousArc3 sequels]].
* ''MajinTenseiII''
* ''Seireiki Rayblade''
* ''VideoGame/SummonNight'' has this for the main series, but none of the localized spinoffs.
* ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', both the original, ''Let's Cling Together'', and its [[spoiler:prequel]], ''Knight of Lodis''.
* ''{{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/MassiveChalice''; it's fully 3D yet the camera is constrained only to provide four different views, all giving the game this look.
* Most of the TurnBasedStrategy games by NipponIchi:
** ''LaPucelle''
** ''PhantomBrave''
** ''MakaiKingdom''
** ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' and all sequels so far
** ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' is the exception with full camera rotation. However, the camera still starts each battle at the angle the rest of the games use.
** ''VideoGame/ZettaiHeroKaizouKeikaku''
* ''VideoGame/SakuraTaisen'' used this for combat sequences in the first and second games.
* ''VideoGame/BattleChess''
* ''VideoGame/{{Culdcept}}''

[[/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''
* ''{{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.

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