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"The year: 1994.
The event: World Cup Soccer in USA.
Both Williams and Gottlieb created their respectiv
[sic] pinball tributes for the event."
— IPDB user Paturlas comparing World Cup Soccer and World Challenge Soccernote 

This page is a list of video games that are considered imitations of each other. Inspired by a game's success and/or popularity, others are made. Which is the original and which is the imitation is not always completely clear; sometimes, however, it is painfully so.

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Of course, most of the examples shown below aren't copying other studios, but had just came out around the same time with the same theme. Keep that in mind when comparing two games or game series to each other. Most of the times it just leads to a Fandom Rivalry.

This is not related to Yu-Gi-Oh! Or Duel Masters. Or... well, you get what we mean.


  • Initiators / Followers
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Description
    • Implementation: Implementation

    open/close all folders 

    Action Game 

  • Onechanbara (2004) / Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: A Beat 'em Up / Hack and Slash where Stripperiffic chicks fight zombies.
    • Implementation: Keep in mind that Lollipop Chainsaw was probably never meant to copy Onechanbara. Both games just happen to be built around a similar concept. Ironically, in Onechanbara Z Kagura, one of the main characters happen to wield a chainsaw. But since chainsaws are common in zombie games nowadays, this should just be written off as a coincidence.

  • God of War (2005) / Spartan: Total Warrior (2005) & Rise of the Argonauts (2008)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Hack and Slash games set in the time of ancient Greece, drawing upon its mythology.
    • Implementation: God of War is the most over-the-top, with giant bosses and lots of blood and gore. Total Warrior is a spin-off of the Total War series and puts focus on large scale battles with many combatants on both sides. Rise of the Argonauts allows the player to make a few choices through the game, affecting their character's personality.


  • Destroy All Humans! (2005) / Stubbs the Zombie (2005)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Games set in a satirical 1950s America where you play as a monster - a a grey alien in Destroy All Humans and a zombie in Stubbs - running around wreaking havok with powers.
    • Implementation: Stubbs the Zombie is the more linear of the two, giving you one mission after another, while Destroy All Humans has more elements of a sandbox game, with missions being given to you as you unlock more areas.

  • Titan Quest (2006) / Loki: Heroes of Mythology (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Diablo II clones based on ancient mythologies such as Ancient Greece, and Ancient Egypt.
    • Implementation: Titan Quest is top-down perspective, has 9 classes (can be dual-class) and all dungeons are static. Loki is 3rd person perspective, has 4 classes and dungeons are randomly generated.

  • No More Heroes (2007) / MadWorld (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both are action games with a fairly agile protagonist who dispatches hoards of intercity thugs using wrestling, Good Old Fisticuffs, and battery-powered weapons that glide through people like a hot knife through butter. Both also have a colorful collection of bosses oozing with obscene personality, and seem to incorporate cel-shading into their graphics engine. Lastly, both are named after music.
    • Implementation: Each game pushed the Wii into the big kids' playground of adult gaming, not just in Ludicrous Gibs, but every single kind of censor-bursting they thought they could get away with.

  • Diablo III (2012) / Torchlight II (2012) / Path of Exile (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Top-down Hack and Slash Action RPG games released the early 2010's as a (spiritual) successor to Diablo II.
    • Implementation: The Torchlight games are Spiritual Successors to classic Diablo, and made by the original Diablo devs. Path of Exile was created by fans of Diablo II. Diablo III received post-launch support with a new expansion, two new classes, and seasonal ladders. Path of Exile is updated continuously, greatly expanding the scope of the game and revamping old content since its release.

  • I Am Alive (2012) / The Last of Us (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: A grizzled survivor climbs and scavenges his way through ruins of a modern city after a disaster, fighting off other scavengers.
    • Implementation: I Am Alive came out first and has lingered in development hell longer but Last of Us was probably initiated before Naughty Dog had even heard about I Am Alive.


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    Action Adventure 
  • Tomb Raider (1993) / Uncharted (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The protagonist climbs, jumps and shoots his/her way through exotic places in search for ancient treasures and confronting evil conspiracies.
    • Implementation: Tomb Raider is more puzzle/platform-oriented while Uncharted is (much) more focused on combat.

  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006) / Justice League Heroes (2006)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Superhero games with RPG mechanics where the heroes band together in groups of four to battle a group of well-known supervillains operating under a world-threatening overarching plot.
    • Implementation: The main difference is straight from the title: MUA is a Marvel Comics game, while JLH is a DC Comics game. Also, MUA does not focus in a single Marvel superteam, having members from The Avengers (both classic and New), the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.



  • The Last Guardian (2016) / Scalebound (2017)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both are Action-Adventure games developed in Japan by Team Ico and PlatinumGames exclusively for Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One respectively. Both games have a human protagonist accompanied by a Cool Pet (a griffin and a dragon respectively).
    • Implementation: The Last Guardian was announced in 2009, originally for the PlayStation 3, before getting stuck in development hell. Scalebound was announced in 2014, but there was no information about it for a year afterwards. The main difference between them is that Scalebound is much more action oriented than The Last Guardian.


  • Monster Hunter: World (2018) / God Eater 3 (2018)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Both are the latest installments of hit multiplayer "hunting" games coming out to PC and modern consoles.
    • Implementation: Monster Hunter started the genre while God Eater tends to follow closely in its footsteps. Both have started to differentiate from each other in recent years with these installments being the most different. Monster Hunter World adds a number of changes and improvements in an attempt to make the series bigger in the west, meanwhile God Eater 3 looks to be focusing more on their core fanbase that the game has amassed over the years.

    Adventure Game 
  • Leisure Suit Larry (1987) / Les Manley (1990)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: PC adventure games from the early 90s starring a Casanova Wannabe who's out to get laid.
    • Implementation: Les Manley is obscure in America, being a clear British ripoff of Leisure Suit Larry, except it's for the Amiga instead of DOS. With that said, Les Manley was apparently released (in limited quantities) for DOS, too,

  • The 7th Guest (1993) / Myst (1993)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Scenery Porn Point and Click Games made as Killer Apps for the CD-ROM format.
    • Implementation: Both games were very graphically impressive for their time and played a big part making the CD-ROM format take off. Neither game had much, if any, character interaction or text and instead focused on visuals, atmosphere and abstract puzzles. Interestingly, both were originally released on the Macintosh, a format known for its lack of original games.

  • Police Quest: Open Season (1993) / Blue Force (1993)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Law enforcement-themed Adventure Games with an emphasis on proper police procedual.
    • Implementation: When Jim Walls, the designer of the original three Police Quest games, left Sierra, they decided to continue the series without him, hiring former LAPD chief Daryl Gates as a consultant for the fourth game. Walls however joined Tsunami Media, a company of former Sierra employees, and created a Spiritual Successor named Blue Force which was released the same year.

  • D (1995) / Phantasmagoria (1995)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Controversial FMV horror adventure games released in 1995 starring a young woman exploring a haunted mansion to discover the truth of why one of her loved ones have suddenly become violent and murderous.
    • Implementation: Phantasmagoria used live actors and green screen while D used pre-rendered 3D-models and enviroments. Phantasmagoria used a traditional point-and-click interface while D used a first-person perspective similar to Myst. Both also had a fairly unprecedented amout of violence and gore for a video game at the time.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • Final Fight (1989) / Streets of Rage (1991) & Rushing Beat (aka Rival Turf!, Brawl Brothers and The Peace Keepers) (1992)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Trilogies of urban Beat Em Ups released on rival platforms (SOR came out on the Sega Genesis, while the Super NES got Rushing Beat; Final Fight came out before either in arcades, but its first console port and two sequels were on the SNES).
    • Implementation: The SNES Final Fight and the Genesis Streets of Rage were both released during the 1991 Holidays season, although the Japanese version of the former actually came out earlier (being a Super Famicom launch title). While Final Fight featured more colorful graphics with larger character sprites, Streets of Rage gain favor with critics by offering a 2-Player co-op mode (a feature that Capcom later implemented in Final Fight 2). Jaleco later released Rival Turf! in 1992 as a 2-player alternative to the original Final Fight and eventually went on to spawn two sequels as well.

  • Streets of Rage (1991) / D. D. Crew (1991)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Urban Beat Em Ups based around the premise of taking down a criminal syndicate, made during the same year by the same developer, Sega, and exclusive to one platform each (SOR on home consoles, D. D. Crew in arcades).
    • Implemention: While D. D. Crew had larger character sprites, a more gritty feel, and support for up to 4 players at once (whereas Streets of Rage was limited to 2-player co-op), Streets of Rage boasted a more diverse enemy lineup, the ability to use battering weapons, and a more energetic soundtrack.

  • Arabian Magic (1992) / Arabian Fight (1992)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Four-player Beat Em Ups set in "Arabian Nights" Days and released to arcades in 1992.
    • Implementation: Taito's Arabian Magic and Sega's Arabian Fight were both produced on 32-bit arcade hardware (albeit 2-D evolutions of earlier 16-bit systems). Arabian Fight used the somewhat unusual effect of having character sprites zoom as they walk.

  • Golden Axe (1989) / Knights of the Round (1991)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Sword-themed Beat 'em Up with ridable mounts released for the arcade in the early '90 era. Both games let you choose between three warriors with various strengths and weaknesses.
    • Implementation: While Golden Axe is set in a Sword and Sorcery world, Knights of The Round is closer to Arthurian legends with many liberties taken with the myths. Golden Axe allows you to damage all enemies on-screen with magic while Knights of The Round give you a special attack. Both games allows you to choose between 3 characters.

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara (1996) / Guardian Heroes (1996)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Fantasy-themed Beat 'em Ups with significant RPG Elements.
    • Implementation: Made by esteemed developers (Capcom and Treasure, respectively), these games are significantly more complex than what is typical of the genre. Each game features several playable characters with distinct strenghts and weaknesses that gain levels and abilities as the game progresses. There is also usable equipment, several different special attacks and magic spells, and other features such as branching paths and Multiple Endings. Shadow over Mystara was an arcade-onlynote  sequel to Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and is based on the popular Tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragonsnote  whereas Guardian Heroes is a wholly original title for the Sega Saturn. Guardian Heroes is also more plot-driven with a surprisingly detailed story, while the plot of Shadow over Mystara is very basic.

  • Die Hard Arcade (1996) / Fighting Force (1997)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 3D attempts at resurrecting the Beat 'em Up genre.
    • Implementation: Fighting Force was originally envisioned as a Streets of Rage sequel, which would have made this an in-house dueling. Both games had sequels, but Fighting Force underwent a Genre Shift in its next installment.

    Flight Sim/Flight Shooter 

  • Star Raiders (1979) / StarMaster (1982) & Space Spartans (1982)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Early first-person space combat games.
    • Implementation: Star Raiders was Atari's Killer App for the Atari 8-bit computer line, with ports to the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200. StarMaster was made by Activision for the 2600 as an unlicensed third-party title, while Space Spartans was a space combat sim by Mattel Electronics, originally released for the company's Intellivision console and later for the much more popular 2600 through Mattel's M-Network division.


  • Ace Combat series (1992) / Sidewinder (1996) & Air Force Delta (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Pseudo-realistic 3D jet fighters simulations.
    • Implementation: Ace Combat was released early in the PlayStation's life to rave reviews and had several sequels. Airforce Delta was released for the Sega Dreamcast launch. The first Sidewinder was released one year after the first console Ace Combat and attempted to distinguish itself with somewhat more realistic elements.

  • Star Fox (1993) / Cybermorph (1993) & Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (SNES/32X versions) (1994)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Sci-fi themed shooting games with primitive polygonal graphics.
    • Implementation: All three games came out within six months of each other. The difference is that Star Fox is a rail shooter while the other two are freeform.

  • Ace Combat series (1992) / H.A.W.X. series (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Modern combat flight sim franchises. Ace Combat was formerly console-onlynote  while HAWX has both console and PC versions.
    • Implementation: Both HAWX and HAWX 2 were released in the 4 year gap between Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Gameplay-wise, Ace Combat tends of focus on more traditional (though slightly arcadey) flight sim mechanics, with Assault Horizon mixing it up with the Close Range Assault mode. HAWX tries to differentiate itself with the Assistance OFF mode, which zooms your camera out into a distant 3rd person view, allowing you to perform more advanced maneuvers.

  • Air Combat (1995) / Warhawk (1995)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Arcade-style flight combat games released in 1995 for the PlayStation.
    • Implementation: Air Combat is set in the present; Warhawk is set in the future. Air Combat, while not a port or sharing any assets, is directly related by developer to the 1992 arcade game of the same name and its own sequel Air Combat 22 from earlier in 1995, while Warhawk is a PlayStation exclusive that has no ties beyond the name to the 1986 arcade game.

  • Aces High (2000) / War Thunder (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Massively Multiplayer online air-combat simulators.
    • Implementation: Although not the first game of its type, Aces High continued in the same format as Kesmai's venerable Air Warrior series, and many former Air Warrior players migrated to this simulator when Kesmai's support ceased, enabling it to outlast both Warbirds and Fighter Ace. Aces High is unusual for an MMO sim in that there's no "low realism" mode, with a very steep learning curve since all players are subject to the full physics model. Additionally, Aces High operates on a monthly subscription, with almost all aircraft available to fly without requiring they be unlocked first. War Thunder, which arrived on the scene much more recently, takes a different track with its "Free-to-Play" model, focus on a simplified arcade flight model, and upgrade trees to gain access to its various aircraft (which can also be unlocked with real-money purchases).

  • IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (2009) / Heroes Over Europe (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: WWII-themed flight games released within one week of each other.
    • Implementation: Birds of Prey attempts to bridge console and PC sensibilities by offering multiple settings of varying realism, whereas Heroes over Europe is purely an arcade affair.

  • Elite Dangerous (2014) / Star Citizen (2017) & No Man's Sky (2016)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Open-world space-simulator sandbox games
    • Implementation: Elite: Dangerous released in the fall of 2014, while Star Citizen is in open alpha as of winter 2015/2016. Elite continues its predecessors' tradition of an expansive procedurally generated universe, while Star Citizen concentrates on deep immersion in a smaller playable universe, much like its spiritual predecessor Privateer. Note that as far as the developers are concerned, this is explicitly a Friendly Rivalry; Chris Roberts and David Braben are both alpha backers of the other's game, and are both on record as wanting the other to succeed. Likewise, No Man's Sky promised to be an open-world space-simulator sandbox, with a larger emphasis on exploration.

    Light Gun Game 
  • Laser Ghost (Sega) (1989) / Beast Busters (SNK) (1989) and Crypt Killer (Konami) (1995)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Three of the first light gun arcade cabinets to allow up to three players simultaneously, against hordes of horror creatures, released at around the same time.
    • Implementation: Both Laser Ghost and Beast Busters are set in a random American town, overrun by ghosts and zombies respectively, while Crypt Killer is set around the world where three explorers attempt to defeat creatures to receive a treasure; the former has a more cartoonish tone but all three are inspired by Western horror B-movies with the latter being inspired by Indiana Jones.

  • Lethal Enforcers (Konami) (1992) / Virtua Cop (Sega) (1994) and Time Crisis (Namco) (1995)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Original light gun games that have some "saving the day from terrorist/criminals" plot.
    • Implementation: Virtua Cop and Time Crisis use systems to allow the player to hide out of the way of incoming fire, while Lethal Enforcers does not.

  • Lethal Enforcers (Konami) (1992) / Area 51 (Atari) (1995)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Light Gun Games that hit arcades in the early-to-mid-1990s with similar gameplay.
    • Implementation: Lethal Enforcers had terrorism theme, while Area 51 had alien-zombies and alien warriors known as Kronn.



  • House of the Dead (Sega) (1996) / Star Trek: Voyager (Team Play Inc.) (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Light Gun Games that hit arcades in the early-2000s.
    • Implementation: House of the Dead had horror theme, while Star Trek: Voyager had Star Trek theme featuring Borgs from the series and other enemies made for the game (such as the giant bright-orange cartoony monster in a silver armor).

  • Silent Scope (1999) / Golgo 13 (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Light Gun games where the player takes the role of a sniper (or assassin).
    • Implementation: Both featured rifles fixed to the cabinet. While the scope in Silent Scope was a smaller monitor, the scope in Golgo 13 was a real scope. The screen itself would zoom in when it detected the player was peering through it.
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    MMO 
  • Active Worlds (1995) / Second Life (2003)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Virtual words inspired by The Metaverse from Snow Crash
    • Implementation: Active Worlds uses a subscription model. Second Life is built around a virtual economy.

  • Everquest 2 (2004) / World of Warcraft (2004)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: High fantasy MMORPGs
    • Implementation: The first Everquest was the first successful 3D MMO, but its unforgiving game mechanics were beginning to show their age. Menaced by game juggernaut Blizzard's first MMO, the sequel was rushed to market and suffered for it.

  • Second Life (2003) / IMVU (2004) & PlayStation Home (2008) & Small Worlds (2008) & Google Lively (2008), many others
    • Capsule Pitch Description: MMO/social entertainment virtual worlds where people hang out, interact, play games, and customize their avatars and living quarters.
    • Implementation: Second Life (and many of its competitors) is all about user-generated content; everything in the game (outside the tutorial items) was made by ordinary players. Home, on the other hand, is more structured, with all content made by the developers, keeping it rather family-friendly (and advertiser-friendly) by comparison. In addition, Home is only on PlayStation 3, while Second Life and most of its other competitors are for computers.

  • City of Heroes/City of Villains (2004) / Champions Online (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Superhero MMORPGs
    • Implementation: Both games were developed by the same studio, Cryptic. Publisher NC Soft bought the CoX property and hired most of the people working on it away from Cryptic two years before Champions launched.

  • World of Warcraft (2004) / Final Fantasy XIV (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: A Hotbar-based MMO that runs on monthly subscriptions and puts out constant content updates.
    • Implementation: WoW is one of the oldest and remains one of the most popular MMORPGs on the market right now more than fifteen years after its initial release. XIV was originally released in a disgustingly unfinished state reeking of lazy, poor design choices by a creator who ignored things fans requested by the thousands because it went against "his vision", and was generally considered to be the absolute lowest an MMO can reach. After admitting their failure, Square shut the game down entirely, fired the design team, and rebuilt it from the ground up as A Realm Reborn. By the time of the 2020s, the duel between Warcraft and XIV has become one of the most active fights in the MMO genre, XIV's expansions becoming critically acclaimed and played by millions while WoW's own playerbase started to taper off due to various reasons.


  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) / Guild Wars 2 (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Next-generation story-focused MMORPGs that are (optionally in TOR's case) free-to-play.
    • Implementation: Not actually a case of initiator and imitator, these games were the hope of 2012 ushering in a new generation of MMORPGs with a much greater emphasis on story and defying established conventions of the genre.

  • World of Tanks (2011) / War Thunder (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Vehicular Combat MMO with focus on World War II and early Cold War tanks.
    • Implementation: World of Tanks was the first on the scene, with more focus on competitive gameplay, while War Thunder was more of a Follow the Leader but initially focused more on aircraft. With the latest updates however, tanks are also becoming a big focus. When compared to each other, World of Tanks has a more arcade-like feel while War Thunder focuses heavily on realism, though both games have lots of Shown Their Work between them. Over time, the games began diverging from each other with War Thunder adding late Cold War/Modern era while World of Tanks stuck to its WW 2-era roots.

  • World of Tanks (2011) / Armored Warfare (2015)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Vehicular Combat MMO.
    • Implementation: Both games focus on competitive PvP matches and share similar game mechanics. World of Tanks has vehicles dating from World War II and the early Cold War era while Armored Warfare has vehicles from the Cold War and Post-Cold War Era. However, Armored Warfare has additional co-op missions and a more fast-paced combat (even their slowest vehicles are faster than their World of Tanks counterparts). Even with some creative liberties taken, both games have lots of Shown Their Work between them.

  • World of Warships (2015) / War Thunder (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Vehicular Combat MMO with a focus on World War II naval warships.
    • Implementation: Similar to its predecessor World of Tanks which focuses solely on tank combat, World of Warships focuses solely on naval combat. On the other hand, War Thunder is focusing on its combined arms gameplay where players can battle on land and in the air simultaneously, and as of 2016, have announced that they will be adding a naval aspect to the game as well.

  • City of Titans (2018) / Valiance Online (TBA), Heroes and Villains (TBA), Ship of Heroes (TBA)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Independently made Superhero MMOs made by Promoted Fanboys to fill the void left by the cancellation of City of Heroes.
    • Implementation: City of Titans was the first to start, having hit Kickstarter in 2013 to fund its development and raised over double what they asked for. Valiance Online followed soon after. Heroes and Villains was created after Titans dev Golden Girl split over Creative Differences and started her own game. Ship of Heroes was the last to be announced. City of Titans aims to be a successor while also creating its own identity and mythos, and new gameplay mechanics to stand on its own. Valiance Online has a heavier sci-fi element, being set in 22nd century California. Heroes and Villains essentially aims to be a replacement for City of Heroes by being as close to it as possible. Ship of Heroes takes place in space.

  • Final Fantasy XIV (2010) / Phantasy Star Online 2 (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: MMORPG titles based on long-running JRPG series that, at one point, competed with one another on opposing consoles (Nintendo for Final Fantasy and Sega for Phantasy Star).
    • Implementation: At the time that PSO2 launched, the original iteration of FFXIV was four months from being shut down, having been an abysmal failure. Eventually, FFXIV relaunched as A Realm Reborn and proved to be much more successful than its predecessor.

    Party Game 

  • Mario Party (1998) / Sonic Shuffle (2000)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two games involving the then-new party game genre, and both were developed by Hudson Soft. Mario Party, of course, features Mario and his friends, and the gimmick with their board play involves rolling dice and collecting enough coins to earn Stars. Whoever has the most Stars after a set number of turns wins. Sonic Shuffle was a Dreamcast-exclusive, and used cards that then determined how many spaces Sonic and his friends could move, plus they could move in multiple directions. There were seven stones, and all of them had to be collected for the game to end; again, player with the most stones wins.
    • Implementation: Mario's series originally had the option of playing 20, 35, or 50 turns, with a Mini-Game played at the end of each turn. Listing all the details would require its own page, but Big Bad Bowser acted as a Whammy on the board with his space. You originally had to play a game and then purchase it, but after two games, they were unlocked upon first play. Sonic, on the other hand, had no Whammy spaces with that series' Big Bad Dr. Eggman, who instead had his own card with a roulette of doom shuffled into the deck. Mini-Games could only be played by landing on the Mini-Game space, which also handed out Mini-Events, though "Accident" Mini-Games and a board ending game also came with the package.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Boulder Dash (1984) / Repton (1985)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The founders of the rocks-and-diamonds genre, with Boulder Dash having comparatively more focus on dexterity, Repton more on logical puzzle-solving.
    • Implementation: Repton creator Tim Tyler was inspired by a description of Boulder Dash, but had never actually played the game.

  • Tetris (Tengen) (1989) / Tetris (Nintendo) (1989)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two different versions of the popular Russian puzzle game released for the NES.
    • Implementation: Tengen's version was a port of the arcade version by Atari Games, Tengen's parent company, and made it to market first. However, not only was Tengen working outside of Nintendo's licensing system, but Nintendo had obtained the exclusive rights to Tetris on consoles outside of Japan. As a result of a court ruling, all unsold copies of Tengen's version were recalled from shelves.

  • Tetris (Game Boy) (1989) / Columns (1990)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Simple to play but highly addictive games based on Falling Blocks.
    • Implementation: Though neither was originally developed by a major video game company, and both had appeared on numerous computers previously, Nintendo and Sega acquired the rights to release console versions of these games, and they were among the launch titles for the Game Boy and Game Gear, respectively. (Sega also produced several Tetris Arcade Games.)

  • Puyo Puyo~n (1999) / Magical Drop F (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 4th mainline entries in competition-based arcade series, released exclusively for consoles in 1999, that mostly ditches Super-Deformed character art and experiments with field-clearing Limit Breaks.
    • Implementation: Two fundamentally different puzzle games (Puyo Puyo is a Falling Blocks game, Magical Drop is a "grab and toss" sorting game) with near-identical premises, created by two companies desperate for a hit.note  Puyo Puyo~n released first, with Magical Drop F coming seven months later.

  • Lumines (2004) / Meteos (2005)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Stylish Falling Blocks games, developed by Q Entertainment and released in 2005 for portable systems.
    • Implementation: Meteos was a launch title or close to it for the Nintendo DS, while Lumines was the same for the PlayStation Portable.

  • Crush the Castle (2009) / Angry Birds (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Physics-based games that involve you firing things into objects to make them crash and kill the opponent
    • Implementation: Crush the Castle is a free browser title and is more violent than Angry Birds

  • Angry Birds (2009) / Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Physics-based strategy games that revolve around firing characters to destroy structures in a quest for revenge.
    • Implementation: Birds is more linear and cartoony, while PvNvZvP is a different, more serious art style, has more characters, and allows the order of the firing devices and character line to be changed.

  • Angry Birds (2009) / Flappy Bird (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Popular mobile games starring birds.
    • Implementation: Angry Birds is a game where birds are launched from slingshots to save their food from pigs. Flappy Bird is about a yellow bird trying to dodge as many pipes as possible.



  • Tetris Effect (2018) / Tetris 99 (2019)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The PlayStation 4 gets a console-exclusive Tetris game. Not to be outdone, three months later, the Nintendo Switch gets one too.
    • Implementation: Tetris Effect is focused on the visual effects, has a large soundtrack, and has gameplay centered on single-player with rule variants. Tetris 99 is pretty minimal in visual presentation, has a much more limited selection of skins and music, and sticks to traditional Tetris gameplay but with 99 people playing at once under a Battle Royale system, as popularized by games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • Command & Conquer series (1995) / Starcraft series (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two of the most prominent Real Time Strategy franchises since the 1990s, the C&C series took a more realistic, Earth-based approach in terms of background setting, while Starcraft focused on a distant inter-stellar future. Both games also pioneered the concept of Faction Calculus.
    • Implementation: C&C's first title, Tiberian Dawn, marked the beginning of proper RTS games in recent era after the release of Dune II, and became a Long Runner since, spawning three sub-series and 17 titles. When comparing with Starcraft C&C's gameplay is more casual, though Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath were on the game list in WCG 07-08.

  • Total Annihilation (1997) / Starcraft (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Futuristic RTS released in a close timeframe in 1997.
    • Implementation: The two are very much polar oppposites despite being in the same genre. Starcraft has three different factions with markedly different playstyles, simple resource management, heavy emphasis on unit micromanagement, and an involved plot with many characters. Total Annihilation has only two factions with minor differences, a complicated flow based resource system, a similarly complicated tier system for unit creation, an emphasis on large-scale action and long term strategy with almost no micromanagement, and a sparse backstory with no named characters.

  • Age of Empires (1997) / Empire Earth (2001) & Rise of Nations (2003)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Three Real-Time Strategy games with a Civilization motif to it (Meaning you are building a city rather than a base. While Age of Empires focuses on one Era per game (The Ancient Era, The Medieval Era and The Age of Colonialism), Empire Earth and Rise of Nations asked you to develop your faction through multiple eras.
    • Implementation: It was not uncommon to see all three games sharing shelf-space in office supply stores during the 90s and early 00s. Age of Empires also had an Ancient-era spin-off, Age of Mythology, and would be the engine used for the Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds series.

  • Star Wars Force Commander (2000) / Star Trek: Armada (2000)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Real-Time Strategy games, based on the massively popular Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.
    • Implementation: Both games were released in early-mid 2000. Armada had a top-down viewpoint, while Force Commander had a full 3D camera system.

  • Pikmin (2001) / Overlord (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Adventure/RTS hybrids where your character leads a small army of followers.
    • Implementation: In Pikmin you're a tiny spaceman leading tiny flower aliens in exploring a garden. Overlord is a fantasy parody that has fun with Evil Tropes; you're an Evil Overlord going out with your enthusiastically destructive Mooks to pillage, plunder, and conquer.


  • Vainglory (2014) / Honor of Kings (2015) & Arena of Valor (2016) / Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (2016) / League of Legends Wild Rift (2020)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games on mobile phones, simplified from their PC counterparts for a compact experience.
    • Implementation: Vainglory uses a touch screen system for movement, emulating the PC counterparts, while providing only 3 vs 3 action (implementing 5 vs 5 feature later). The rest uses analog controls and heavily based on the engine of League of Legends. Honor of Kings and Arena of Valor are basically very similar in implementation, just that the former is locked in mainland China and required WeChat or QQ account to play, and the latter is the internationalized version, but the former will be released globally at the tail end of 2022. Mobile Legends Bang Bang simplifies further the already simplified mechanics of the genre, creating a much more fast paced, action-packed experience (but constantly battles against accusations of ripping off others the most). League of Legends: Wild Rift adapts the features of League of Legends to fit in the mobile format, and if anything, it carries the brand name of League of Legends from the PC playerbase (However, not all champions are immediately brought into Wild Rift, they're re-implementing the existing champions from scratch).

    Role-Playing Game (Western) 
  • Ultima I (1981) / Wizardry (1981)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Trope Codifiers of Western RPGs, inspired by Dungeons & Dragons
    • Implementation: Ultima focused on a single slightly customizable hero(ine) while Wizardry featured an entire party of characters created from scratch.note  Both initially stuck closely to the spirit of Dungeons & Dragons, but Ultima eventually shifted away from it to focus more on story and morality. Wizardry however embraced the spirit fully and remained a hardcore dungeon crawler.

  • Wizardry (1981) / Might and Magic (1984)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: The two original grid-based dungeon crawler Western RPGs, who were the Trope Codifiers of the genre.
    • Implementation: While both series were Nintendo Hard, Wizardry was infamous for its difficulty, with the 4th game in the series in particular considered one of the most difficult Role Playing Games ever made. Both series ultimately featured a mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements; these were present from the beginning in Might and Magic, whereas sci-fi elements were only introduced in the last few games of the Wizardry series.

  • Ultima I (1981) / The Magic Candle (1989)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Top-down Western RPGs in which a diverse party of adventurers sets out to accomplish an epic quest; exploration and puzzle-solving ultimately turn out to be more important to resolving the main plot than simply facing the Big Bad in a straight-up fight.
    • Implementation: The Magic Candle series had a few features not seen in Ultima, such as the ability to split the party into a number of smaller adventuring units that could act seperately. The Magic Candle is also much more influenced by The Lord of the Rings, whereas Ultima takes a lot of its influence from Dungeons & Dragons

  • Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (1998) / Baldur's Gate (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Reconstructions of the then-dying Western RPG genre, based on established RPG properties.
    • Implementation: Might and Magic VI brought back the Might and Magic series from a five year hiatus, while Baldur's Gate attempted a faithful computer adaptation of the Dungeons & Dragons Tabletop RPG rules set in the popular Forgotten Realms universe. Their winning concept was sticking closely to the spirit of the traditional RPG formula, but trimming down and removing the overly complicated and boring parts to make it more accessible and user-friendly (such as Real-Time with Pause combat). Might and Magic sticked with old-school party-based dungeon crawling while Baldur's Gate spiced it up a little with more story and role-playing elements.

  • Dungeon Crawl (1997) / Dungeons of Dredmor (2011) & Tales of Maj'Eyal (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Roguelikes typically played with tileset graphics as opposed to the traditional ASCII graphics, with a focus on polishing the genre for a modern audience.
    • Implementation: Crawl is generally considered the heir to Nethack, featuring a single dungeon, a hunger system as a time limit, and a focus on resource management. ToME has an overworld with many dungeons, no time limit of this type, almost no consumable resources to manage, and generally takes longer to play, a full game taking 12-18 hours as opposed to 4-8.


  • Wasteland 2 (2014) / Fallout 4 (2015)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Sequels to western rpgs set in a Post-Apocalyptic United States.
    • Implementation: Wasteland 2 is played as an Isometric CRPG with a turn-based combat system similar to Fallout 1 and 2. Like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Fallout 4 is an action RPG that can be played in a first or third person perspective. Ironically, Wasteland 2 is made by many of the people (Director/Producer included) who worked on Fallout 1 and 2. They created Fallout as a Spiritual Successor to Wasteland because they couldn't get the rights from Electronic Arts at that time. Now a lot of Fallout veterans see Wasteland 2 as a Spiritual Successor to the first two Fallout games.




  • Horizon Zero Dawn (2017) / Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Open-world WRPGs with a strong sci-fi bent, which were both released in Spring 2017.
    • Implementation: Despite Horizon taking place After the End, and Andromeda being a Space Opera, they shared a lot of similar story and gameplay elements, in particular the widespread presence of ancient, hostile machine enemies, and exploring high-tech underground installations.


    Rhythm Game 
  • DanceDanceRevolution (1998) / Pump It Up (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games that debuted extremely close to each other (November 1998 and August 1999, respectively) in which the player steps on panels as instructed by on-screen arrows.
    • Implementation: Dance Dance Revolution is four panels and developed by Konami under their BEMANI line, Pump It Up is five panels and developed by Andamiro. Both games have their own unique styles and songlists, complete with in-house artists, and both sport more difficult modes of play for more advanced players, but each with their own spin.




  • Guitar Hero pre-World Tour (2005) / Rock Band (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games wherein you play songs by hitting notes on a plastic guitar.
    • Implementation: Guitar Hero came first; when the license was passed to another development studio, the original team created Rock Band as a Spiritual Successor, upping the ante by adding drums and vocals. Each franchise has a different timing window, overdrive system, and hammer-on/pull-off system. Rock Band's extra songs were released as Downloadable Content while Guitar Hero's were released as less frequent DLC, along with Mission Pack Sequels.

  • Rock Band (2007) / Guitar Hero post-World Tour (2008)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games wherein you play songs by hitting notes on a plastic guitar or drum pads, or sing along and try to match the pitch.
    • Implementation: You read that right. Following the success of Rock Band, Guitar Hero added drums and vocals to its fourth main installment, which it continued to use in subsequent Mission Pack Sequels.

  • Power Gig: Rise of the SixString (2010) / Rock Band 3 (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games that also teach you how to play real music.
    • Implementation: Rock Band 3 has keyboards, and cymbals for drums. Power Gig doesn't have keyboards or bass, and has air drums.

  • Just Dance (2009) / Dance Central (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games that require you to dance. Notably, they both require you to do full-body motion.
    • Implementation: Just Dance is, as the name implies, all about dancing, while Dance Central has some Excuse Plot and characterized avatars, and was the first full-body dancing console game released (whereas Just Dance initially required the player to hold the Wiimote in one hand; the series was later adapted for Kinect beginning with Just Dance 3, thus supporting full-body motion as well). However, Just Dance has several features not present in Dance Central, the most important one being having different dance routines for multiple players for the same song (in Dance Central, this can only be achieved by having the two players choose different difficulty levels; Dance Central Spotlight changes this by including eight routines for every song). Also, the difficulty for the dance routines in Just Dance are on average easier.

  • Dance Central (2010) / Dance Masters (a.k.a. Dance Evolution) (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Rhythm games that require you to dance.
    • Implementation: Dance Central involves actual dancing while DanceMasters requires you to just hit targets or strike poses in the style of dancing. It is fun to actually perform the dances involved in Masters, though.

  • Aikatsu! (2012) / PriPara (2014)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Arcade games for young girls that focus on idols.
    • Implementation: It should be noted that while Aikatsu! had no predecessors, PriPara is a spin-off of Pretty Rhythm, sharing some elements with that series.

  • Rock Band 4 (2015) / Guitar Hero Live (2015)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Resurrected music games wherein you play songs by using plastic instruments, both due for a late 2015 release.
    • Implementation: Rock Band 4 has the classic five button gameplay, allows transfer of most previous DLC and disc songs, and is intended to be a "platform" for all future updates through patches and further downloadable content rather than creating entirely new sequels. Live returns to guitar-only gameplay with a new, six button (three rows of three) controller. Due to changes in the gameplay system, previous songs, both on-disc and DLC, cannot be transferred to Live. The Guitar Hero TV system seems intended to provide a better downloadable content experience to compete with Rock Band's.

  • Idol Paradise (2014) / Tokyo 7th Sisters & IDOL-RISM (2014) & Idol Chronicle (2015) & Aikatsu! Photo on Stage!! (2016) & 8 Beat Story (2016) & Idol Connect -Asterisk Live- (2016)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Mobile female idol rhythm games which follows the success of Love Live! School Idol Festival and The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls.
    • Implementation: Idol Paradise relies on GPS as a method to scout for idols. Tokyo 7th Sisters has weekly events which has only breaks during maintenance. IDOL-RISM is the only idol game which has idols of both genders. Idol Chronicle has a relatively unique gimmick of having fixed characters and uses equipable clothing and accessories instead. Aikatsu Photo On Stage is an adaptation of a formerly existing game series. 8 Beat Story has a unique system where characters can only evolve after maxing affections instead of levels or having duplicate copies in other rhythm games. Idol Connect -Asterisk Live- is more or less a clone of The Idolm@aster Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage, except with an addition of a fan system.

  • Just Shapes & Beats (2018) / Project Arrhythmia (2019)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Hybrid Rhythm/Action games where the player plays a monochromatic shape that has to avoid other monochromatic shapes that move to the beat.
    • Implementation:

     Simulation 

  • Gungriffon (1996) / Armored Core (1997)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Console mech games with a Real Robot flavour.
    • Implementation: Armored Core is played from a third-person perspective and is heavily focused around building your own mech. Gungriffon is played from a cockpit view and casts the player as a participant in combined arms scenarios.

  • Trauma Center: Under the Knife (2005) / LifeSigns: Surgical Unit (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Combination Visual Novel and stylized surgery simulator.
    • Implementation: Lifesigns actually debuted in Japan first with its predecessor Kenshuui Tendō Dokuta in the end of 2004.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Gradius series (1985) / R-Type series (1987)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Shoot'em ups with lots of powerups.
    • Implementation:

  • Dodonpachi (1995) / Touhou Project (1996)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Bullet Hells featuring lots and lots of bullets and an Excuse Plot as per most Shoot 'em ups. The difference is Dodonpachi uses the traditional ships and Touhou is about little girls shooting each other.
    • Implementation: It should be noted that when ZUN first unveiled the series, he made a direct Take That! to Dodonpachi, stating his series could have more bullets thanks to the Hitbox Dissonance. ...It's clear the idea caught on, because later installments of the Dodonpachi series and MOST Bullet Hells used this.

  • One (1997) / Apocalypse (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: 3D overhead shooters exclusive to the original PlayStation, exhibited side by side at E3 1997.
    • Implementation: One has more emphasis on platforming and cinematic setpieces. Apocalypse is more actioney and features Bruce Willis's likeness as its main selling point; unfinished in its original version, the game was redeveloped by Neversoft after its resemblance to One was noted.

  • Geometry Wars (2003) / Neon Wars (2006)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Top down fast-paced arcade-ish shoot'em ups
    • Implementation:

    Sports Game 
  • FIFA Soccer (1993) / Pro Evolution Soccer (2001)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Long running soccer game series.
    • Implementation: The samurai vs. knight of soccer games. Since their debut in the mid-90s, both series are a constant source of Fandom Rivalry.

  • NHL Hockey / NHL 2K
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Realistic hockey simulations.
    • Implementation:

  • NBA Jam Extreme (1996) / NBA Hangtime (1996)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Fast-paced two-on-two basketball games with over-the-top dunks, no fouls besides goaltending, and players catching fire after making three straight baskets.
    • Implementation: Midway made the first two NBA Jam games for arcades and Acclaim ported them to consoles. A dispute over the name led to a split where Acclaim kept the NBA Jam name and made a sequel, while Midway made its own sequel under a different name. Also notable is that Extreme is in 3D, while Hangtime remains 2D.

  • Cool Boarders (1996) / 1080° Snowboarding (1998) & SSX (2000) & Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding (2001)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: "Extreme" snowboarding games featuring varied courses, stunt jumps, challenge modes and unlockable characters
    • Implementation: Cool Boarders was first to the market, while 1080° arrived a year later around the same time as Boarders 2, the franchise's highest-selling installment.

  • 1080° Snowboarding (1998) / Snowboard Kids (1998)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Two snowboarding games come out for the Nintendo 64 almost simultaneously.
    • Implementation: Though 1080° Snowboarding was developed first, Snowboard Kids had a substantially shorter production cycle and actually beat 1080 to release by a few weeks. One crucial difference is that 1080 is focused on realistic snowboarding and executing tricks, but Snowboard Kids is essentially a kart racer with snowboarding physics, with very stylized character design and surreal settings, and a focus on the racing aspect.

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) / Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (2000) & Jet Set Radio (2000) & Aggressive Inline (2002) & Evolution Skateboarding (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Early extreme sports games
    • Implementation: Activision and Neversoft put out THPS, while the latter four were done by Acclaim, Z-Axis, SEGA and Konami respectively. AI, Dave Mirra and Evolution generally copied the look and feel of the THPS games while Jet Set Radio tried to separate itself from the others through its use of Cel Shading and emphasis on Graffiti tagging.

  • Madden 2005 / NFL 2K5
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Realistic American football simulations based on the then-upcoming 2004/05 NFL season.
    • Implementation: Madden was more known for leaning more towards an arcadey-feel, while NFL 2K set out to be the most realistic football game in the market. NFL 2K5 also had the license of ESPN and was able to use their personalities, while EA didn't have a particular network license, but it did have ABC's Al Michaels and John Madden calling the games.

  • Wii Sports (2006) / Kinect Sports (2010) & Sports Champions (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Sports game compilations showing off a system's new motion controls.
    • Implementation: Let's face it, the real fight's between the control systems: Wii Sports demonstrated the Wii Remote, Kinect Sports is made for the Xbox 360's controller-less camera system, and Sports Champions utilizes the PlayStation Move.

  • MLB: The Show (2006-present) / R.B.I. Baseball (2014-present)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Licensed games for Major League Baseball.
    • Implementation: The Show is a long-running series by Sony Interactive Entertainment, and the last man standing after EA and 2K stopped producing baseball games. R.B.I. is produced and published directly by the league itself, and is the first game to bear the R.B.I. Baseball name since Tengen's R.B.I. Baseball '95 on the Sega 32X.

  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (starting from Proving Ground) (2007) / Skate (2007)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Wide-Open Sandbox Skateboarding simulators.
    • Implementation: Tony Hawk relied mostly on name recognition (with the Hawkman and several other pro skaters making appearances), while the skate series promised a different approach to trick control (utilizing both analog sticks on the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers instead of the face buttons and D-Pad).

  • UFC 2009 Undisputed / EA Sports MMA (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Video games based on Mixed Martial Arts, the former focusing on UFC (and Pride in a future installment), the latter on Strikeforce and several smaller promotions
    • Implementation: When EA's game was announced, UFC President Dana White was furious, since he had failed to make a deal with EA before eventually partnering with THQ for Undisputed. White later even declared that anyone who signs their likeness to EA will never work for UFC (which he later retracted).

    Stealth Game 
  • Metal Gear Solid (1998) / Syphon Filter (1999) & Splinter Cell (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Stealth-based third-person action-adventure games in which you play as a grizzled badass soldier on covert missions, untangling complicated terrorist plots with the help (or hinderance) of Mission Control.
    • Implementation: Metal Gear Solid mixes stealth gameplay and technical detail with anime tropes. Syphon Filter blended stealth and run-and-gun gameplay with its conspiracy plot. Splinter Cell was supported by techno-thriller author Tom Clancy, and was more of a pure stealth game with a slower pace than the other two, though later installments leaned into the Actionized Sequel trope. Metal Gear Solid used an isometric perspective but later games moved to a traditional third-person camera, while Syphon Filter and Splinter Cell used traditional third-person perspectives from the start.

    Survival Horror 
  • Alone in the Dark (1992) / Resident Evil (1996)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: In both games the protagonists must fight their way through a mansion filled with puzzles and monsters to uncover its secrets and survive to tell the tale.
    • Implementation: Alone in the Dark was released way before and features a Lovecraftian style of horror. Resident Evil has better graphics, live-action cutscenes and looks more like an interactive zombie B-movie.

  • Resident Evil (1996) / Silent Hill (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Same as above, except that Silent Hill's setting spans an entire cursed town.
    • Implementation: In contrast to Resident Evil's zombie-killing frenzy, Silent Hill features more puzzles, less monsters and a more mature and psychological storyline.

  • Alone in the Dark (2008 reboot) / Alan Wake (2010)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: An episodic game where a normal man investigates and fights against a villain that is responsible for said paranormal.
    • Implementation: Alone in the Dark is the continuation of the classic series set in New York's Central Park, while Alan Wake is set in rural Washington state and is inspired by Stephen King and Twin Peaks.

  • Eternal Darkness (2002) / Resident Evil remake (2002)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Nintendo GameCube-exclusivenote  survival horror games released in spring 2002, set in a vacant mansion filled with grotesque monsters and idiosyncratic puzzles. At the time, they were the only M-rated GameCube games on the market.
    • Implementation: Eternal Darkness is a psychological horror game strongly inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, while Resident Evil (aka the REmake) relies more on Body Horror, science fiction elements, and jump scares.

  • Infestation: Survivor Stories (formerly The War Z) (2012) / ZombiU (2012) & State of Decay (2013) & DayZ (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Four Zombie Apocalypse games built heavily around survival, with players experiencing Permadeaths when killed and being given new characters instead of respawning.
    • Implementation: DayZ began life as a PC-exclusive Game Mod for ARMA II that takes place in that game's Eastern European setting, eventually being expanded into a stand-alone game in 2013. State of Decay and Infestation are set in rural America, with Decay available on both Xbox LIVE Arcade and PC, whereas Infestation is a PC exclusive. Finally, ZombiU takes place in London and is exclusive to the Wii U, making use of that console's touch screen controller.

  • Dead by Daylight (2016) / Friday the 13th: The Game (2017) & Last Year: The Nightmare (2018)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Asymmetric Multiplayer horror games where players take on the role of either the killer out of a Slasher Movie, or the would-be-victims trying to survive his rampage.
    • Implementation: Dead By Daylight has a selection of original killers along with classic killers like Michael Myers from the Halloween series, Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Freddy Krugger from A Nightmare on Elm Street to play as. Friday the 13th is a licensed adaptation of the film series, boasting the involvement of special effects artist Tom Savini, composer Harry Manfredini, and actor Kane Hodder, all of whom are famous for their work on the films. Initially, the studio was working on a Spiritual Adaptation of the Friday films titled Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp (which would've dueled with the Friday game itself), but when Sean S. Cunningham (the director of the first film) saw their work, he gave them his blessing to make a licensed adaptation. Last Year, meanwhile, was successfully funded through Kickstarter, but is currently on hold due to an IP dispute with New Line Cinema over similarities to the Friday films. The developers have continued working on it, however, and intend to release it in fall 2018 with the offending elements removed. The game also notably has a more lighthearted tone, informed more by '90s teen horror movies than the '80s slasher influences of Friday or the Torture Porn of Dead by Daylight.

    Tower Defense 

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Fire Emblem (1990) / Shining Force (1992)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Fantasy-themed strategy RPGs where you command a squad of up to a dozen heroes at a time.
    • Implementation: Nintendo's Fire Emblem series focuses more on its story and character development, while Sega's Shining Force puts more emphasis on its combat system. The Shining Series later branched out into Action RPG territory, while Fire Emblem has stuck to its SRPG roots throughout all of its incarnations.

  • Fire Emblem (1990) / TearRing Saga (2001)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Fantasy-themed strategy RPGs where you command a squad of up to a dozen heroes at a time.
    • Implementation: Tear Ring Saga is essentially a Spiritual Successor to Fire Emblem on the PlayStation. It was developed by Fire Emblem creator Shouzou Kaga, and incorporates the vast majority of its game mechanics, to the extent that Nintendo attempted to sue for copyright infringement. In fact, it was originally meant to be called Emblem Saga, but the lawsuit prevented this.


  • Star Wars: Rebellion (1998) / Star Trek: Birth of the Federation (1999)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Strategy and empire-building games based on the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises.
    • Implementation: Both games were released around a year apart. Rebellion (also known as Star Wars: Supremecy) was a hybrid of turn-based and real-time elements, whereas Birth of the Federation was a more straight-up turn based game.

  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown(2012) / Xenonauts (2012)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Squad-centric Turn-Based Tactics games focused on repelling alien invasion due for release in 2012
    • Implementation: Until Firaxis revealed Enemy Unknown, which is a full-blown official "reimagining", Xenonauts was considered the only credible Fan Remake of the original. Xenonauts is more faithful to the original's mechanics, while Enemy Unknown has made some changes to the formula. On the record, both sides are fairly sporting about the competition.

  • Elemental War Of Magic/Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes (2010) / Eador: Masters of the Broken World (2013) & Age of Wonders 3 (2014) & Warlock 2: The Exiled (2014)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Turn-based strategy games set in fantasy worlds with hex-based battlefields released in late 2013/early 2014. Also, three of the four games are sequels to other turn-based fantasy games, two of whom were direct competitors (Elemental and Warlock).
    • Implementation: Age of Wonders has the pedigree and history, with this being the first entry in the series since 2003. Warlock is based off of the Majesty universe, but is considered the spiritual successor to Wonders old rival Master of Magic and was released to take advantage of Wonders fans' waiting. Elemental is marred by the abysmal failure of its first game, while Eador brings something different to the table with its "shards" of territory.

  • Auto Chess (2019) / Dota Underlords (2019) & Teamfight Tactics (2019) & Hearthstone Battlegrounds (2019)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: "Autobattler" games: players buy units, place them on a grid, and have them fight against other players' armies.
    • Implementation: Auto Chess started off as a very popular Game Mod in Dota 2. Valve attempted to contact the mod's creators, Drodo Games, to collaborate with them in making a stand-alone version of the mod (similar to Dota 2's own history as a custom game in Warcraft 3), but found that they had already started work on such a project, so they made Dota Underlords in response. Dota Underlords thus started out as a nearly identical port of Auto Chess, though later patches have since caused it to become significantly different by introducing new items, heroes, alliances, and Underlord units. Teamfight Tactics is Riot's own answer to the autobattler phenomenon, featuring League of Legends characters and items. Unlike its competitors, TFT is played on a hexagon-based grid, and it is played within the League of Legends client, rather than as its own stand-alone game; this also means it does not have a mobile version, unlike the other games mentioned here. Battlegrounds, Blizzard's take, uses a simplified format with two rows on the field instead of a grid and combat using a fully turn-based attack order. It is also directly built into Hearthstone's client, and is available on both PC and mobile.

    Miscellaneous 

  • Mario Paint (1992) / Art Alive (1992)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Console painting programs.
    • Implementation: Even though Sega released Art Alive first in 1991, Mario Paint's SNES Mouse made painting easier and had more things to do with its custom stamp maker and music composer, and the flyswatter game made Mario Paint more recognizable.

  • The Firemen (1994) / The Ignition Factor (1994)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Super Nintendo Action games where you play as fire fighters, putting out fires.
    • Implementation: Of the two, The Firemen is more cartoony, while The Ignition Factor is more grounded in reality.


  • Wii Fit (2007) / EA Sports Active (2009)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Fitness games for the Wii.
    • Implementation: Wii Fit uses the pack-in Balance Board for its exercises, while EA Sports Active uses its own motion sensor and resistance band, allowing for more varied exercises.

  • All-Star Cheer Squad (2008) / We Cheer (2008)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Wii-based cheerleading games.
    • Implementation: THQ's ASCS shoots for realism, while Bandai Namco's We Cheer games take a more cartoony approach.


  • Katawa Shoujo (2012) / Everlasting Summer (2013)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Animesque freeware visual novels with romance and erotic elements, both made in the West and originated on Image Boards (4chan and the Russian iichan) roughly at the same time. Both have An Aesop: "the disabled are people too" and "don't waste your life".
    • Implementation: Summer was originally conceived as a horror game and so is more fantastical than Katawa, including elements of time travel, alternate dimensions and such. Also Summer wears its imageboard origins on its sleeve, with lots of references to Russian anon culture and in-jokes.

  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (2014) / Shadow Verse (2016)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Digital Card Battle Games.
    • Implementation: Both games feature decks by class type and nearly identical resource management and battle mechanics. Where they largely differ is in their design philosophies, with Hearthstone embracing randomness and Shadowverse featuring faster battles. Hearthstone offers a myriad of alternate game modes, including single-player content, the auto-battler "Battlegrounds" mode, and turn-based RPG-like "Mercenaries" mode.

  • Fate/Grand Order (2015 (JPN), 2017 (NA)) / Fire Emblem Heroes (2017)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Gacha games based on two established franchises, with an overarching original story and the catch of gathering your favorite characters throughout the franchises to form a dream team as well as being playfully referred as a 'waifu simulator' using both franchises' characters.
    • Implementation: FGO was a Japanese exclusive release at first, FEH had a simultaneous global release, then FGO had its global release two months later. Because of this, the FGO NA players actually are given insight on what to come next in order to prepare their savings.

  • Ensemble Stars! (2015) / IDOLiSH7 (2015) & THE iDOLM@STER: SideM (2015) & Uta No Prince-sama Shining Live (2017)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Idol training games born from the gamut of idol training games made in the mid 2010s, but focusing on boys instead of girls.
    • Implementation: The majority of these games are spinoff of some sort; Enstars is a spinoff of the female idol training game Ensemble Girls! from the same company, SideM is spun off from the main iDOLM@STER franchise, and Shining Live yet another installment in the popular UtaPri franchise. IDOLiSH, on the other hand, is an original work.

  • Dreams (2020) / Game Builder Garage (2021)
    • Capsule Pitch Description: Console-exclusive Game Maker games that uses built-in programming nodes to program game logic.
    • Implementation: Dreams is a Spiritual Successor to the LittleBigPlanet games, allowing players to design detailed environments, characters, and even sounds and music. Game Builder Garage is a stand-alone expansion of the "Toy-Con Garage" editor from Nintendo Labo and is simpler to use than Dreams, but is more limited in that only built-in models, characters and environments can be used, outside of a limited sprite editor. Last but not least, Dreams has an in-game online portal allowing players to easily find new content while Game Builder Garage content can only be shared through codes on other online platforms.

Alternative Title(s): Dueling Games

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