Follow TV Tropes


Automatic Level

Go To

When a Rube Goldberg Device has a main character.

A Gimmick Level in a Platform Game (or other action type of video game) which uses elements of the game's physics to play itself to completion while the player just watches with hands off the controls.

Automatic levels are rarely part of any official game release; they are more typically created by users with Level Editors.

A lesser variation is the 'Hold Right' level, which the player can beat by simply holding the right key and nothing else.

Please note that cutscenes and Attract Modes are not automatic levels. They don't have to do with guns or Character Levels, either. Also disqualified are Programming Games where the characters' actions can't be controlled in any case except for rules defined at the start of a level.


  • Many fan-created Super Mario World levels make careful use of note blocks, conveyor belts, obstacles and moving platforms to achieve this, usually with the intent of making the noises made go along with the beat of a song.
  • One of the sample courses for Super Mario Maker is an automatic course called "Underwater Automation". Of course, it's possible for the player to build their own automatic courses, too. Super Mario Maker 2 take this further by allowing you to tag your level as such for searching purposes.
  • Yoshi's Island has a fan-made level that works this way.
  • "Hands-Off House" for Glider 4.0, and "AutoPilot" for Glider PRO.
  • There are tons of these for N, where they're known as DDAs (DDA stands for Don't Do Anything, although there are some that do require holding down keys). They tend to be almost as awesome as those based on Super Mario World.
  • The Flash game Free Rider and its 'sequel', Free Rider 2, have lots of fan-made automatic levels.
  • LittleBigPlanet has plenty of these, too, mostly in the form of Rube Goldberg Devices.
  • ZZT occasionally sees these, probably starting with the Island Escape sequence in the first "Best of ZZT" collection.
  • In TrackMania, so-called "press forward" tracks are these. All you have to do is... press forward. None exist in the game itself, though, so you'll have to make them yourself.
  • In Breakout/Arkanoid style game called Rebound, there's a level that does that. It even instructs you not to touch anything. Of course, if you're smart you can interrupt the level and finish it yourself, for massive points.
  • Progress Quest and any other Idle Game is an entire automatic game.
  • The last elevator level in 3 in Three will solve itself after only a single mouse click. Unfortunately, it's not the single mouse click you think it is...
  • In Mega Man X, there's a section of Sigma's first fortress that's full of springs. The springs launch you toward the ceiling when you step on them, making the section rather difficult, but if you just use the dash feature you bounce from spring to spring avoiding enemies and zooming past the lasers, landing at the end without a scratch.
  • The controls in Kinect Joy Ride felt strange for one player, who later recorded himself sitting still in one race. The player later reported that when standing up, the game does not autoplay, leading him to theorize that this only activates when Kinect cannot see his hands. (Kinect is known to mistake players for chairs when they sit down.)
    • The player-made 'Vertical Vehicle' level requires only one button press to click past a trinket-get screen and otherwise acts on its own.
    • In another player-made hack, 333333, you can only get through the first screen of the final level by not moving at all and letting the conveyor belts and gravity inversion planes take you through. There's nothing telling you this.
  • Such user-made levels in Happy Wheels are known as "Don't Move" levels. Some intentionally eviscerate the player's character and have their body parts travel on specific paths.
  • One of the levels in the Amiga shareware game Mister And Missus is an automatic level in which the player has no control.
  • Barney's Hide & Seek Game: Exaggerated. It's possible to beat the whole game without having a controller plugged in. Barney starts the game on his own and will move on his own if the player isn't touching the controls. The world record "speedrun" for "Any% No Controller" is 9 minutes, 19 seconds.
  • In Everybody Edits, this is a pretty common world type. Often, they require players to hold down a button such as the jump button (making the player constantly jump), but fully automatic ones are also common. Usually they take advantage of gravity-affecting blocks for quite the dynamic experience. They are often called "AFKs," a common online term meaning "Away From Keyboard." A world filled with AFK machines can be found here.
  • Spelling Jungle: The 101st level of both the original game and its sequel Spelling Blizzard. Just step off the raft and the Wind Tricksters will blow Wali around into the letters in the proper order.
  • Geometry Dash dedicates an entire Difficulty Level to these. Custom levels rated "Auto" award one star upon completion, meaning that "playing" auto levels is not too different from the concept of an Ad Reward in gameplay terms.