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Video Game Genres

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"Video games are my favorite video games."

Genre, as applied to Video Games, customarily describes the style of gameplay rather than that of the story or setting as in other media. Many games mix and match among them.

It is also possible to move from one gameplay style to another within the same game, e.g. Mini Games, vehicle sequences within action games, etc. These gameplay changes can sometimes be unnecessary or unwanted, especially if the game transitions between them jarringly with poor integration between them.

Notable games in each genre can be found on the individual pages. Note that many games can and should be in multiple genres, as the lines can often get blurred, or games can incorporate elements of more than one genre. If you have a new game to add, put it in every genre you think it belongs! There are other, more thorough, game databases.

Also see Pinball, the arcade predecessor to video games.

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    General game genres 
These are the most common classifications applied to video games, usually pertaining to their style of gameplay.

    Aesthetic game genres 
Non-gameplay genres that can be found in other mediums, related to the game's story, setting, tone, etc.

    Gameplay modifiers 
There are several modifiers that can be applied to the genre of a game, as a twist on the standard formula.
  • Action RTS: An RTS style game with some action sprinkled in, in the form of controlling a unit directly; either in first- or third- person style. Wether the unit being controlled is a mook or a Hero Unit is irrelevant.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: A multiplayer mode in which different players have totally different roles and capabilities.
  • Battle Royale Game: A multiplayer mode in which players (often a very large number of them) eliminate each other until only one remains.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: A multiplayer mode in which players compete against each other as players or teams.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: A multiplayer mode in the main game in which every player is on the same team and playing against the computer.
  • Gameplay Roulette: A scenario in which games within a franchise switch from one Video Game Genre to another in an attempt to continue appealing to fans.
  • Isometric Projection: A graphical projection that squishes the vertical axes, thus forcing perpendicular angles to look wider and more three-dimensional.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: A Crossover with at least three different continuities.
  • Meta Multiplayer: A multiplayer mode in which players are playing their own game at a time, but other players are doing this as well.
  • Minigame: A separate game present inside the main game. May or may not be relevant to progressing through the main game itself.
  • Museum Game: A game that is primarily about paying tribute to or heavily referencing a franchise or company's past.
  • Pop Up Video Games: A game in which clicking on background items results in cute animations.
  • Physics Based: A game that is primarily about the developers showing off applications of physics.
  • Real Time: When one minute of game play equals one minute in game time.
  • RPG Elements: A game that isn't exactly a Role-Playing Game, but the player character is gaining experience points and levels like in an RPG.
  • Side View: A perspective that views all objects from the side and nowhere else.
  • Three-Quarters View: A perspective that is a tilted bird's eye view perspective in which both the top and front of an object is seen at the same time, and the vertical axis indicates both height and depth.
  • Top-Down View: A perspective that views all objects straight and nowhere else.
  • Turn-Based: When the player and the computer take turns in making moves.
  • Turn-Based Combat: A game that isn't an all-out turn-based strategy/tactics but switches to turns whenever combat starts.
  • Turn-Based Strategy, Real Time Combat: A TBS game where the combat sections take place in Real Time, meaning no Turn-Based Combat.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: When the genre in a game suddenly changes to a different genre with little warning.
  • 3D: When a video game series goes from having two-dimensional sprites to having three-dimensional polygons.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: When the massive open world and optional material outweigh the actual, goal-oriented game play.

    Other categories 
There are also a number of particularly distinctive ways a game can be marketed or categorized.
  • 30-Day Free Trial: Software which you're allowed to use for a fixed, limited amount of time without paying for it. Once that time expires, you must send money to continue using it.
  • Advertisement Game: A video game created to advertise a product such as a food or store. They're often stealth ads.
  • Allegedly Free Game: A game that you can play for free, but you will have to pay money to access other game areas or get particular abilities and items.
  • Beta Test: A development version of the game, built to test how the various components of the program interact with one another and the computer. Some developers have an "Open Beta" process, giving access to a pre-release version of the game to the general public (or play testers selected from a public pool) for more extensive testing.
  • Downloadable Content: Additional, optional content provided by the developer via digital distribution and purchased separately from the main game.
  • Episodic Game: A game that is divided into separate episodes, and allows for cheaper prices, shorter wait times, and shorter development times.
  • Expansion Pack: Additional content released after the original game that is purchased separately and (usually) requires the original game to run.
  • Freemium: A game that you can play for free, but if you pay premium then you'll get full access to features that you couldn't get for free and remove advertisements.
  • Freeware Games: A game that can be downloaded and distributed legally for free.
  • Game Maker: Software focused on creating whole games from the ground up with preexisting assets. Sometimes, the software itself is a game. (ex: LittleBigPlanet, Super Mario Maker)
  • Game Mod: Third-party modifications applied to an existing game. Can range from cosmetic improvements to additional fan-created content to full-on total conversions that only share an underlying game engine.
    • Game Mod Index: This is where you'll find Game Mods listed in one place.
  • H-Game: A game that features sex or heavy fan service.
  • Indie Game: A game that is developed without the backing of a publishing company, thus making it independently developed.
  • Licensed Game: A game based on an existing property, usually a movie, TV series or comic book.
    • License-Added Game: A specific type of Licensed Game in which the license is added to a new version of an existing video game franchise.
  • Microtransactions: A game that has individual, one-off payments for accessing additional content in a game.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: A sequel with so few changes from its predecessor that it feels more like an Expansion Pack than a "true" sequel.
  • Obvious Beta: An unfinished game (often egregiously so) marketed as a finished one, for whatever reason.
  • Online Games: Video games that require an Internet connection for some, most, or all of its features. While many games nowadays have some sort of online multiplayer mode, there are some games which only exist on the Internet itself.
    • Web Games: An online game is that is played on a website via your web browser.
  • Perpetual Beta: A game which undergoes a long process of bug fixes, tweaks, and re-balancing even after its official release. So named because the developers seem to be "outsourcing" their beta testing to the player base without telling them the game's not really finished.
  • Shareware: A game that can be played to a certain extent without purchasing it. Buying the game will allow the player to play it to completion, instantly picking up exactly where they left off upon purchase without the need to install anything.
  • Shovelware: Software that is normally sold in bundles of several products, but it can refer to lowest-common-denominator software in general.
  • Unlicensed Game: A playable Shoddy Knockoff Product.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: A franchise that has at least six games in its main series and spans ten years.
  • Virtual Reality: A game that makes use of a headset display to make the player feel as though they are physically present in the game's setting.
  • And lastly, Miscellaneous Games: A page that contains games that nobody could identify the genre of. It really should be cleaned out.

Alternative Title(s): Video Game Genre