Compter Games: Game Genres

Platform Games aka platformers:

This genre often requires the protagonist to run and jump between surfaces (i.e. platforms) whilst avoiding game objects and the detrimental effects of gravity. traditionally side on 2D and very popular on earlier platforms. The genre has declined in popularity in recent years, although some titles have successfully redefined the genre to include 3D environments.


–  Super Mario Bros – Sonic the Hedgehog – Super Mario 64 – Tomb Raider – Prince of Persia –


Adventure Games:

Typically the player is the protagonist of a story and in order to progress must solve puzzles. The puzzles can often involve manipulating and interacting with in-game objects, characters, etc. Usually text-based adventures and graphical.


– Zork – King’s Quest – Grim Fandango – Fahrenheit – Broken Sword – Monkey Island –


Action Games:

Action games are typified by fast-paced events and movement which often have to be performed reflexively.

Games such as Pong and Space Invaders initially defined the genre.


Fighting Games:

In fighting games the player typically fights other players or the computer in some form of one-on-one combat.

Notable classics include:

– Double Dragon – Mortal Kombat – Street Fighter –


FPS Games:

Action games where the player is “behind the eyes” of the game character in a first-person perspective. Although a number of FPS games also support third-person views. Most FPS games require quick reflexes because of their fast gameplay.

Notable examples include:

– Wolfenstein 3D – DOOM – Half-Life – Far Cry – F.E.A.R. –


Strategy games:

A strategy game is any game where the outcome is determined by the choices a player makes. These games are won through tactics rather than force or technical proficiency. Strategy games are one of the most popular genres of video games as well, encompassing several types of games.


–  Chess – Checkers – Risk –


Educational games:

Educational games are designed to teach new skills which can span from pre-school onwards.

Notable examples of this genre include:

– Carmen Sandiego series – Mavis Beacon Teaching Typing – Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training –


Puzzle games:

Puzzle games often require the player to solve puzzles or problems and can involve the exercise of logic, memory, pattern matching, reaction time, etc.

Notable examples include:

– Tetris – Lemmings – Minesweeper – Boulder Dash –


Survival horror games:

Often an action-adventure or first-person shooter with a focus on fear and survival and adopting many of the elements of traditional horror fiction.


Alone in the Dark provides a notable early example, whilst the Resident Evil series is a current notable example.


Role playing games (RPGs):

(My personal favourite) Originally started out as video games based on pen and pencil games like Dungeons and Dragons. A fantasy theme is often retained. Often characterised in terms of providing the player with flexibility in terms of character development, problem resolution, etc.

Notable examples include:

– Final Fantasy – Baldur’s Gate – Wasteland – Neverwinter Nights – Elder Scrolls Oblivion- Elder Scrolls Skyrim – The Witcher series



Stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. While most modern games are playable online, a MMO constitutes that online gameplay is the focus of the game, and that hundreds, thousands, even millions of users can interact with each other in a real-time space (theoretically). Very popular to mix with the RPG genre. Notable examples include World of WarcraftFinal Fantasy XIEverquestMonster Hunter, and EVE Online.



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