The history of games goes back as early as the 1950s. A group of scientists were experimenting with simple games and simulations as part of their research or simply for fun.
The first game to have been created can be considered “Pong” which is an arcade video game. It’s basically a table tennis sports game with 2D graphics.
From then on, games have taken many shapes and forms. Nowadays, there are sub-genres of a genre, and things can be confusing.
Now we’re not talking about casual games like a cooking one where you have to make baked food or a puzzle game like Candy Crush.
So here are some solid examples.
1. Action games
Action games put the player in control and at the center of the action. The player then has to overcome challenges.
They’re popular because they’re easy to start playing and get involved in.
Action subgenres include:
They get this name because the player interacts with platforms where the character runs, jumps, and falls throughout the gameplay. The most popular of this subgenre is Super Mario.
These games let the player use weapons to get into action with a goal to eliminate enemies or other players.
There are three categories in this subgenre: first-person shooters (FPS) where the player has the main character’s viewpoint. Counter-strike and Halo are good examples of FPS.
Then there are third-person shooters (TPS) where the player sees their character from the back and slightly above. Fortnite and Resident Evil are popular TPS games.
Finally, there’s top-down shooters where the player gets a complete overhead experience and usually gets a set of lives instead of a health bar. Space Invaders is the most popular top-down shooter.
Fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Tekken focus on combat that is hand-to-hand in most cases. You get a list of playable characters with special skills or fighting abilities.
- Beat-em Up
God of War, Bayonetta, and Orcs Must Die are great examples of recent beat-em-up games. Usually, the focus here is on combat, but against waves of enemies instead of a single opponent.
Stealth games depend on your cunning and precision to solve challenges. Examples of stealth games are Dishonored and Metal Gear.
PUBG is a great survival game where you’re given craft tools, weapons, and shelter to survive as long as you can in single gameplay that lasts 30-45 minutes maximally.
Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are music-based games where the challenge is to keep up with the pace of the rhythm of a song by the buttons on your controller that correspond to the ones displayed on-screen.
3. Action-Adventure Games
Action-adventure games combine game-long quests where you collect items and action elements where you use these collected items.
Subgenres of this genre include:
- Survival horror
Such as Resident Evil where the player collects limited ammo and weapons and uses these loots to fight against enemies.
This subgenre gets its name from the combination of the games that inspired it: Castlevania and Metroid.
These games are similar to basic action-adventure games except in the fact that they aren’t linear. This means that the player is required to backtrack or even stop progressing until they find a certain item or beat a certain boss.
4. Adventure Games
Adventure games focus more on the style of gameplay than the story or content. The players usually interact with their environment to solve puzzles using clues.
Subgenres of this genre include:
- Text adventures
In older terms: Interactive fiction. The game is text-based where the player uses their keyboard to send commands to respond to a game-programmed story. More work is required from programmers to put into working out various responses to the player’s inputs.
- Graphic adventures
With computers having better graphic capabilities to support text, text adventures have turned into graphic ones. Players can also “point-and-click” to interact with on-screen objects.
- Visual novels
With determined ends based on how the players respond, most visual novels require the player to build up character stats and traits to progress through the gameplay.
- Interactive movie
With CD-ROM and Laserdisc, interactive movies could come to be. They contain pre-filmed live-action or sequences of animation and the events take place from a third-person perspective. The player controls what happens during pivotal points in the story.
- Real-time 3D
This is the latest addition to adventure games. Rather than interacting with pre-rendered scenes, the player controls real-time 3D video game worlds. Heavy Rain and Until Dawn.
5. Role-Playing Games
Role-playing games are probably the second most popular genre after action games. They’re usually set in medieval times or fantasy settings. When you think about how they originated from Dungeons and Dragons and other pen and paper role-playing games, this would make sense.
However, sci-fi RPGs aren’t discounted as Mass Effect, Fallout, and Final Fantasy have had a nice role with RPGs.
Finally, RPGs usually have alternate endings based on the user’s choices throughout the game.
Subgenres of this RPG include:
- Action RPG
These games combine between elements of action games and action-adventure games. What makes it stand out is the fact that the fight takes place in real-time and the player has to use their speed and precision to outperform enemies.
Short for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, MMORPGs involve hundreds of players that interact with one another in the same world. Usually, they all share the same objective or similar ones.
You can guess where the name of this subgenre came from. Yes, Rogue. The 2D computer game and dungeon crawler from the 80s. The levels are generated randomly and the player increases their stats by overcoming enemies and obstacles.
- Tactical RPG
These games are like a board game with a chess-like strategy and a finite number of resources. Players use these things to win battles and beat enemies.
- Sandbox RPG
In other words: open-world RPG allow the player to roam freely around the map. They’re the most immersive genre of video games as they have a huge number of characters, situations, and side quests. Skyrim is a perfect example of this subgenre.
- First-person party-based RPG
Or as hard-core gamers call them: blobbers are basically dungeon RPGs where a player leads a group of adventurers in an FPS perspective. Might and Magic and Bard’s Tale are good examples of this subgenre.
6. Simulation Games
Simulation games are created to imitate reality or a real situation or event.
- Life Simulation
The Sims is the most popular life simulation game and one of the best-selling games of all time.
The player gets to control a character’s life including their genetics and ecosystem. Sometimes even their reactions to situations.
Virtual pet games like Tamagotchi and Nintendogs can be considered a category of this sub-genre.
These are sometimes called “God Games” as they give the player complete control over the characters and their surroundings.
- Construction and management
SimCity is the most popular one of this subgenre. You can build and manage a whole city including street planning, zoning, and taxing.
- Vehicle simulation
These games aim at recreating the experience of driving a race car, flying an airplane, or even driving a tractor on a farm.
These aren’t all the genres, but they’re the most popular. There are also strategy games like Age of empires, sports games like NBA and FIFA, puzzle games like Trivia and Logic games, and idle games.