Category:Genres

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Genres
Definition
Taxonomy
Art styles
Controls
Genres
Microtransactions
Modes
Monetization
Pacing
Perspectives
Sports subcategories
Theme
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Category Definition Notes Examples
4X 4X is the abbreviation for "eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, and eXtermination" and are often a type of grand strategy game. MobyGames
ARPG Role-playing games with more focus on real-time action elements, such as combat and exploration, than most role-playing games. MobyGames
Action Primary gameplay tests some of the following: accuracy, movement, reflexes, timing.
  • Only used for games that do not fit into the Driving or Sports genres.
  • MobyGames
Adventure Primary emphasises on narrative, dialogue and puzzle solving, with less emphasis on action. MobyGames
Arcade Simple games with origins in coin-op arcades. MobyGames
Artillery Tactical games in which players try to damage each other by shooting artillery shells or other weaponry influenced by gravity over large distances. MobyGames
Battle royale Battle royale (BR) is an online multiplayer genre that blends the survival, exploration, and scavenging elements of a survival game with last-man-standing gameplay. Battle royale games involve dozens to hundreds of players, who start with minimal equipment and then must eliminate all other opponents while avoiding being trapped outside of a shrinking "safe area", with the winner being the last player or team alive.
Board Board games are usually strategy games which often represent or are recreations of real-life tabletop board games. MobyGames
Brawler Focus on melee combat with a large number of enemies. Usually divided into levels similar to platform games or action games. Not to be confused with fighting games. MobyGames
Building Players manage a city or other construction project, including but not limited to theme parks, hospitals, towers, zoos, etc. MobyGames, Wikipedia
Business Business games normally have the player manage resources in order to make money or grow a company.
  • If the game involves creating or expanding a building or city, use Building instead.
  • MobyGames
CCG Collective card games (CCG) or trading card games (TCG) simulate trading card games in which players can buy or earn booster packs of randomly selected cards with which to build a deck for play. MobyGames
Card/tile Card games such as Poker, Solitaire or Bridge, as well as modern games that use the format of a card game or a card game as a mini-game.
  • For collectable/trading card games, use the CCG category.
  • MobyGames
Chess Chess refers to any game featuring chess or its variations. MobyGames
Clicker Gameplay revolving around clicking and menus with often very shallow gameplay.
Dating Player dates characters with the goal of developing a romantic relationship with gameplay consisting mostly of conversations with multiple branching paths that change the character's disposition towards you.
Driving Driving gameplay, which could be in a vehicle or mount and not just as a short sequence within the greater game. Distinct from racing category. MobyGames
Educational Teaching educational topics through gameplay. MobyGames
FPS First-person shooter (FPS) are action shooting games from the first person perspective. Combination of First-person and Shooter categories.
Falling block Action based puzzle game in which objects enter the screen and have to be arranged by the player to form pairs, lines, or other shapes or combinations of colors and/or shapes. MobyGames
Fighting Players fight one-on-one in a constricted melee arena, or in teams or 2 or 3. Fights continue until one of the characters or teams is knocked out. MobyGames
If the game makes the player face multiple enemies in levels, it is more likely to be a Brawler.
Gambling/casino Simulation of a casino game (slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc.) or any other form of gambling or betting. MobyGames
Hack and slash Hack and slash games refers to third-person weapon-based action games that emphasizes combats, usually against multiple opponents at the same time.
Hidden object Games where the player must find objects hidden in a picture. MobyGames
Hunting These games simulate hunting of wildlife or game as the primary gameplay. MobyGames
Idle Minimal gameplay that rewards players who do not interact with the game. Wikipedia calls this an Incremental game.
Immersive sim Immersive sims are made up of simulated systems that respond to a variety of player actions which, combined with a comparatively broad array of player abilities, allow the game to support varied and creative solutions to problems, as well as emergent gameplay beyond what has been explicitly designed by the developer. Wikipedia
Interactive book Game is represented as a picture book where the story is read or narrated and are often educational and aimed at children. Players can interact with parts of the book for a short sequence or a reaction. This does not influence the story and interactions do not represent a choice that alters the course of events. MobyGames
JRPG Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) usually feature a linear story with a focus on character development of a group of fixed characters. Actions are often selected from a pop-up menu, and the art-style is often anime or stylized. MobyGames
Life sim Life simulation and social simulation games allow the player to control the life of humans, animals or other things that are alive or resemble living things. MobyGames
MMO Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) are online games where a 'massive' number of players can play within the same space. While the majority of games often features RPG style progression systems (so-called MMORPGs), MMOs can technically be combined with most other genres.
MMORPG Massively multiplayer online games that features a RPG style progression systems. Combination of MMO and RPG categories.
Mental training Mental training games serve as means for the player to improve their mental capacity. These games most often offer various puzzles, sums and reflex mini-games that serve to train and exercise the mind. MobyGames
Metroidvania Metroidvania refers to games set in an explorable world that is gated in content mainly by specific abilities that need to be acquired by the player, and which gradually opens up more as the player overcomes its obstacles. Generally there is a central hub from which the player can move to various interconnected areas or levels, some degree of persistency to their game worlds and some degree of non-linear progression while subtly guiding the player towards the next intended path. MobyGames
Mini-games Some games have a collection of mini-games. Either this is the entire game, or the mini-games are in addition of a core game. Mini-games are short activities with almost instant gratification. Games should have a significant amount of mini-games to be tagged with this category. MobyGames
Music/rhythm Music and rhythm games are games in which the player makes music or must operate at a certain beat or rhythm. Some music game might require actual music instruments or controller facsimiles (or singing) as input for the game. MobyGames
Open world Players have a game world in which they can freely explore and try to interfere with the status quo. Open world games usually do feature certain goals, side quests and main quests. Usually the player is given a broad freedom of how to achieve these goals. MobyGames
Paddle Paddle/Pong games are arcade action games in which the players control one or more paddles which can be used to bounce a ball in various directions. Goals can include scoring goals or destroying bricks inside the playing field. MobyGames
Party game Party games focus on play sessions with a group of players. Party games are focused more on social interaction. Party games usually have simple controls and allow for easy drop-in and out so that everyone can enjoy them. MobyGames
Pinball Pinball games simulate existing or fictional coin-op Pinball machines. MobyGames
Platform Platform games can be both 2D and 3D games in which jumping or climbing onto platforms on various elevations is a major focus of the game. Early platform games mostly focused on climbing onto platforms using ladders, while later games generally focus more on jumping. MobyGames
Puzzle Puzzle solving gameplay, which could include physical, logical, trivia, word puzzles and others etc. MobyGames
Quick time events Games with Quick Time Events ask the player to react to prompts on the screen to progress. A small time window is provided for a single, exact key or button to be pressed. Contrary to Timed Input games where such gameplay forms the entire game, Quick Time Events are small events in addition to very different gameplay which forms that majority of the gameplay. Examples include QTEs in God of War or Telltale's The Walking Dead, even when they only form 1% of the entire gameplay. MobyGames
RPG Player controls character or party members in a world, and often include quests, items, dialogue and often offer character progression in the form of experience, levels and skill points. MobyGames
RTS Real-time strategy (RTS) games focus control of a real-time battlefield with multiple units, and often (but not always) features resource gathering and base building.
Racing Racing gameplay to win a race, which could be in a vehicle or mount and not just as a short sequence within the greater game. Distinct from driving category. MobyGames
Rail shooter Rail Shooters are shooter games that place the player on rails. Usually the player can only control a targeting reticule or has very limited control over the vehicle, being or thing the player controls. MobyGames
Roguelike Roguelike games are games that mimic the gameplay of the 1980 Mainframe game Rogue. These games allow players to crawl through a randomized dungeon in which the player encounters randomized monsters and randomized loot. In most of these games if the player dies he cannot reload earlier save games (permadeath) and must start anew. Certain abilities are permanent and unlock through multiple sessions, while other are drawn randomly for each session. MobyGames
Sandbox Sandbox games present the players with a game world in which they can freely explore and try to interfere with the status quo, and do not necessarily have fixed goals. MobyGames
Shooter Shooter games are a broad action genre in which the player shoots enemies or targets as a primary gameplay mechanic. This can be from any perspective. MobyGames
Simulation Gameplay closely models real world activities in a more realistic manner than most other games. MobyGames
Sports Players control either players or managers of a real or fictional sports. MobyGames
Stealth Stealth games require the player to avoid contact with enemies in the game and instead try to pass them by silently and hidden or using disguises. Goals can range from reaching a certain position, theft, sabotage, etc. MobyGames
Strategy Games that use strategy.
Survival Survival gameplay including gathering food, materials, crafting etc. MobyGames
Survival horror Survival Horror games drop the player in a horror setting where survival against usually supernatural enemies is made difficult by sparse distribution of weaponry and ammunition and often a more realistic approach of the protagonists physical capabilities. The goal of these games is usually to escape the hazardous situation and trying to survive. MobyGames
TBS Turn-based strategy (TBS) is a sub-genre of strategy video games in which the game progresses incrementally in turns. Combination of Turn-based and Strategy categories.
MobyGames
TPS Third-person shooter (TPS) is any game where the player controls the character shooting from a third-person perspective, normally over the shoulder (not from the side).
Tactical RPG Tactical RPGs are Role Playing games with a focus on tactical combat. In Japanese-style Tactical RPGs these are usually denoted with the term “Tactics”. These types of games usually feature more combat options than other RPGS, such as party combat with character positioning and more varied attack effects other than just damage. Combination of Strategy and RPG.
MobyGames
Tactical shooter Tactical Shooters are a type of Shooter game with a higher degree of realism than most shooters. Many tactical shooters are squad-based where the player either has control over multiple squad members directly or can issue commands to the AI. MobyGames
Text adventure Text adventures are adventure games where the player navigates through a game primarily through text or typing sentences or commands. MobyGames
Tile matching Tile Matching Puzzle games are puzzle games in which the player must match tiles. Actual mechanics may vary from flipping over the right tiles as in the traditional Memory game or moving them next to one-another in Bejeweled. MobyGames
Time management The player must use their insight and reflexes to perform the tasks in the best order and as quickly as possible. Time management games often simulate jobs. MobyGames
Tower defense Tower Defense games are a type of strategy game in which the player builds so-called towers to thwart an invading NPC army to reach a certain location on the map. Towers typically shoot at NPC units or otherwise hinder them from reaching their destination. Some of these games allow the player to build mazes out of towers for the NPCs to navigate, while others only allow towers to be build on predefined positions. MobyGames
Tricks The game requires the player to perform stunts to score points or advance in the game. MobyGames
Trivia/quiz Trivia/quiz or game show games test the player on their knowledge on certain subjects or their ability to discover hidden words or pictures. Usually the player is rewarded with points or virtual currency. MobyGames
Vehicle combat Vehicular Combat Simulator is Vehicle Simulator in which the player engages in combat. Vehicles may be fictional such as “Mechs” or space ships. MobyGames
Vehicle simulator Vehicle Simulator games are games in which the player takes control of any type of vehicle in a peaceful manner. A game is required to have a certain level of realism to be considered a simulator. Vehicles may be fictional such as space ships. This genre is not to be used for games that allow the player to perform combat in said vehicles; use Vehicular Combat Simulator instead. MobyGames
Visual novel Games in which the story is told through text overlaid on a background representing the scene being described. The player input is confined to periodically making choices which might affect the direction and outcome of the story. Mostly regarded as a branch of Japanese adventure, but Western examples exist as well. Also known as "VL" or "NVL" games, "digital novels", and "choose-your-own-adventure" (CYOA) games. MobyGames
Wargame Wargames are military simulation games. Most wargames revolve around a single war, campaign or battle in which the player can play out various what-if scenarios by trying out different tactics and/or strategies. MobyGames
Word Word Construction games are Puzzle or Educational games in which the player must form words. Usually the player is given a series of letters or letter combinations that have to be rearranged. MobyGames