Genres in the video games market are used to categorize games based on their style of game play or game interactions. Genres in the gaming industry are world independent, meaning that a title can be grouped as an action game whether it set in a medieval world of goblins and witches or a futuristic city setting with aliens and hover boards.
The following is a list of popular computer game categories and a description for each. Each one of these categories could be broken down into a several sub-categories but I haven’t covered any of these in this article.
Playing action games requires ultra-fast reflexes, and the skills to overcome obstacles very fast and often under a time limit. The action game genre is quite broad and covers lots of types of titles from advanced first person shooter titles primarily focussed on combat-like or fighting right the way back to some of the very first video games like breakout or PAC-man.
Lots of people love playing adventure games, being taken to some far off land, of goblins, monsters and spell casting. Adventure games were many of the first games created. Starting off as text based adventure titles and evolving into the massive adventure, role play and puzzle solving games of today.
Adventure games normally require the player to directly interact with the environment either by having conversations with other characters or by correctly solving puzzles to move to new areas.
Action-adventure titles combine all the greatest aspects of the categories action and adventure. These games often need the player to quickly solve complex puzzles while also being directly involved in fighting situations. These games often have open ended stories where a single action at the beginning of the story can indirectly affect the outcome not only of the current scenario, but also of the story ending itself.
Role play games (RPG’s) have come a huge distance in the last 5 years, from being influenced by original tabletop card and dice games. Role play games are commonly set in ancient or medieval times where gamers take on roles of travelling adventures or mercenaries and take on quests in order to gain experience and progress through the game.
Combat, problem solving and conversational persuasion of in game characters is very common. RPG’s (role-play games) can either be fairly open where the player has many amounts of available options and can wander off exploring on his own (i.e. Baldur’s Gate) or follow a fairly strict and linear storyline (i.e. Final Fantasy Series).
Role-play games are very often played over the internet with hundreds of other human players. These MMO (Massive Multi-player Online) titles are hugely popular with games like World of Warcraft having hundreds of online characters at any one time.
Simulation games often put the player in a god-like position, where they directly control either the world as a whole, a town, a theme park or a train line These simulation titles tend to be grouped into either a construction based sub-genre where the player must construct a city or theme park from nothing to a very popular destination.
There are also simulation titles where you are in control of just one character. Life simulation titles are hugely popular with teenage females players, because not only can you control a single character but sometimes you can nurture an animal from being born into a fully grown adult pet. You can sometimes manage a full mini world like an aquarium.
Strategy games are frequently played by quick thinking skilled players. Using carefully planned and advanced strategies the aim is to destroy opposing characters or teams. Strategy games can be both real time or turn based.
Real-time strategy games are much more complex than turn based as character decisions are often made on the spot and during combat with opposing teams. Turn based games are like chess where you take your time when placing your pieces then when the time is correct you execute your plans in the hope of winning.
I hope this list gives you a great understanding of the various genres used in the console game industry, and inspires you to play some different genres or titles.
About the Author
I run Truck Games & Tank Games. I’m obsessed with the gaming industry & internet Gaming.