Strategy games originally developed from desktop games. The player assumes control of a game area, where rivers, roads, cities and other types of landscape are laid out and has to build buildings, gather resources, research technology, explore the map and command units to defeat all enemies. Again, an ever-present enemy force always provides the action element but there are also strategies which only allow to build an empire or explore the vastness of universe, without any hostility. However, having an opponent is an important element while playing strategy games because they bear resemblance to real war conflicts, as depicted by a game with a set of unchanging rules, similar to chess for example. An ability to make tactical choices both in game economics and while waging war are crucial for success. In strategy games, players assume the role of a commander, god or leader, while seeing the map from a bird’s perspective, although in some cases, a possibility to switch to first or third person view is also available.
RTS (real time strategy) – Real time strategies are played simultaneously, giving all the players the same opportunities, meaning that the building and fighting is done in real time. Among others WarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 1994) series is well-known
TBS (turn based strategy) – This subgenre of strategy games works on the principle of chess. It is turn-based, and as such different approach compared to RTS. Civilization (MicroProse Software, 1991) is an example that speaks for all.
RPG (role-playing game)
Role-playing games hold a very important part of narrative storytelling. The player assumes a role of a character, which often can be modified and affected by player’s choices on a large scale. This avatar is then let into a living world with a huge amount of possibilities, often set in a fantasy or sci-fi setting. The main goal is to progress through a highly-developed and sophisticated story and to further improve the player’s character.
As good as the RPG’s simulative elements of binding players with virtual characters might be, the odds of success in these games are somewhat based on a rate of probability and chance. For instance, if a sword does damage anywhere from 1 to 10 damage, it may or may not kill an attacking enemy. This alone gives a certain dynamic element to various game events, with the player contributing to turn these statistics in their favor. Still, RPGs at large are based on the complex development of a character, affected by the ever-changing elements of probability.
Action RPG – RPGs with dominant elements of action, fighting various monsters and solving conflicts, while improving the character, in a constant search for better equipment to fight off stronger enemies. Today, a mode called ‘New Game Plus’ is in fashion, allowing players to keep all their equipment, while playing the game again from the start with increased difficulty.
Story RPG – Games focused on a strong storyline and immersive storytelling with sophisticated NPCs (non-player characters). Action elements serve as an attractive addition to the story, but do not have a major role. A specific genre set aside from story RPGs is JRPG (Japanese role-playing game). JRPGs usually contain a huge amount of text or dialogues, wide storylines, with many side missions and activities and may include turn-based combat and anime-styled characters as seen in famous Final Fantasy (Square Enix, 2006)
Open world RPG – RPGs with a vast world opened for players to explore, without any story restrictions. As mentioned above, this genre is often combined with others and rarely stands on its own.
Adventure games allow the player to control an adventurous character, solving puzzles and various mysteries. Main characters in adventure games cannot be changed by the player and is already depicted in many ways. Emphasis is placed on an intriguing story, problem solving, exploration and atmosphere. Nowadays, action parts, such as fighting off enemies, are also included. The main idea here is to combine various objects, or solve puzzles in order to advance in the story. Fighting hordes of enemies is not the premise of this genre; rather to try different clever approaches to a problem and overcome them. Gameplay is usually strict, allowing only certain amounts of interaction in a given environment, meaning not everything the character encounters can be interacted with.
Survival horror – The player is usually put into a hostile, dangerous and preferably scary environment and has to solve a particular mystery, while trying to survive. The main idea here is to provide adrenaline, by employing ‘jump scares’ and frightening atmosphere. The horror game Until Dawn, mentioned earlier, is a great example of this subgenre.
Action adventure – A genre, which combines the best of both worlds. These being action and adventure. It provides the thrill of being shot at coupled with the experience of jumping out of exploding transport planes, while exploring mysterious pirate caves. Best representative of the genre is undoubtedly the Uncharted (Naughty Dog, 2007)series.
Racing games / simulators
Games designed to simulate a wide scale of vehicles. From tank to submarine, racing simulators have the power to pull players deep inside and thanks to modern adaptations, these feelings are also supported by better graphics. Story in racing games is not very important, rarely making any bigger impact. Concentrated mainly on the racing, it provides some basic information for the player such as where the game takes place and why it is important to win a particular race. The premise of the gameplay is to apply the same rules for everyone to complete and to gradually increase the skill of the racer.
Train, plane, tractor, truck, space simulator – A simulator based on the vehicle of choice.
Simulator – Is as realistic as possible while driving the vehicle. (Gran Turismo)
Arcade – Give players the opportunity to experiment with unrestrained rules in order to provide entertainment. Enjoyment is prioritized over realistic controls. (Need For Speed)