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  1. Action game
  2. Advergaming
  3. Arcade machine
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. Atari Games
  6. Atari Lynx
  7. Audio game
  8. Board games
  9. Browser game
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  18. Console game
  19. Dr. Mario
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  22. Game
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  29. Game classification
  30. Game controller
  31. Game design
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  33. Game developer
  34. Game Developer Magazine
  35. Game development
  36. Game development tool
  37. Game mechanic
  38. Gameplay
  39. Game programmer
  40. Game programming
  41. Gamer
  42. Game server browser
  43. Game studies
  44. Gaming convention
  45. Golden Age of Arcade Games
  46. Handheld game console
  47. History of computer and video games
  48. History of video game consoles
  49. History of video games
  50. Hotseat
  51. Internet gaming
  52. Joystick
  53. LAN gaming center
  54. List of books about computer and video games
  55. List of commercial failures in computer and video gaming
  56. List of gaming topics
  57. Mobile game
  58. Multiplayer game
  59. N-Gage
  60. Nintendo 64
  61. Nintendo DS
  62. Nintendo GameCube
  63. Personal computer game
  64. Pinball
  65. Play-by-mail game
  66. Play-by-post game
  67. PlayStation 3
  68. PlayStation Portable
  69. Pong
  70. Programming game
  71. Puzzle computer game
  72. Real-time strategy
  73. Sega Dreamcast
  74. Sega Saturn
  75. Serious game
  76. Simulation game
  77. Single player
  78. Sony PlayStation
  79. Stealth-based game
  80. Strategy game
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  83. Synthespian
  84. Tabletop role-playing game
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  88. Video game center
  89. Video game console
  90. Video game crash of 1983
  91. Video game industry
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  93. Wargame
  94. Wii
  95. Xbox 360


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Action game

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Action games could be considered the video game or computer game equivalent of action movies. Action games typically feature violent physical force, especially shooting, as their main interactive feature. Beat 'em up, Shoot 'em up and platform game are all subcategories of the action game genre. Some use the term to also refer to First person shooters.

Key and defining elements of an action game

The term "action game" is used most often by the mainstream media, although in gaming literature the term has been appearing in a steadily increasing rate. The term is very broad and encompasses many individual sub-genres, however, action games typically share elements such as:

  • Combat or physical violence; this may be hand-to-hand combat, weapons- or vehicle- based
  • A difficulty curve directly related to the player's physical reaction speed, hand-eye coordination, and mental dexterity
  • Includes many challenges performed under a time limit, in which the player must complete a task quickly or otherwise lose a life or fail the level
  • The player controls a single character for the majority of the game, or a small 'squad' of characters through which the player can lead one at a time
  • A focus on visual features such as the game's graphical style and visual effects
  • Sophisticated enemy AI

Other elements are considered less important for an action game, such as:

  • In-depth narrative, plot, or backstory
  • Interaction with other characters within the plot in ways that affect the player's character
  • Turn-based and/or strategic elements, such as controlling a party of several characters simultaneously

Common "action game" objectives and gameplay

While the individual objective of an action game varies drastically from game to game, it generally involves advancing through stages referred to as "levels"; along the way, eliminating hordes of enemies with minor puzzle solving involved. Many times the games include a "Boss" or "Bosses", often precluded by "Sub-Bosses" (more commonly known as Mini-Bosses). A mini-boss is usually the climax of a series of levels or each individual level, with a "Boss" being either at the end of the game or they can be tiered with many mini-bosses, a few bosses that are harder in difficulty and then finally leading up to an "End-game Boss" which would be the objective of the game.

Bosses are typically defeated by your "pattern recognition" skills and physical reaction speed. In most older action games and even many modern ones, the bosses were programmed with a simple pattern of attacks or moves that would make them very difficult to defeat. Though usually after a few minutes or hours of trying anyone can defeat them as you simply learn the pattern from trial and error. These simple patterns would often include combo moves that require your character to jump, dodge or block an attack, then strike at certain points to deal damage to the boss, perhaps even waiting out or timing the patterns to get your attacks in.

Many sub-genres such as platform games and action-adventure games add gymnastic-style puzzles, such as timing jumps to and from moving platforms (hence the name Platform games). Platform games, whether 3D or 2D are usually similar in concept to the original Mario Bros. series of games originally in the arcade then on the Nintendo video game console. Some action games feature 3rd-person-shooter-game-play elements, enabling the player to pick up and upgrade various weapons, each sporting its own special abilities.

Another common sub-genre is the Shoot 'em up; which usually involves the player controlling a character or vehicle brandishing many weapons and shooting literally almost everything moving on the screen. The Shoot 'em up genre is well known for its side and vertical scrolling shooter games.

Action game sub-genres

Following is a list of the most common sub-genres listed in game indexes whether on the Internet or in book-form.

  • 2D Action
  • 3D Action
  • 3D Platformer
  • Arcade
  • Action-Adventure
  • Breakout Variant
  • Beat 'em up
  • Driving
  • Freeform Shooter (also known as Shoot 'em up)
  • Horizontal Shooter
  • Hybrid
  • Multi-Type Action
  • Survival Horror Game
  • Pinball
  • Platformer
  • Space Combat
  • Vertical Shooter
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