Genre classification (vedder)

This page documents a draft by vedder for an overhaul of MobyGames' genre system from 2011. The data here shall be the basis / inspiration for the development of our very own genre system. The fork into our wiki has vedder's approval.

This is vedder's comments regarding his draft:

You'll have to think carefully about how much it'll suit your needs though. This design I created specifically for Mobygames to serve as an "update" of the current system. If I were to build something from the ground up I'd probably do some things rather differently.

The first thing you'll see is the inclusion of "sub-genres" which cover a large chunk of the commonly accepted genres names. Some stuff is notably missing here such as "1st person shooter" and "dune-2 style RTS", because the first is broken up in "Shooter" and "1st person perspective" and the latter has no common name that would make it indistinguishable from other RTS games. So in that regard this system certainly is lacking, unless you want to go invent all kinds of new genre names, which I tried to avoid at all costs.

The second thing you'll notice is that I split up the idiotic "non-sports themes" group into a number of new actually useful categories. The idea behind this is that it can be easily presented to a contributor, bit by bit while reducing the chance that the contributor forgets stuff because it's hidden in a long uncategorized list.

I point I tried to stress with Rob and Brian was also that it's important for the user to easily see the meaning of genres (for example as a mouse-over) in an as short and concise form as possible. From my experience hardly any user ever reads our genre descriptions (that's also I reason I wanted to stick with common conventions as much as possible), one reason for that is because it's poorly accessible.

If you intend to do something with this, please keep me in the loop.

Page is finished, please leave it unchanged!

 Basic Genres


Action games main mechanics revolve around one or more of the following: · Timing · Accuracy · Reflexes · Movement · Quick Decisions

This genre is only to be used for games that don't fit in the other Action-based Basic Genres such as Action-Adventure, Racing/Driving, Role-Playing (RPG) and Sports.


Action-Adventure games are a hybrid genre which lies closest to Action games, but features heavy influences from Adventure, Racing/Driving and/or RPG games. Action-Adventures often put more focus on the narrative than regular action games.


Adventure games emphasize experiencing a story through dialogue and puzzle solving. Gameplay mechanics emphasize decision over action. Puzzle solving usually revolves around combining or manipulating items to advance the story. Some sub-genres like visual novels often skip on the puzzle solving and focus fully on interactive narrative. The name Adventure stems from the game Adventure (a.k.a. Colossal Cave), and not to the unrelated film/book genre Adventure.


Educational games try to teach the player through playing. Usually intended for younger children, educational games offer a fun, indirect way to practice "non-fun" subjects like spelling, math, history, etc. Educational games are often called “Edutainment”.


Puzzle games focus purely on solving puzzles usually without much narrative. Puzzles exist in many varieties: strategic, tactical, logical, trivia, word puzzles, etc.


Racing/Driving games allow the player to race, or drive vehicles in a leisurely manner. Racing can be done in vehicles, on mounts, on foot or in completely abstract graphics.

 Role-Playing (RPG)

Role-Playing games (RPGs) belong to a wide a varied game genre that focuses on character development. Additional aspects that are often found in RPGs are: · Tactical combat · Narrative · Amassing wealth

Character development in RPGs doesn't necessarily happen as in traditional stories, but means the main character(s) in the game learns new abilities or improves the capabilities of old ones. Character development also includes collecting armament and/or utilities of gradually increasing power.


Simulation games can be one of many different types of simulations. What all simulations have in common is that they are more realistically modeled to real life situations and/or variables than most games. Simulation games can model a wide variety of different situations and variables, most common are: · Vehicle Simulators and Vehicular Combat Simulators · War Simulations (Wargames) · Sports Simulations · Business/Trade Simulations · Management Simulations · Construction Simulations · Life Simulations


Sports games are games in which players control either players or managers of a real or fictional sports.


Strategy/Tactics games revolve around strategic and/or tactical usage of resources often in combat or managerial scenarios.

 Gameplay Sub-Genre


4X games are a sub-genre of strategy games that are based on the 4 X-es: · Explore · Expand · Exploit · Exterminate

4X strategy games focus both on economic and technological development as combat, diplomacy and exploration.

 Action RPG

Action RPGs are Role Playing games with more focus on real-time action elements (such as combat and exploration) than most Role Playing games.


Arcade refers not to games that originated as arcade machines, but to action games with very simple gameplay interaction similar to coin-op arcade games. These games usually require little puzzle solving or tactical thinking and rely solely on the “twitch” gameplay. Related sub-genres include Maze games and Paddle/Pong games.


Artillery games are (usually turn-based) tactical games in which the players try to damage each other by shooting artillery shells or other weaponry influenced by gravity over large distances. Usually players give an angle at which to fire and a velocity. External factors such as terrain obstructions and wind force have to be taken into consideration.

 Beat 'em Up/Brawler

Beat ‘em Ups - also known as Brawlers - focus on melee combat with a large number of antagonists. Usually players can perform a wide variety of combat moves and combos to hurt the opponents. These games are usually divided into levels similar to platform games or action-adventures. Beat ‘em Ups are not to be confused with Fighting games which offer balanced arena fights between equally balanced teams or single characters.

 Board Game

Board games are usually strategy/tactics games with a strong focus on multi-player. Often they are direct translations of physical Board games. Related sub-genres are Cards, Chess and Game Show.

Note: I split up Board/Party Game in two separate categories


Card games are usually digital translation of traditional card games such as Poker, Solitaire or Bridge, but can also include new games that use the format of a card game or a card game as a mini-game. A related sub-genre is Trading/Collectible Card, which focuses purely on Trading Card games.


Chess refers to any game featuring chess or its variations. Combine with puzzle-solving if it refers to or features chess problems/puzzles.

 City Building/Construction Simulation

City Building or Construction Simulation games are games that allow players to build and expand a city, or other construction project (such as a commercial building, theme park or zoo).

 Dating Simulation

Dating Simulation games are games in which the player must try to date various AI characters with the goal of developing a romantic relationship. Gameplay consists mostly of conversing with characters and trying to give the right answers to increase that characters disposition towards you.

 Falling Block Puzzle

Falling Block Puzzle games are usually action based puzzle games in which objects enter the screen at the top and have to be arranged by the player to form pairs, lines, or other shapes or combinations of colors and/or shapes.


Fighting games allow players to engage in melee arena combat. Usually one-on-one, but team fighting games also exist. Fights continue until one of the characters or teams is knocked out. Additional endings may include being forced out of the arena/ring or a time limit. Fighting games should not be confused with Beat ‘em Ups which feature more overwhelming odds in the form of many less powerful antagonists.

 Game Show/Trivia/Quiz

Game Show/Trivia/Quiz games test the player on his knowledge on certain subjects or his ability to discover hidden words or pictures. Usually the player is rewarded with points or virtual currency.

 God Game

NOT TO BE USED Jargon and poorly defined. - Use game group instead

God games place the player in the role of a God or give the player God-like powers. God games often give the player the ability to transform the world and have a large influence on computer controlled inhabitants of the virtual world. The genre is closely related to the Social/Life Simulation genre.

 Graphic Adventure

Graphical Adventure is a broad genre encompassing all traditional Adventure games with graphics and animations. This excludes Interactive Fiction, Interactive Movies and Visual Novels.

 Hack and Slash

NOT TO BE USED Jargon, poorly defined and overlaps with Action RPG.

Hack and Slash games are RPGs that combine elements from Beat ‘em Up games. Like Beat ‘em Up games the game allows players to perform a large variety of combat moves and combos. In addition the game features classic RPG elements such as character progression. This type of RPG usually has more focus on combat and less on narrative.

 Hidden Object

Hidden Object games are puzzle games in which the player must find a list of objects in a screen cluttered with a large number of objects. Most Hidden Object games visually resemble Graphical Adventures, but otherwise have nothing to do with them.

 Interactive Fiction with Graphics

DELETED The way I see it, whether graphics are present can be see in the Presentation category

 Interactive Fiction/Text Adventure

Interactive Fiction games (also known as Text Adventures) are Adventure games in which the player navigates through the game which is presented mostly in textual form. Usually the player interacts with the world by typing simple sentences of what he intends to which are interpreted by the game. Interactive Fiction can have a small amount of graphics to illustrate an area, the player must in this case still interact using textual input. Illustrations should not be required to finish the game.

 Interactive Movie

Interactive Movies are games in which most of the game is presented as full motion video (FMV) or other forms of animations. In Interactive Movies, the player can from time to time choose a path to take, solve a puzzle or partake in an arcade action sequence. Usually choosing the wrong path or failing the puzzle or sequence results in game over.

 Japanese-style Adventure

Japanese-style Adventure games, like Western adventures, focus on experiencing a narrative through the eyes of usually a single protagonist. This is achieved by interacting with the environment and receiving textual feedback from the game. In contrast to Western adventures, Japanese-style adventures have no puzzle-solving, rarely feature an inventory, and are usually viewed from first-person perspective, without physical movement.

 Japanese-style RPG (JRPG)

Japanese-style RPGs (or JRPGs) usually feature a more linear story line compared to traditional RPGs and focus on character development of a group of fixed characters. Most commonly they feature turn based combat without or with limited character placement. The player selects performed actions from a pop-up action menu.

 Kart Racing

NOT TO BE USED - too vague.

Kart Racing games are a specific kind of arcade racing games that focus on a multiplayer racing experience. Usually these games feature cartoon graphics and various power-ups that can be picked up while racing. Power-ups boost the player or can be used to attack or otherwise annoy other players.

 Life/Social Simulation

Life and Social Simulation games allow the player to control the life of humans, animals or other things that are alive or resemble living things. These types of simulation games can simulate an eco system or the (social) relation between the different life forms.

 Managerial/Business Simulation

Managerial and Business Simulation games mold management of people and resources and economic business activities in a game format. Usually the aim of the game is to make money through strategic uses of the available resources and to try to grow as a company. Usually the individual management of employees of the player's company plays a large role.


NOT TO BE USED Can remain game group. Not a core genre.

Maze games are games in which the player is placed in a maze and the sole purpose of the game is to escape the maze or to chase or catch another entity in the maze. This happens often within a time limit. Maze games can be both action arcade games and puzzle games.

 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.


Music/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.


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.


Party games are usually a collection of short mini-games in which multiple players have to compete or cooperate to score points. Often a Board or Game Show layer binds the mini-games together.


Pinball games simulate existing or fictional coin-op Pinball machines.


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.

 Point & Click Adventure

NOT TO BE USED Too similar to Graphic Adventure.

Point & Click Adventure games are a type of Graphical Adventure games that use an interface that allows the player to the control the entire game with just the mouse, absolving the need for the keyboard to type in words or move characters around.


NOT TO BE USED Too few complete games based on this. Mostly just a minor element in the game.

Pseudohacking games deal with entry into and manipulation of a fictional computer system. Actions include extracting data files and turning off security controls.


Puzzle-Solving games are not so much a genre but denote any type of non-puzzle game that features puzzle solving elements.

Note: Is this still required now we have a puzzle basic genre? If so, this raises the question if other basic genres also warrant minor subgenres "RPG-elements", "Vehicle segments", etc.

 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.


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 and must start anew.

 Sandbox/Open World

Sandbox/Open World games present the players with a game world in which they can freely explore and try to interfere with the status quo. Most Sandbox games feature no specific goals, while Open World games usually do feature certain goals. Usually the player is given a broad freedom of how to achieve these goals, although Open World games with linear mission structures also exist. The Sandbox/Open World genre can be combined with other genres such as Simulation or Action-Adventure.

 Shoot 'em Up

Shoot ‘em Up games are Arcade shooter games in which the player controls a vehicle, being or thing that can move often in limited directions and must fire upon waves of enemies while avoiding coming into contact with enemies or projectiles fired by enemies. Shoot ‘em Up games can use a single screen for gameplay or feature scrolling backgrounds in any direction.


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. Note: While FPS games can be made using Shooter and 1st-Person. I'm tempted to create it as a separate genre, because there are just so many of them.

 Sports Management

Sports Management games allow the player to take the role not of a sports team or individual but of a manager. While some Sports Management games allow the player to play the sport, focus lies on training, transfers, financing, strategy and tactics.


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.

 Stunt Racing

Stunt Racing games allow the player to engage in stunts using a car or perform stunts in a race with a different type of vehicle.

 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.

 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.

 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.

 Tile Matching Puzzle

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.

 Time Management

Time Management games are games in which the player has to complete a number of tasks, the player must use his insight and reflexes to perform the tasks in the best order and as quickly as possible. Time management games often simulate jobs in which the player must handle a lot of customers of different tasks.

 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.

 Trading/Collectible Card

Trading Card/Collectible Card games simulate traditional trading card games in which players can buy or earn booster packs of randomly selected cards with which to build a deck for play. Each card has various statistics that are employed when the player puts the card into play. Games with this genre don’t have to be actual conversions of existing card games.

 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.

 Vehicular Combat Simulator

Vehicular Combat Simulator is Vehicle Simulator in which the player engages in combat. Vehicles may be fictional such as “Mechs” or space ships.

 Virtual World

Virtual Worlds are a form of online community that allow a large number of players to play in the same game space. A common type of Virtual World is the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD). MUDs can be both represented by text only, or by graphics and are usually controlled with textual input using a text parser. MUDs can be of widely varying genres including RPGs and Adventure. Most MMO games are Virtual Worlds, but a significant amount of player to player interaction and communication is a requirement to be considered a Virtual World.

 Visual Novel

Visual Novels are a form of interactive fiction with usually static graphics. Visual Novels typically use a Manga/Animé art style. Gameplay consists of interacting to keep the story going, with the sporadic multiple-choice decision point with which the player can direct the game to its multiple different endings.


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.

 Word Construction

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.


 Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO)

Massively Multiplayer Online games allow a large number of players to play in the same game space on a single server.


Meditative or Zen games try to calm or relax players. These types of games often have no goals and players can't do anything wrong inside the game.


Persistent games’ mechanics continue even when the player is not playing the game. Either the game state is simulated on a remote server or the changes over time are calculated when the player returns to playing.


Real-Time games present the game continuously, as opposed to in turns like a game of Chess. This descriptor is not to be used on action games, which are inherently real-time. In some cases the player can still pause the game at any given time.


Turn-Based games are divided in turns. Players can usually only interact with the game during their turn.


 First-Person Perspective

These games are presented in a classical 1st Person Perspective where the player sees the game world as if from his own eyes.

 2D Scrolling

These games' worlds scroll (in any two dimensional direction) either forcedly, or because the camera follows a certain character or cursor.


These games use a traditionally "Japanese" style of Japanese animation ("Japanimation" or "Animé"), Japanese comics ("Manga"), or the adult oriented “Hentai”.


ASCII Art is a graphical style that is created solely through the use of characters, traditionally from an ASCII table, but other character tables such as UTF-8 or ISO 8859 are also allowed. The game doesn't necessarily have to run in text mode. ASCII art can also be used to texture 3D environments.

 Audio Game

Audio Games have no graphical viewpoint as it features only audio or has visuals, but can be played on audio cues alone. Usually Audio games are presented from a first person (hearing) perspective.


DELETED. It was discussed that this genre was better of as a game group, just like TV-inspired, movie-inspired, literature-inspired, etc., are all game groups.


These games use a single fixed screen to show a specific level. A level can also be larger than a single fixed screen, in this case when the player reaches the end of the screen the whole screen is "flicked" (replaced by a new fixed screen).

 Free Roaming Camera

These games use a player controlled camera that doesn't follow a specific target. This can be combined with Top-Down and 2D Scrolling.

 Isometric Perspective

These games use an isometric, trimetric or dimetric two dimensional projects. Not to be used for games which view projections feature perspective or use top-down oblique projection.

 Third-Person/Over the Shoulder Perspective

These games make use of a camera that floats behind a character. The player literally looks over the shoulder of the main character. The main character doesn’t have to be a human, but can be anything ranging from a racing car to an undefined blob.

Note: The current Third-Person Perspective genre is used for almost everything including RTSes and Side-scrolling platform games making it rather useless in the search. I decided to create a new one referencing purely Tomb Raider style camera systems. "Over the Shoulder" primarily added for clarity.

 Side View

These games use a traditional “platforming” viewpoint where the action is seen from the side. Can be either scrolling or not. Graphics can be either two dimensional or three dimensional.


These games have no graphical viewpoint as it is composed entirely of text or spreadsheets. Not to be used for ASCII Art games.

 Top-Down view

These games use a Top-Down view AKA Birds eye view. This can be at a slight angle to show the front sides of buildings and objects (oblique perspective).

 Video Backdrop

These games use a motion-video backdrop, either as scenery or as an enemy.


 Point and Click

These games are controlled by pointing at desired game elements and clicking them. This is not solely restricted to games that use a mouse, but can also be used for other types of controllers, even when they don't say "click".

 Direct Control

In these games the player directly controls a single avatar (at a given time); usually using directional buttons and other action buttons that let the avatar interact with the environment when pressed.

 Motion Control

These games are controlled using motions which are registered either by a camera or some form of gyrometer.

 Voice Control

These games are controlled by the voice of the player or other sounds the player (or his environment) makes.

 Text Parser

These games require textual input from the player, typically in the form of simple sentences.

Note: Ideally the text-parser rating category is automatically selected when this is selected in the new game wizard.

 Menu Structures

These games are comprised mostly of menus in which the player selects the actions he wishes to perform. This genre is only to be used for games which use it as a majority part of the gameplay and not for games who simply have a start or options menu.

 Multiple Units/Characters Control

These games allow the player to control multiple characters or units at the same time.

 Sports Themes


These games simulate athletics sports.


These games simulate baseball (or a variant thereof) or allow the player to manage a baseball team.


These games simulate basketball (or a variant thereof) or allow the player to manage a basketball team.


These games simulate bike racing or allow the player to manage a bike racing team.


These games simulate bowling. Most commonly ten-pin bowling.


These games simulate boxing or allow the player to manage boxers.


These games simulate cricket or allow the player to manage a cricket team.

 Darts/Target Shooting

These games simulate target shooting with either darts, guns, bows or other projectiles for sport.


These games simulate the hobby of catching fish for sport.

 Football (American)

These games simulate American football or allow the player to manage a football team. (for European football, see "Soccer", see also “Rugby/Australian Football” for a related sports)


These games simulate golfing or miniature golf.


These games simulate hockey or allow the player to manage a hockey team. Both ice and field hockey are allowed.


These games simulate horse racing or allow the player to manage horse racers.


These games simulate hunting of wildlife or game for sports.

 Martial Arts

Martial Arts games simulate one or more specific fighting styles.

 Olympiad/Mixed Sports

These games simulate multiple sporting events in a single game, similar to the Olympics.


These games simulate the non-violent sport paintball.

 Ping Pong/Table Tennis

These games simulate table tennis, also known as ping pong.


These games simulate a bar game such as pool, billiards or snooker in any of its variants.

 Racquetball / Squash

These games simulate raquetball or squash.

 Rugby/Australian Football

These games simulate rugby, Australian football or other football variants or allow the player to manage a rugby/football team.


These games simulate piloting or racing sailboats, wind sails, rowing boats, powerboats, etc.


These games simulate skateboarding or skating, both racing and stunts.


These games simulate snowboarding or skiing.

 Soccer/Football (European)

These games simulate (European) football, a.k.a. soccer.

 Surfing/ Wakeboarding

These games simulate surfing and/or Wakeboarding.


These games simulate Tennis or allow the player to manage tennis players.


The game requires the player to perform stunts to score points or advance in the game. Common terms for these kinds of sports are "Action Sports" or "Extreme Sports".


These games simulate volleyball (or a variant thereof) or allow the player to manage a volleyball team.


These games simulate wrestling or Professional wrestling.

 Educational Categories


These games try to teach the player about ecosystems, the environment, etc.

 Foreign Language

These games try to teach the player a language other than the player’s native language.


These games try to teach the player about geography, locations, landmarks, etc.


These games try to develop or explore visual creativity.


These games try to teach the player about healthy habits such as nutrition, exercise, "clean living", etc.


These games try to teach the player about history.


These games try to teach or test the player’s mathematical and/or logic skills, such as addition, subtraction, geometry, etc.


These games try to teach music theory, tonal skills or allow the player to make music in a playful manner.


The game centers on entertaining and teaching pre-school children or toddlers. Typing skills are usually not required.


These games try to teach the player to read, write, spell and use correct grammar in his or her mother tongue.


These games try to teach the player about one or more religions.


These games try to teach the player about biology, chemistry, physics, etc.


These games try to teach the player about sociology, psychology, social studies, or any other study of the science of society or social institutions.


These games try to teach (or improve) the player typing and keyboard skills.

 Vehicular Themes


These games allow the player to take control of an automobile (both driving and racing it) or otherwise focus on automobiles. This includes buses, trucks, etc.


These games allow the player to take control of or otherwise focus on machines, weapons, or “mechs” similar to the FASA BattleTech series. This includes all 'Mech and "Giant Robot" games, including titles that are not explicitly from the FASA universe.


These games allow the player to take control of an aircraft (both flight and combat) or otherwise focus on aircrafts or aviation.


These games allow the player to take control of a helicopter (both flight and battle) or otherwise focus on helicopters.


These games allow the player to take control of a motorcycle, dirtbike or similar vehicle or otherwise focus on motorcycles.


These games allow the player to take control of a boat, ship or other type of watercraft, or otherwise focus on watercraft or naval combat or navigation.

 Off-Road/Monster Truck

These games allow the player to participate in off-road racing/driving and or monster truck racing/driving, or otherwise focus on off-road racing or leisure vehicles or monster trucks.

 Space Flight

These games allow the player to take control of spacecraft or otherwise focus on spacecrafts.


These games allow the player to take control of a tank or otherwise focus on tanks.


These games allow the player to take control of a train or otherwise focus on trains.



A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Africa.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Asia.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy China.

 Cold War

A significant part of these games is about any or all in a series of conflicts commonly referred to as the Cold War.

 Cyberpunk/Dark Sci-fi

These games have a dark futuristic setting. Sometimes modeled around the concept of a "cyberpunk", or a human individual in the future that can interface directly with computers or a computer network, and has to "take down The Corporation". Science fiction with an explicitly dark and/or moody tone.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Egypt/Nubia/Sinai.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Europe.


These games use a fictional fantasy setting. Fantasy settings often feature supernatural elements such as undead creatures or sorcery or fantasy creatures such as orcs, elves and dragons.


A significant part of the game is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Greece/Macedonia/Hellenistic world.

 Historical Battle (Specific/Exact)

These games revolve around a specific historic conflict or battle, or features scenarios about specific historic battles.

 Industrial Age

A significant part of these games takes place during the Industrial Age/Revolution or a fantasy adaptation thereof.


A significant part of these games takes place in a Medieval setting such as Feudal Japan or Europe or a fantasy, otherworldly, and/or medieval-times-with-sorcery simulacrum.

 Middle East

A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Middle East.

 North America

A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy North America.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Oceania.


A significant part of these games takes place in a Post-Apocalyptic world. Often a world-wide nuclear war, where radiation has created mutants, entire cities are leveled, and necessities like gas, food, and water are hard to come by.


A significant part of these games takes place in a prehistoric setting.


A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy Roman Empire.


A significant part of these games takes place in the future or outer space or features many science fiction elements.

 Sea Pirates/Caribbean

A significant part of these games revolves around sea pirates and/or takes place in the Caribbean during the colonization of the Americas.

 South America

A significant part of these games is set in historic/present/future/fantasy South America.


A significant part of these games takes place in an alternative 19th century or Victorian era Britain where steampower is used for a wide variety of fictional uses.


A significant part of these games takes place in the American Old West or a fantasy version thereof.

 World War I

A significant part of these games is set during World War I or a fictive continuation thereof.

 World War II

A significant part of these games is set during World War II or a fictive continuation thereof.

 Narrative Theme/Topic


Adult games feature explicit sexual situations.


Comedy games present events in the game in comedic fashion. They feature jokes in conversations or one-liner, or relies on satire or absurdity.


Detective/Mystery games feature a traditional detective story or mystery that needs to be solved.


Horror games feature classic "horror" elements. Usually refers to traditional gothic horror, but can include other horror styles.


Games that are about (not just feature) Romance.


Spy/Espionage games revolve around spy characters or personages performing espionage.


Thriller games use suspense, tension and excitement as the main narrative elements.


War games (not to be confused with Wargames) are games that have War as a narrative backdrop. The story takes place during wartime, or the player is actively fighting in a war.

 Other Attributes


Add-ons and DLC are commercial packages that enhances an existing game (additional levels, race tracks, etc.) or requires an existing game to run (Quake "total conversions", etc.).

 Coin-Op Conversion

Coin-Op Conversions are games that originally appeared in stand-up, coin-operated, arcade game form (or pinball form) and later converted to a personal computer version.


Compilations and Shovelware are retail packages that contain a combination of game titles. "Compilations" are two or more games in a series (prequels/sequels) or a similar genre. "Shovelware" is the term given to dissimilar games packaged together, usually at a low price, to try to make up for lost or sagging profits.

 Editor/Construction Set

Editor/Construction Set is used when an Editor or Construction set is bundled with the game. These editors facilitate tweaking game variables, drawing new playfields/maps, drawing new graphics, etc.


Emulators refer to games or game collections running on an included emulator. Emulators facilitate the execution of foreign game code on a platform it was not designed for.

 Licensed Title

Licensed Titles are games where the gameplay, storyline, or setting was taken from or inspired by a specific movie, television show, book, board game or other work that predated the game.

 Special/Limited/Collector's Edition

Special, Limited, Collector’s (or similar) Editions of a game usually feature different packaging, additional “feelies” such as toys, maps, stickers and/or buttons. Some such editions also have additional gameplay content.