Action game

Action game

An action game is a game that challenges a player's speed, dexterity, and reaction time. Action games often include tactical conflict, exploration challenges, and puzzle-solving, but these are not defining elements. Action games are the broadest and most inclusive genre in gaming, encompassing many diverse sub-genres such as fighting games, first-person shooters, beat 'em ups, and platform games.

Action games typically feature violent physical force, especially shooting or melee combat as their main interactive feature.

Defining elements

While the earliest action games appeared on computers, most action game genres were popularized in the video arcades that became popular in the 1970s and '80s. At that point, the vast majority of games focused on tests of dexterity that lent themselves to the short, addictive play that the arcade format thrived on. Sports and driving themes were common, but other games with more varied (and usually violent) themes began to form the action genre.

Some seminal action games include "Space Invaders" and "Kung Fu Master", which helped to popularize the shoot 'em up and beat 'em up sub-genres, respectively. Later, as consoles and personal computers became more popular, it became more common for action games to include more non-action elements to lengthen to play experience and reduce repetition. "Pure" action games are not as common as the once were, but still exist.

Common objectives and gameplay

While the objective of an action game varies from game to game, it generally involves advancing through stages (or levels), eliminating hordes of enemies, and solving puzzles. Many games include one or more "Bosses", often preceded by "Mini-Bosses". A Mini-Boss is usually the climax to a level or series of levels, with a Boss encountered either at the end of the game or periodically throughout the game, leading up to an "End-game Boss", whose defeat is the objective of the game.

Bosses are typically defeated through use of "pattern recognition" skills and physical reaction speed. In most older action games and even many modern ones, the bosses are programmed with a simple pattern of attacks or moves that players learn through trial and error. These simple patterns would often include combo moves that require a player to jump, dodge, or block an attack, then strike at certain points to deal damage, perhaps even waiting out or timing the patterns to get in attacks.

Many sub-genres, such as platform games and action-adventure games, add gymnastic-style puzzles, such as timing jumps to and from moving platforms. Platform games, whether 2D or 3D, are usually similar in concept to the original "Mario Bros." game series. Some action games feature third-person shooter gameplay, enabling the player to acquire 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 anything that moves on-screen. This genre is well known for its side and vertical scrolling shooter games.

Physical impact

Studies have shown that people can improve their eyesight by playing action video games. Tests by scientists at the University of Rochester on college students showed that over a period of a month, performance in eye examinations improved by about 20% in those playing "Unreal Tournament" compared to those playing "Tetris". [ [ "Action computer games can sharpen eyesight"] retrieved from NewScientestTech] It is believed that this is due to the action game improving the spatial resolution of the players' vision.


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