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Swipe This!: The Guide to Great Touchscreen Game Design by Scott Rogers

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Chapter 4: GenreBusters

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Let’s find a game on the iTunes App Store. Take a look at how those games are classified: Action, Adventure, Arcade, Board, Card, Casino . . . . They are listed by genres. According to the dictionary, genre is “a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique.”

Stories also have genres: Action, Adventure, Crime, Comedy, Drama . . . . Wait a second! You said “Action” and “Adventure” twice! Are you getting senile? Is Action and Adventure a story genre or a game genre? Make up your mind!

Here’s where terminology gets a little screwy. You see, video game developers have a bad habit of using the same word for different things. Map. Level. Ghost. Farming. Genre is one of those words. To help us tell the difference, I will be using game genre and story genre.

Game genre refers to type of gameplay the player experiences. There are lots and lots of different game genres. Here’s how the Apple iTunes Store classifies games by using game genres:

• Action

• Adventure

• Arcade

• Board

• Card

• Casino

• Dice

• Educational

• Family

• Kids

• Music

• Puzzle

• Racing

• Role-Playing

• Simulation

• Sports

• Strategy

• Trivia

• Word

Within these genres, we can find subgenres. Action-adventure, survival horror, physics puzzle, rhythm game. Later in the book, I break these game genres down into more specific styles of games, especially those ...

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