Single screen (game perspective)

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A Single Screen game perspective can apply to all video games in which the entire playfield is shown on the screen, and the player character is unable to move beyond the boundaries of the screen either to a) scroll the game world (e.g. Mappy), or b) move to a different screen (e.g. Berzerk). It is not to be confused with the diorama perspective, which refers to non-screen based games (shooting galleries, pinball and other mechanical games) which were popular before and during the early years of video games. Also not to be confused with hybrid perspective games such as Caveman (Gottlieb), and Boot Hill (Midway), which because of their dual camera nature are harder to classify into one perspective.

Single Screen


Single Screen video games became popular in the early 1970s with Pong. They offered a simpler and more affordable alternative to the expensive electro mechanical games of the time (such as Sega's Periscope).[1][2] The limitations of these early games though was their lack of color and three dimensional effects compared to other games like Sonar. In spite of these limitations single screen games were made covering multiple genres, including racing (Gran Trak 10), vehicle combat (Tank), shooting galleries (Qwak!), evasion / collection (Shark Jaws), and multiplayer shooters (Western Gun). In contrast to Pinball though (which could offer many more minutes per play) these games were still lacking, due to either their timed play mechanics (through a clock or limited ammunition).[3] One of the earliest Arcade games to move beyond these limitations was Breakout, and when it was released in 1976 it would go on to inspire Space Invaders, the second game to offer a much longer play time than what was common in this game perspective. The next big evolution in this game perspective was then the introduction of multiple screen types (Donkey Kong) and randomized elements in combination with destructible environments (Asteroids) to add not only duration, but greater variety in the single screen experience.


  1. ^ Kent, Steve L. (2001-01-01). The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond : the Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World. Prima Pub. ISBN 9780761536437.
  2. ^ Kent, Steven (2010-06-16). The Ultimate History of Video Games: from Pong to Pokemon and beyond...the story behind the craze that touched our li ves and changed the world. Crown/Archetype. ISBN 9780307560872.
  3. ^ "Tracer - Videogame by Sega". Retrieved 2015-08-10.