Talk:Action-adventure game

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This is all wrong![edit]

This article is terribly flawed. The first line is correct: "Action-adventure games are video games that combine elements of the adventure game genre with various action elements." However, the Zelda series is not that by any means! That one is actually an action RPG. Other examples of the action RPG genre are: Soulblazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, the Seiken Densetsu (Secret of Mana) series, Crusader of Centy, Beyond Oasis, and the Monster World series.

What, then, is an action adventure? Prince of Persia is the very definition of the genre, with Out of this World, Flashback, Heart of the Alien, and Blackthorne as other good examples.

I would put Zelda as Adventure game before an RPG, you dont level up or have any concept of character development. The gameplay involves traversing a gameworld collecting powerups and defeating bosses grauduly getting stronger, much like Metroid, Metal Gear, Hebereke, Kid Ikarus, Blaster master and all the other adventure games. RPG's tend to have a heavy focus on narrative as well, where as adventure games place emphaisis on the adventure or journey itself, that is very much where Zelda is. Games like Terranigma and Illusion of Gia and Seiken Densetsu place more emphasis on character development and narrative and thus are RPG's. Zelda is not- UnlimitedAccess 22:39, 27 August 2005 (UTC)
I always thought PoP games were platformers, mixed up with action sequences(sword fights) which kept becoming more and more prominent in its sequels.

The Legend of Zelda games are not Action RPGs. The games are frequently mis-labelled as RPGs. RPGs contain elements of character development (which is usually tied to having multiple playable characters of customizable characters), specific characters skills and skill development which usually implements stats. Diablo is an Action RPG. Zelda is not. Yes, you collect items, but you do that in Adventure games as well. Ever played any of the old Sierra or LucasArts Adventure games? I ask you to find one element of Zelda that places it in the RPG category.

--Denkriston 22:38, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Agreed the Zelda games are not Action rpgs. Most prominent message boards on the subject have things to say about this hehe. RBlowes 13:35, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
What a massive pile of crap! Action-RPGs and action-adventures are NOT mixes of action and RPG or adventures or anything else! The terms have a meaning in themselves, independently of any other genres, regardless of however you may define action games, adventure games, or RPGs.
Here are the true definitions:
  • action-RPG: any game that is similar to Zelda.
  • action-adventure: any game that is similar to Prince of Persia.
Too hard to understand? - Stormwatch 23:17, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Merge from non-linear exploration[edit]

The article Non-linear exploration is an attempt to describe this genre, I propose it be deleted (the expression is much too general, covers all non-linear games really) and relevant material merged to this one. Please take a look at it.

Arru 08:34, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Non-linear exploration has been given due attention by moving to Castleroid, the merge is no longer proposed. Arru 13:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Arcade Adventure - merge proposal[edit]

In the UK, this type of game is generally called an arcade adventure and, as you can see, an article describing said style has been created. I would suggest that these two articles are merged with both "action adventure" and "arcade adventure" links going to the merged article and both names being mentioned

- Zagrebo 12:09, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Can't find any reason to keep them separated. Of course the UK expression should be mentioned. Arru 12:24, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

...and done! I found the history section dubious, redundant as well as lacking sources:

Historic Context
Arcade adventures were amongst the most popular video games in the 80's, the period of dominance of 8-bit home computers like the Commodore 64, partly due to their simplicity, which appealed gamers and overcome the hardware limitations of these platforms. For the same reason, text adventures were also popular at the time. Both were less complex and taxing to period hardware than full-blown graphic adventure games like Maniac Mansion, which, despite its debut on the Commodore 64, introduced a new genre that would thrive on 16-bit computers like the Amiga and the IBM PC and displace arcade adventures.

The notable examples don't seem very notable to me, but we need several people's opinion on that. Arru 13:00, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I've replaced the removed games from the list that someone removed claiming they were moving them to an "isometric adventure" section/entry which I can't seem to find. I left out Ocean's Batman since it's less notable than it's follow-up Head over Heels. I'm also a little unsure now about Starquake which has some very simple arcade adventure elements but is more of a platform/maze game. -- Zagrebo 12:16, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I've found the referenced entry: Isometric adventure game. I think it should be merged with this one, since it's effectively just a sub-genre of arcade/action adventures. -- Zagrebo 12:21, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Tomb Raider[edit]

I think the Tomb Raider series (beginning 1996) should be included rather than the most reason TR game -- Zagrebo 10:35, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Tomb Raider does seem to be classed that way I don't see why it shouldn't go there. RBlowes 13:58, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


I have found two prominent articles based on the adventure genre and it's spawning of the action-adventure genre plus its difficulties to define and it's difficulties to categorise they can be found here: and here: I have found other discussions of the topic however they come straight off archived message boards which, I don't think would we can cite as a referal, I'm not even sure if the two links and referals I have put in are even good enough for this article but it's a start. RBlowes 13:58, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Metroidvanias or Castletroids[edit]

I think Metroidvania/Castletroid genre requires its own article. With more detailed explaination of the term, examples from Metroid and Castlevania, and other games which have been said to fit the genre, such as Chibi-robo. What oher games are there in the genre? Where did the term come from? etc. What do you think? -- 10:56, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't believe so; M/Cs are still action-adventure games, with the specific context that the world, while fully explorable in the end, usually has artificial constructs that can be cleared through power-ups and abilities gained in the game. That's the primary distinction of a M/C game. It can have its own subsection here, but its own page would be excessive. --Masem 13:53, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't Metroidvania redirect to the Castlevania series instead of here, since it's used to describe specific games in that series rather than the A/Av genre? - Koweja 20:55, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Metroidvania used to have its own page, and it was a pretty thorough one. I'm disappointed that it now points to this generic and less informative page. Keithustus (talk) 18:25, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Collaboration of the week[edit]

Just some general suggestions-

  • I believe most genre articles should follow the format used in 4X, our only FA genre article.
  • The main sections should be "Definition", "Gameplay", and "History", and information should be grouped in one of these three categories with subsections as necessary.
  • The definition should explain that it is a cross genre and briefly describe those two genres. This is already done in the lead, but needs to be further explained in the article. A "Difficulties in definition" may be a good subsection as the current section ("Definition and confusion") mainly focuses on that.
  • Subgenres should probably be covered in the definition as well.
  • The gameplay should of course encompass "Common features". Maybe parallel the previous definition section by explaining which elements belong to which genre.
  • A "History" section would be needed to give more details about the evolution of the genre.
  • Information on the demographics and reception would ideally need it's own section. But if the information is sparse, then it should probably be integrated into the "History" section. Depending on the demographic info, "Definition" may be a better section.

Hope it helps. (Guyinblack25 talk 15:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC))

Okay, reorganized. Gary King (talk) 16:28, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Some sources I found for the colaboration[edit]

  • [1]
      1. Page x (Forward) Claims "Adventure" for the Atari was the first action-adventure game and set basic standards for all such games to follow.
      2. Page xiii (Forward) describes the basics elements that were combined to create the genre
  • [2] - Pg 210 Claims that action-adventure games are prefered by males
  • [3] - Pg 26 - backs up the claim by the previous author
  • [4] - Trivial mention about the action-adventure genre being too large and an unweildy classification
  • [5] - Abstract mentions how the genre articulates player-game interaction
  • [6] - appears to be an anyalysis of action-adventure games
  • [7] - Pg3 again backs up the claim that males prefer action-adventure games.
  • [8] - another case study dealing with action adventure games
  • [9] - another case study

Overall, considering 3 independent scholarly reviews come to the conclusion that males prefer action-adventure games, I think that's important enough to mention.じんない 05:56, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

This point may be true, but I'd caution the sources. [2] says that males prefer action-adventure programming, not action-adventure games; As the article stands now, it specifies that they are not related. [3] says outright the males prefer action-adventure games (along with violent action games), but [7] only says that they generally like the genre more than females do. I'm not sure which point you want to make, but there is a distinction between the two. —Ost (talk) 21:02, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry to comment again on the sources because I appreciate that these links are mostly not blocked at my work like many video game sites. I just want to point out that caution should also be used with [8] and [9] as they used Final Fantasy IX as the game in the study. This game is more commonly classified as an RPG.—Ost (talk) 21:12, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
While it does use FF9, Wikipedia does not classify games. So unless we have a lot of sources claiming that it clearly cannot fit into action-adventure and rpg at the same time, the study is still valid, although we should probably use less direct sources than the case study themsevles as they could be seen as primary sources.
As for the preference, at the very least it 3 and 7 show the male preference over female preference of the sub-genre. How strongly we don't have to state, but not stating it when more than 1 study shows that and nothing contradicts it would clearly be biasing the article.じんない 21:29, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I get you're point. I wasn't thinking that since [3] says males prefer the the genre and females prefer other genres that it implies males like the genre more that females (as [7] says). However, I don't read Studies have found that males tend to prefer action-adventure games, among others. that way. To me, that statement sounds like it stating that males prefer the genre over other genres rather than stating that males prefer the genre more than females prefer the genre. Would you have objection to rephrasing the point in the article to explicitly show that it means male preference over female preference? —Ost (talk) 22:31, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
That sounds fine. If I find more sources we can come back to the exact wording.じんない 22:35, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I changed it and cited the other source. —Ost (talk) 14:40, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Expanding the History section[edit]

Okay, so I added some initial text to the History section. The reference I used, , has been brought up and accepted in several FACs before (1, 2, 3, 4). I only added information from the first paragraph of the reference, so if anyone wants to, feel free to add the rest of the reference. Gary King (talk) 18:35, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice if people could check in at this thread, to help establish whether Just Adventure is a reliable source. Randomran (talk) 18:53, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
JustAdventure was added to the list after finding numerous sources citing their site.じんない 04:18, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposal for deletion[edit]

Many sources on the list are invalid and pure POV, there is NO professional definition about the "genre", there is no definition at all

How come two subgenres of action-adventure link to the platform genre main page?[edit]

This just can't be true. If we think of genres as a taxonomy (and it seems pretty obvious we do) then the same genre can't be a subgenre of two main genres. In this case, Platform-adventure games and Isometric platform games are mentioned as subgenres of Action-adventure on this page but also as subgenres of platformers on that page. If platformers and action-adventures are on the same level of the taxonomy-tree this should not be possible. We have to decide what main genre they belong too. I'd say the "Isometric platform game" is actually two genres. "Isometric platformers" and "Isometric Action-Adventure". An example of the former would be "Whizz", an example of the latter "Head over Heels" or "Solstice".. One is a subgenre of platformers, one a subgenre of action-adventures. Platform-adventure games (aka Metroidvania/Castleroid) are difficult to nail down but I'd tend to put them into platformers. It's a similar case to the Puzzle Platformer. Like them platform-adventure games have the underlying structure of a platformers but with a slower pace, more exploration and usually a more substantial narrative. Actually, I think there might be a good argument to split this genre up to. To me Metroid is completely different to Prince of Persia. Maybe divide them into platform-adventure and "cinematic platformer". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Janbt (talkcontribs) 16:08, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

looking at the platform page again it does actually distinguish between cinematic platformers and platform-adventures --Janbt (talk) 16:11, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Zelda is a sandbox game?[edit]

Zelda is definately not a sandbox game. It does have linear gameplay. A story line is always linear. I hate seeing anything with a storyline defined as a non-linear game, especially if the storyline is not hidden in any way. --CrusaderDeleters 5:43 PM, 19 March 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't agree with your reasoning, many sandbox games still have storylines. However, most Zelda games are not sandbox games, and most aren't even particularly non-linear, so I agree, the "sandbox" term is very misleading. As for what they are, they are structured like RPG games... and a number of the entries are still defined by Nintendo as RPG games. I'm not wholly sure why they get lumped into the action-adventure category while games like Secret of Mana remain defined as RPGs, despite having very similar gameplay and structure. (talk) 01:42, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree, Zelda is in no way a sandbox game. It is, to some extent, an open-world game, but not sandbox. However, not all games with story lines are "completely" linear. Yes, at some point they begin and end, so there is always some sort of pre-defined flow of events. However, there are many games which have multiple endings, multiple choices, and multiple paths the player can take to reach various ends. I suppose it really depends on how narrow of a definition of "linear" and "non-linear" you use.

See my statements below for a full response to classification of games. Corey Edwards (talk) 05:11, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposal for rewrite vs. deletion[edit]

I propose this article be rewritten rather than being deleted. Many persons feel there is not enough information to support this article. However, I believe the article is critical for defining certain types of video games. Unfortunately, there is not always a clear cut decision when categorizing something into a genre. For instance, The Legend of Zelda is certainly not a sandbox game. It does contain adventure elements coupled some some action, and a few RPG elements. You can purchase items and "talk" to characters in different places. However, there is no level-up system, no gaining new moves (aside from power-ups), and no party concept. Metroid has adventure elements, action elements, and platform elements, but most people, in my experience, wouldn't classify it as a platformer, because that term is far too narrow to describe such a game.

I believe the article would be best served with a disclaimer stating that a definitive answer to what an action-adventure game is, is hard to come by. Therefore, the contents of the article are written with the belief that it is a "general consensus" of gamers and developers.

“Not everything in life is cut and dry. One must be soft and moldable so that one may move as life moves him.”

Corey Edwards (talk) 05:07, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Hopelessly Japan/USA centric[edit]

Arguably much of the innovation in this genre took place in Europe (specifically in the UK), from Jet Set Willy (1984) and Knight Lore (1984) and Fairlight (1985) to later games like Another World (1991). Indeed, if there's any one genre that we could claim was pioneered in Europe it would be action advenutres. Mikami, Kojima and Ueda have even said on the record that Another World was a major influence on their work. (talk) 16:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)