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Info on game genres

Here is an explanation of the game genres that are used to categorise audio games in the database:

  • Action games= Games who's main focus is fast paced sequences often requiring extensive hand/ear coordination such as climbing through a jungle, shooting monsters with guns or infiltrating an enemy base avoiding traps. Though such games may also involve large amounts of exploration, a detailed story or a scoring system, the main focus is getting through the game using quick fire reflexes, lightning fast reactions, and often a pretty good aim with various weapons.
  • Adult games XXX= games, which feature specifically an explicitly sexual, R rated adult theme, and are therefore not recommended to under aged gamers or those easily offended.
  • Adventure games= games who's major focus is exploration, investigation and detailed story. Such games often involve ongoing plot, a great deal of ambience, and maybe some item or management skills as well, such as buying correct items, or conserving ammo for weapons. Such games might also contain action sequences, but often these will require something other than basic "shoot it before it shoot's you" type responses, like finding appropriate weapons, or alternative methods to defeat your enemies, possibly not confronting them at all! Indeed, some adventure games may be entirely free of combat and rely exclusively upon your wits to complete your quest.
  • Arcade Games= Games modelled after Coin operated arcade machines, ---- particularly of the 80's. Such games, though often possessing a background story and ambience, are basically focused in wracking up as high a score as possible, whether this be shooting the maximum number of robots, collecting most coins, or hitting most buttons in time in a quick action sequence. Such games will not generally have a specific ending, but will simply continue until the player runs out of lives. Arcade games also often feature hidden bonuses for high scores, or different difficulty modes for extra challenge, and also frequently allow players to upload their scores to the internet or Ios game center scoreboards for massive online competition.
  • Audio adventures= A special subset of Adventure games which have become very common recently. Similar to Interactive fiction (see below), these are games that present an interactive narrative story, and who's chief challenge is giving the player puzzles to progress through that story involving manipulation of objects or selecting the right way to talk to characters. Where however Interactive fiction games (also called Text adventures), have the player type sentences such as "Open box with key" the Audio Adventure (like it's Graphic adventure name sake), has the player choose objects from her/his inventory or immediate surroundings and construct commands by choosing what actions to perform on them, for example a player might choose the screw driver, the action "use" and the object lock to try and pick a door lock, or select a conversational response from a menu. Just as Graphic adventures obviously had graphics rather than text, Audio adventures also obviously involve a full sound experience similar to an interactive audio drama complete with ambience and voice acting.

  • Card games=Any sort of game which could be played with a standard, or slightly modified pack of playing cards. This category may include such diverse games as solo spacial puzzles like Patience/solitaire, complex strategical games against computer or online human opponents such as poker or cribbage, or purely chance based, fun games like Crazy eights. What they have in common however, is that they could all easily be played without the use of a computer given a pack of cards, an opponent or two, and possibly some money to bet with.
  • Educational games= games which are primarily intended to make learning something a more pleasant experience. These could include numbers games, spelling games, keyboard learning exercises or quiz games to test vocabulary when learning a language. For obvious reasons, such games are often intended for children.
  • First person adventure = Games similar to Fps (see below), which play from a first person perspective with your character able to turn a complete 360 degree circle to face in game objects and which feature a rich 3d sound experience, with the sounds altering around you as you change position. Where as the First person shooter however is focused on, well shooting other players or enemies, in a first person adventure game the emphasis is on exploration and interaction with the game's story, atmosphere and environment. Indeed, in many first person adventure games a player may have no weapon at all and need to practice careful movement and avoidance of enemies as they progress through the story.
  • Fps = games in the first person shooter category, a very popular type of game in the mainstream that now has several accessible versions. This represents the world around you in full 3d sound, so that when you turn to a given direction, the soundscape will change around you as you move. The games are played with full 360 degree movement, meaning that you can completely turn in a circle to align yourself with objects, and that enemies can sneak up from behind you.
    Though some other types of games may have a similar perspective, the first person shooter is also distinguished by it's many guns and weapons, and the need to align yourself with targets and aim correctly, thus the focus is very much on quick action and precise shooting. Though some games are offline and involve traversing dangerous environments or fighting monsters, the most popular and well known type of first person shooter is the online variety, in which you, and many other players are dropped off on a large map with your guns, and will either fight it out collectively against the monster hoards or even take pot shots at each other in the well known death matches.
  • Gamebooks=games, usually entirely text, which involve the player making choices (by turning to different sections of text), as to what happens in the story. For example, you might be asked at the end of a section of text "to fight the ogre turn to section 49, or to run away in terror turn to section 72." Originally these were presented as printed books where the player actually turned pages, but with the advent of computers, more complex (and accessible) ways of presenting these sorts of games are now possible, such as using linked web pages on a website or buttons within a program. Classically gamebooks used dice and stats for combat situations or other challenges, similarly to a roleplaying game, (which are often these days also handled by the website or underlying program), but this is not a hard and fast rule. Also, though many gamebooks are (like the print originals), set in a fantasy world, many other genres now exist as well, from scifi, to horror, historical and even mystery.
  • Incremental games=Single player, usually browser based Games with a strategic bent who's focus is on the increasing of resources over time, usually by repeatedly clicking a button. These resources are used to purchase upgrades which increase the amount of resources per click, or automate production of resources in order to buy further upgrades and so on. Note that while in the traditional economic or management strategy players might need to take many actions and balance carefully over time, in incremental games the number of possible player actions is limited (often to a single click), meaning that progression is fairly easy, if time consuming, making these games surprisingly addictive..
  • Interactive fiction games= a style of games also known as text adventures, dating back over 40 years. Like gamebooks these games tell an interactive story in the second person, for example "you walk into a room and see a wooden table and a box", ----" but instead of being directly presented with action choices for the character, the player must type in what her/his character does in sometimes truncated sentence form, ---- for example " get radio" or "unlock box with key." This allows the player a huge amount of freedom to decide how the story progresses and what their character does. Interactive fiction games are generally much more heavily focused on exploration, understanding an unfolding story and sequence of events, and especially testing the player's ingenuity with various puzzles rather than turn based combat or character statistics. Though a very few games include small amounts of graphics or sound effects, the vast majority of interactive fiction titles are purely text, and with literally thousands of games available in as many genres as there are types of fiction books, this is one of the most wide ranging types of accessible games.
  • Interactive fiction interpreters=the programs required to play said interactive fiction games. Like music files, interactive fiction games come in different file formats depending upon what if programming language they've been written in, and different interpreter programs are required to play them. Opening the game with the correct program is usually as simple as opening a file in any standard application. Also note that though some interactive fiction games get their own special pages in the database for various reasons (such as being commercial or being stand alone programs and not requiring an interpreter at all), the vast majority, ---- thousands in all, are freely available on the internet at the interactive fiction archive, so links to lists of Interactive fiction games in the various playable formats for each interpreter are provided on each interpreter's index page.
  • Japanese games=Games produced by Japanese developers. These have often complex and unique mechanics being built with tools not available to developers elsewhere in the world. Most are detailed turn based or action roleplaying games. Though completely accessible in terms of audio, the games are however still in the original Japanese language and thus require some complex steps in order to translate and play in English, hence why they have their own distinct category. A link to a comprehensive guide on the various peaces of software required to play the games and how to install and use them is provided on each game's individual page.
  • Mmorpgs= massively multiplayer role playing games. these are games, played through a web browser or a custom program which focus on controlling a character in an online world populated by other players. Games may feature statistical representations of your character's abilities, turn based combat as in a role playing game, and might even have extensive single player activities, however they are distinct by their online status and ability to interact with other players, whether cooperatively to overcome in game challenges, socially through chatting and trading, or through pvp, player versus player combat. Settings may vary from traditional dungeons and dragons style fantasy, futuristic space battles, controlling pet monsters or even doing crimes in a modern urban jungle, however it is the online status and ability to interact with other players that makes such games distinct. Of course the amount of single player content a game has, the complexity of the world and use of rpg like mechanics, and the seriousness of player interaction may vary from game to game, however when playing a mmorpg, note that interacting with others is always part of the game.
  • Muds=Multiplayer text based games played through the internet, superficially similar to interactive fiction but very different in feel. Muds present the player with textual descriptions in the second person, and use similar input commands to interactive fiction games, however muds are played online and in real time. For instance, where as in an interactive fiction or text rpg if a monster attacks you it won't act until it's turn, in a mud the monster will attack at a constant rate whether you give commands or not. This means often commands need to be heavily abbreviated or written quickly, especially in muds that emphasize combat. Similarly to mmorpgs, muds also feature extensive player interaction, which can range from role playing your character like a real person, to fighting other players, trading with them, or cooperating with them to perform certain tasks. Muds also come in a huge variety of genres and styles, from highly evolved rpg like games with many complex systems of mechanics,to games which focus purely on social interaction and roleplay within the games world. Muds also range across many settings and genres from traditional fantasy kingdoms, to space based empires, to modern day or surreal cyberpunk.
    Though hundreds of muds are available, (see the mud connector site for a full list), those included in the db are those who offer some special customisations or features to make life easier for blind players. Low spam modes to reduce the amount of text sent by the mud, alternatives to ascii maps or in game use of coloured text, directional aides for traversing complex areas, or customizations for the mud's interface. All can be extremely helpful in making experiences of vi players easier. It is also worth noting that though muds themselves involve text, some also offer soundpacks that can have sounds happen when events occur, and in some cases these soundpacks can be very extensive indeed.

  • Mud clients=screen reader accessible programs required to play muds. Clients also sometimes offer helpful features such as creating aliases for entering multiple commands, quick connection options or direct output to screen readers without need to physically read the screen (which can be time consuming in a real time game). It is also through the mud client that the mud will play sounds if available.
  • puzzle games=Games which challenge the players logic and problem solving skills with an abstract, spacial, or numerical puzzle. These could include correctly arranging numbered tiles in a sequence, correctly identifying specific hidden spaces in a mine sweeper game, or having a memory challenge to remember a set of objects or a maximum number of tones simon style. Such games are inevitably single player, for multiplayer puzzle style games against either the computer or another human player, please see strategy.
  • Racing games=Games in which you operate some kind of vehicle attempting to get the fastest time possible as you race around a track. Such games obviously require a good set of reflexes, a great deal of hand ear coordination and knowledge of the course, but also may require managerial skills as you buy upgrades for your racer, or put up fees to compete in tournaments. Racing games may feature competitive, real time races against computer controlled opponents, or even other human players as well, several also allow players the chance to design their own tracks to race on, thus making for a highly variable set of challenges.
  • Rhythm action games= games whose main focus is pushing buttons or performing actions quickly to the game's beat. Usually, in a rhythm action game, a player will need to not just push keys or perform actions as fast as possible, but can maximise their score by remaining in rhythm with the game's background. Though the idea seems simple, these games can be quite tough, especially when they vary rhythm and instructions they require the player to follow, plus, though many have a rack up score mechanic as in arcade games, many also include achievements, challenges or other objectives for a player too.
  • Rpg=Role playing games. These are games in which the player must take on the part of a character in an epic story, and guide that character to victory through exploring the world, battling enemies and completing quests, as the character develops by gaining experience or other statistics. Such games feature large amounts of exploration, an ongoing story, and statistical, often turn based combat in which the player gains experience, items or equipment. Though a fantasy setting (often exploring a monster wridden dungeon), is usual for rpgs, it is not manditory. Some rpgs may be text based, while some are pure audiogames, though it is their emphasis on tactical combat (often turn based), story, exploration and detailed mechanics, that distinguishes such games as rpgs. Note that this category counts only single player rpgs. Online multiplayer games with rpg mechanics may count as mmorpgs or muds, even though many do feature extensive single player content.
  • Side scrollers= a form of action game now becoming increasingly popular in audio. In these games your character is represented as being at the center of the sterrio field, and objects such as enemies or pits to jump appear as you move (usually to the right). Though such games often have an action, and in some ways arcade style bent, note that they may also have more complex mechanics such as the ability to raise character stats or equip different weapons. Some side scrollers may also include elements of vertical movement, jumping across pits or climbing up or down ladders, though if a game is categorized as a side scroller you can be certain that moving from left to right in two dimensional sterrio will be a major part of the game.
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  • Social game hub: Collections of games (often card, word or puzzle games), built around a centralised community and intended to not just give players the opportunity to compete against each other in a variety of games, but also chat and socialize in a community setting if they wish. Such programs, as well as containing collections of games have several social media like functions such as chat systems, ability to make favourite contacts or create game rooms specific to one group of dedicated players, as well as tournaments, score boards and other gaming related happenings.
  • Space invaders games= A specific set of arcade action games, incredibly common in audio. these games are based upon the classic 1980s space invaders arcade game, in which the player controls a gun at the bottom of the playing area and must move left or right along the ground to shoot down the descending spaceships before they land. As this style of game has recieved a fair number of audio remakes, various additions have been made to the initial concept, such as variable sorts of weaponry, a large variety of enemy ships with different movement or attack styles, missions, different bonuses or objectives and even bosses. For the full features of any given space invaders game, please check it's description.
  • Simulation games= Games that are intended to simulate the driving of a vehicle in a detailed and complex way. In some ways this makes them similar to racing games, however in simulation games the vehicle involved and the activities simulated will not be a racing car, making what you do in the games very different. For example, a game that simulates driving a tank will involve extensive combat against the enemy, while games that simulate driving a truck will involve battling exhaustion and trying to earn a prophit. Though most of these may be audio and involve action sequences, as with racing games, some strategical management skills may also be needed.
  • sports games=games which simulate the playing of a number of sports, aside from motor racing. What is actually done in the game, management of a sports team, quick sterrio targeting of a tenis ball or needing precise reflexes to hit a baseball correctly depends entirely upon the medium of the game (sound or text), and how it has been designed. Sport being a fairly competitive activity, such games will always of course feature opponents, very often online opponents across the internet. However diverse the sports or styles of games seem, The one thing such games will all have in common is that they'll appeal to sports fans.
  • Strategy games= Games which usually play at a slower pace, requiring a complex amount of thought and careful analysiss. Mmost will not include quick action sequences, but will focus upon the ability of the player to grasp and manage a number of factors efficiently, this could involve numerical cost/bennifit analysis as in economic or resource management style games, correct spacial logic and structural, positional thinking as in building style games, the correct placement and deployment of games elements or peaces to out do an opponent as in military style strategy games, or a combination of all three. Some strategy games might also feature many factors associated with Rpg's, such as levelling, collecting statistics or even fighting enemies, however it is the emphasis on a broader, strategical approach rather than participation in a story which distinguishes strategy games, for an example where an Rpg might let you fight monsters for loot and trade in your old weapons for money, a strategy game might feature a full economic and trading system letting you earn more money by buying and selling goods without engaging in one battle.
    While the offline versions of these games will usually involve play against a computer opponent, many online strategy games will involve world wide competition against a huge number of other human players similarly to a mmorpg. Of course, some strategy games, (especially those of the building or civilization type), may not involve computer opponents at all, but simply challenge the player's ability to create from the ground up.
  • Top-down shooters= Games whose objective, similarly to an FPS is to kill everything that moves with a large variety of weapons. While an FPS allows a player to aim and move freely in 360 degrees, top-down games restrict movement and aim to a grid and the basic 4, sometimes 8, cardinal directions. Games in this category often also have additional objectives and a story for the player to follow, but the main thing you'll be doing is shooting large numbers of enemies.
  • Trivia games=games that test the player's general knolidge on a wide variety of subjects in the manner of a tv quiz show. These involve answering questions on a range of topics, sometimes with a limited time element. Games specifically concerned with a wide understanding of the deffinition and meaning of words such as crossword or psudonim puzzles also fall into this category.
  • Traditional games= Games other than card or word games, which have a well known offline version and rules (often with a board and pieces), such as chess or monopoly, or a custom pack of playing cards like Uno or Concentration. Like Card games, all of these games could also be appropriately played off the computer with the correct equipment and an opponent or two.
  • Word games=Games entirely concerned with letters and the player's ability to formulate and understand words, often under strained conditions such as a short time limit. Such games may work on a principle similar to scrabble, involving a grid of letters from which players must form words according to a number of rules, others may be concerned with guessing words from a small number of letters in the hangman style or solving anagrams. Games concerned purely with the deffinition and meaning, rather than with the spelling and formulation of words are counted as Trivia games for the purpose of this site.
  • Compilations=Sets of other games which inseparably come together bundled in a single pack, all in the same download or program or run from the same Cd, so cannot be separated out enough to give a full genre classification. On some occasions individual game pages and genre descriptions have been provided for games in a compilation package where it seemed appropriate, and in these cases links to the other game pages can be found in the descriptions of each page in the full pack. On other occasions however, it's been judged more appropriate to give the compilation a single page all to it's self, ---- which is what this classification is for.
  • Misc=Anything which didn't fit into the above categories, but which we felt needed an entry page on the site anyway. Examples could include games which fall outside the limits of the above deffinitions, or programs which while not games in themselves, could be used to play games, such as dice programs, or overall environments in which other game programs run. Also in this category are a couple of tools that can be used to create accessible games.

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