Action adventure

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The action adventure is a computer game genre that combines elements of Adventures with elements of action game combined, so requires both puzzle solving and skill.


In an action adventure game , the player usually controls a single character that has to complete certain tasks on a level-based basis or in a continuous game world . In addition to the skill-demanding game elements such as jumping (see Jump 'n' Run ) and fighting against various opponents, this also includes the puzzles characteristic of an adventure game. These can consist of finding certain objects, possibly combining them and then using them in the right places in order to overcome obstacles (e.g. locked doors) and advance in the storyline created by the game designer. Chris Crawford abstracts this principle and describes it as "Obstructionist Stories".

Game perspective

The first action adventures up to the early 1990s were mostly shown in top view (e.g. Atic Atac , The Game of Robot ) or in side view ( Underwurlde ). Later there was also the isometric perspective or, since the advent of 3D graphics, the first -person perspective and especially often the third-person perspective .

Well-known representatives

The first action adventure was 1979 Adventure for the Atari 2600 system. The most famous series of the genre can be considered Tomb Raider , which combines puzzle solving, fighting and jump-and-run interludes. The console series The Legend of Zelda , which also contains elements of role-playing games and whose classification between action-adventure and action-role-playing games is controversial, is even more successful in terms of the number of units sold .

Other games are in the category: Action-Adventure .

Related genres

Action adventures have created various mixed forms with other games, so that a clear distinction is often not possible. As already mentioned, combinations of action adventures and jump-and-run games are typical. The transition to the third-person shooter is also partly fluid.

There are parallels to the action role-playing games , which, like the action adventures, dismantle the story and puzzle elements of other role-playing games and shift the focus of the game to killing large enemy groups. The distinction is usually made here according to whether a role-playing game system is used.

Action adventures that combine 2D elements ( side scroller , jump 'n' run ) as well as a large world that gradually opens up in the course of the game through the use of acquired power-ups (such as the Shadow Complex ) are also called Called Metroidvania . The name is made up of Metroid and Castlevania , which are among the best-known representatives of this subgenre.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Chris Crawford: Flawed Methods for Interactive Storytelling at
  2. Shadow Complex Impressions: Metroidvania Made Unreal (English)