This is a page that catalogs various terminology associated with the Vectrex.
Game genre definitions
The term Action is often used to designate a genre defined by fast-paced gameplay with a focus on usually movement and combat. As a genre, it is a very broad term, and is generally used to define games that do not fit into more specific genres, such as a puzzle game, platformer, racing, FPSâ€™s (First Person Shooters), or RPGs (Role Playing Games). It is not uncommon to see elements from other types of games incorporated in action games; as a result of this, many use the term Action-Adventure to designate action games with an increased focus on exploration, collection, or character building, for instance. Many of the other main genres do incorporate a level of control that the action genre is noted for; while First Person Shooters are based around moving and shooting, they are classified as they are due to the unique perspective of the game. Similarly, platformers tend to be action games with a heavy focus on jumping puzzles.
Adventure games tell the story of its character or characters on a literal adventure. An adventure game is usually plot-driven, in the sense that the most distinguishing aspect of an adventure game is that, perhaps outside of mini-games, the entire game follows a single uniform theme and has few or no screen/perspective changes (unlike, most apparently, RPGs). This serves to focus the player on the singular task of his or her adventure.
Beat 'em up
Beat 'em ups are games where the player usually walks along a stage or in an environment fighting bad guys. Usually, it will take several hits before the enemies are beaten and disappear. It is typically considered a sub-genre of action games.
Usually the games are 2D side-scrollers. They usually require a player to beat the enemies onscreen before being able to continue scrolling to the next one. Some of these games have platforming elements.
The contents of a card game involves one or more decks of cards. The number cards of two through 10 are usually worth their face value (i. e. the two card is worth two points, the three is three points, etc.), the Ace is usually worth one or 11 points, and the King, Queen, and Jack cards are usually worth 10 points each.
A compilation is a collection of several games and/or demos on a cartridge or ROM file.
Educational games are games that have been specifically designed to teach people about a certain subject, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand a historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play.
Educational video games are considered a type of serious game, as these games have a strong purpose other than pure entertainment. Some people call these types of games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment. An educational computer game can be defined as an electronic medium with all the characteristics of a gaming environment that have intended educational outcomes targeted at specific groups of learners.
Video games can aid the development of proficiency by allowing users to interact with objects and manipulate variables.
A maze game involves players having to navigate their way through one or more mazes during gameplay.
A Platfomer is a game genre wherein players control a character by jumping or otherwise operating on physical (virtual) platforms. Mario and his impressive jumping abilities are pretty much the defining trend of the genre. (Games of this sort for the Vectrex include Spike and Spike Hoppin'.) Gameplay tends to be simplistic, usually involving only one or two dynamics for using the character to solve puzzles or defeat enemies.
2D platformers, or two-dimensional platformers, are typically side-scrolling games (such as the Super Spike World demo on the Space Frenzy cartridge), either freeform or with a constantly moving screen to force player movement and simplify scripted events.
Puzzle games is a genre that mainly focuses on the thinking skills instead of quick reflexes of the player. Puzzles games are those where you need to solve a puzzle (e.g. a jigsaw); however, action puzzle games are also included, such as falling blocks that must be arranged into either lines or patterns, such as with the homebrew game of Vectris, which can be found on the All Good Things cartridge, as well as Colorclash.
Most puzzle games don't follow a story. They are often just graphics of blocks or icons or whatever the game uses. There are rarely any characters or bosses that you'd find in other games. A high score is often a goal.
It should be noted that several games include elements of puzzle games (even if they are not entirely a puzzle game per se), such as with Spike Hoppin'.
RPG is a genre of gaming that generally puts the player in direct control of a character, or party of characters, abilities, items, skills, and other attributes.
Rather than being an action or "twitch" game, many RPGs are turn-based (even when battles usually play a major part in the game), where gameplay will not resume until after a side has exhausted all actions (whether it be completing an attack during a melee, using an item or magic action against an enemy, fleeing, etc.). Exploration also usually plays a big part in RPGs (which RPGs can share many traits in common with the Adventure category as well), as "dungeon crawler"-type RPGs can have treasure and item caches as well as their share of enemies to do battle with to raise one or more players' experience, hit points, and other attributes.
A shmup, or shoot 'em up, is a genre of video games in which the player controls a lone character, whose objective is to destroy waves upon waves of enemies. Shmups are action games that characteristically feature either a top-down or horizontal view, sometimes with a continuously scrolling screen. Shmups are known for their fast-paced action, often having dizzying amounts of bullets and enemies on the screen. Shmups are generally considered to be one of the most difficult genres of video games.
In gaming, Simulation often refers to the genre of games (simulator games or simulators) that realistically recreates an experience (such as most flight simulators) or gives you an open-ended sandbox game environment that lets you interact with the simulation (such as Sim City).
A sport is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring strategy in which a winner can be defined by objective means. It is governed by a set of rules or customs. In sports, the key factors are the physical capabilities and skills of the competitor when determining the outcome (winning or losing). Activities such as card games and board games are classified as "mind sports" and some are recognized as Olympic sports, requiring primarily mental skills and mental physical involvement. Non-competitive activities, for example as jogging or playing catch are usually classified as forms of recreation.
Physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first often define the result of a sport. However, the degree of skill and performance in some sports such as diving, dressage and figure skating is judged according to well-defined criteria.
Strategy games are games that makes a person plan out a solution, rather than relying solely on "twitch" gaming. There are various types of strategy games/sub-genres, such as real-time strategy and turn-based strategy. Strategy is an element that can be found in many non-strategy games, referring to any time where it requires a player to think about a tactic. For example, an action game can have a specific strategy that makes attacking more efficient.
1-2 players alternating
Games that are for 1-2 players alternating can support solitary (one player) as well as competitive play, meaning one player can play at a time, although their turns will alternate, usually when a player loses a life, then the other player's turn will start.
1-2 players simultaneous
1-2 players simultaneous is a game mode where up to two players can play at the same time without having to wait their turn.
1-4 players simultaneous
1-4 players simultaneous is a game mode that can support up to four players at once.
2 players simultaneous
Games that offer a 2 players simultaneous mode can support two players onscreen at the same time.
Games that have a single player mode are for solitary play only.
Vectrex publishers include:
Freeware is a term that denotes a program that has been released without charge, usually in regards to a ROM file of a game that can be played on a Vectrex emulator.
Homebrew refers to a video game or program that is created on little to no budget and often by a single person or very small company. Often, "dead" consoles (i. e. ones that are no longer currently manufactured) have a large homebrew community. Handheld consoles are also very popular platforms for homebrewed applications.
The Vectrex has many homebrewed games and applications, such as 3D Lord of the Robots, Colorclash, Logo, Moon Lander, Gravitrex Plus, Vaboom!/Vectrace, and modern day Vectrex controllers and multicarts, among many others.
A homebrewer is an independent programmer that is not associated with a major publishing company, either creating games and/or hardware applications by themselves or with one or more homebrewers.
It is also a term used for an independent programmer that creates these applications for a dead game system, such as the Vectrex.
This article uses material from the 1-2 players alternating, 1-2 players simultaneous, 1-4 players, 2 players simultaneous, Action, Adventure, Beat 'em up, Card game, Compilation, Educational, Freeware, Hardware, Homebrew, Homebrewer, Maze, Platformer, Puzzle, RPG, Shooter, Simulation, Single player, Sports, and Strategy Vectrex wiki articles and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.