6 differences between action games and adventure games

It is often difficult to distinguish between action games and adventure games. Their main qualities are different but still mix well, which complicates things even more.

If you want to better understand the two genres, here’s a quick guide to what makes each work. This will help you categorize your titles more clearly and learn to explain for yourself how action games and adventure games are different.

What are action games?

Here’s how you can tell what an action game looks like what an action game looks like.

1. Action Games Challenge You Physically

As the name suggests, action games are more active. Your involvement in each story is dynamic, focusing particularly on combat, whether you use guns, swords, or tactics.

While you may encounter quieter puzzles and side quests from time to time, the ultimate goal of this genre is to challenge your hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and ability to overcome obstacles under pressure.

Related: What does grinding mean in video games?

2. Action Games Have More Moving Parts

God of War and Call of Duty are good examples of how exciting and complex action games can be. Compared to Adventure, a lot more detail goes into the graphics, gameplay, and controls.

Some developers try to make their plots equally solid, but seamless movement from level to level is the priority. Think MMOs and Battle Royales. If they weren’t action games, they wouldn’t be as fun for gamers as they were for designers.


3. Your character can die in action games

Playing action games is not just about completing quests and breaking time limits. You also help your character survive the whole ordeal. This added pressure is a key feature that sets action games apart from adventure games.

The challenge of staying alive also adds to the thrill. The difficulty of video games increases as you progress, and some titles require your full attention to overcome certain fights and enemies.

It puts your skills to the test and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you win. However, you may end up feeling drained, especially when playing something very challenging.

What are adventure games?

1. Adventure games challenge you mentally

There’s action in adventure games, but it’s not as immersive. This is because this genre focuses on interactive story, not combat.

So an adventure game will draw you in with its plot and only progress as you solve its challenges. These can be real puzzles or a combination of actions and items that you need to use to fix something and move on.

Related: The best escape games on Android and iPhone

2. Adventure games tell a better story

Adventure game developers want you to enjoy the world they’ve built, including its characters, narrative depth, and graphic design. Classic examples are the Myst and Syberia franchises.

Even if you don’t always see the protagonist, you become involved in his journey and his environment. With no combat and no constant threat of death, you just enjoy it all calmly and progress at your own pace.

3. Adventure game controls are easier

Blue backlit gaming keyboard

In action games, you’re typically pounding away at your keyboard or controller, struggling through each combat sequence. Since adventure games are all about stories, you rarely need more than a few buttons to move around, look around, and pick things up.

In fact, text adventure games to play on your browser are very popular. The beauty of the genre is that your brain and your imagination see more action than your fingers.

It’s a quiet but enjoyable experience that makes adventure games quite different from action games. On the other hand, no extra thrill can get boring. That’s why the two genres joined forces: to fill the gaps in gamer entertainment.

How are action and adventure combined in video games?

Once you understand the basic features of action games and adventure games, you can spot titles where they overlap. Action-adventure is the genre that brings together the best of both sides.

The result is a combination of immersive gameplay, combat, character development, storytelling, and puzzle solving. Some games add role-playing elements to offset the focus on a specific, predefined character.

The huge range of titles and combinations around blurs the lines, but there are still fan-favorite titles like Tomb Raider and Fable that represent well what the fusion of action and adventure video game design can produce. .

Related: Computer RPGs Vs Classic RPGs: What Does CRPG Mean?

Discover what makes good video games

Knowing the differences between action games and adventure games can make your life clearer, but they don’t tell you if a video game is good or not. It takes a lot more to fix this, from the gameplay to the difficulty system.

If the topic interests you as a gamer or developer, keep looking at the pros and cons of different game styles and features, or even entire titles.

a PS4 controller in purple and red light
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