Genres and Age Ratings
There are a broad range of genres of games available, some more suitable than others for certain age groups.
We’ll try our best to explain some of the options below:
Action / Shooter
One of the most popular genres are Action Games, typically either First or Third Person shooters, popular franchises include the likes of Battlefield, Call of Duty and Counter Strike.
Usually rated for either Age 16 or 18, they are typically violent, and feature strong language. The most popular aspect of these games is playing online against other people in competitive matches.
Adventure Video Games allow the player to assume the role of a protagonist and experience the story from their perspective. It usually involves puzzle-solving, the collection and use of items, and conversing with “NPCs” (Non-Playable Characters) in order to progress through the storyline.
This genre has a range of games, suitable for all ages. Lately Telltale Game’s “The Walking Dead” series has really revived the genre, although this particular series based on the TV Show and Comics utilises the same levels of violence and strong language.
One of the more classic game genres, driving and racing games have always proved popular with all age groups. With the advanced graphics available too, racing games today are more realistic than ever. From real-life race tracks, to photo-realistic cockpit views. A variety of games are available, from simple arcade racers to full-on driving simulators.
Massive Multiplayer Online (MMOs)
MMOs, or Massive Multiplayer Online games, are vast multiplayer games with 100s or 1000s of players all online playing together. These games can either be competitively against each other, or working towards to a common goal.
Some notable games in this genre include World of Warcraft, League of Legends and DOTA2. It should be noted that some of these games, such as World of Warcraft have a monthly subscription price, as well as an initial purchase price.
Given the nature of the games, these are much more suited to older teenagers and young adults.
Role Playing Games (RPGs)
Role Playing Games are similar to Adventure games, in that you can take over the role of a character or characters, and progress through the game. Typically this involves combat scenarios, and usually involves hand-to-hand combat, as well as guns.
Quite often games in the RPG category are filled with content, taking many hours to fully complete, with lots of optional content alongside the main story line.
Recently one of the most popular games in this genre has been The Witcher III, and other examples from previous years have been the Bethseda games, such as Skyrim, or Fallout: New Vegas.
Typically more basic games than other genres, platformers usually involve side-scrolling, and traversing through static levels, using jumping techniques to navigate throughout the game and avoid enemies.
While not as popular as today, platformers used to be the most popular genre, with the likes of Mario and Zelda being at the forefront of the genre. In more recent times, the genre has seen a resurgence through Indie Developers, making small budget games for PC and Mobile devices.
From Tetris to MineSweeper, Puzzle games usually follow a simple method, presenting the player with a puzzle of some description and the tools with which to solve said puzzles.
In recent times games such as Portal 2 have revolutionised the Puzzle Genre, offering a complex and satisfying puzzle solving experience, suitable for all ages.
The Sandbox genre allows users to do pretty much anything they wish to do, an open-ended game, where players can make or do anything they can think of within the confines of the game.
From completely flexible options, such as Minecraft, where players can build entire worlds, to the likes of the Grand Theft Auto, where players have a vast world to explore, as well as the main storyline to follow.
The creative aspect of these games is ideal for children, allowing them to build anything they can imagine.
Certainly more of a niche in Video Games, are simulation games. Most famous of all simulators is arguably the Flight Simulator franchise, however in recent years there have been many other simulation games.
From Farming to Trucking, Construction to even a Goat simulator, this odd niche of games can often appeal to those who may not otherwise be “typical gamers”.
Sport has long been a staple of the Video Game world, from Football to Golf, Table Tennis to Hockey, most sports have a form of video game available for them.
Obviously suitable for all ages, Sports games appeal to everyone, especially those with a keen interest in a particular sport.
One of the more popular PC Genres, Strategy games allow players to either directly or indirectly control the game, whether it be turn-based, or real-time. Popular franchises in this genre include the Civilisation Series, Total War, Settlers, Sim City, Europa Universalis and many more besides.
Players are often able to shape and drive the game in a direction of their choosing, with little to no limitations in what they can do within the limits of the game.
There are options available for all ages, from building Theme Parks to conquering the world, whichever appeals most.
A popular genre that’s appeared quite recently are Survival style games. Made popular by the likes of Rust and DayZ.
These games place the player in a (typically online) world, with no items, and an imminent threat, from either opposing players or NPCs (Non-Player Characters), and the game is to simply survive, either by finding shelter, supplies or weapons.