In parts one and two I discussed how puzzle games and platformers are largely dead. I lied, they’ve just shuffled round into a different way of doing things.
Puzzle games are alive and well, they’ve simply moved from consoles to a different arena: tablets and Facebook games.
If anything puzzle games are now more popular than they have ever been. The list of variants of Bejeweled is simply enormous, Puzzle Bobble has been copied endlessly, most notably with the incredibly popular Bubble Witch Saga on Facebook.
Puzzle games have even moved away from the traditional match three format, into games like Flow Free and it’s many imitators. You could even argue that 4 Pics 1 Word is a puzzle game and if it isn’t, what would you call it?
And platformers? Well they’re being made by indie developers, keen to make their mark instead of by the major companies (except Nintendo of course)
Over the past few years we’ve had a large number of Triple A indie platformers: Braid, Super Meat Boy, Limbo, Fez, ‘Splosion Man…the list goes on.
What do these have in common? They all bring something special, fresh or innovative to the genre. Be it the hardcore difficulty of Super Meat Boy, the dark twisted visuals of Limbo or the time bending fun of Braid.
Old genres don’t die…they just get taken up by different people.
Fingers crossed that the new generation of consoles is a great place to be for indie developers. The gaming community needs their innovation if the industry isn’t to stagnate entirely, but that’s a discussion for another day.
So in conclusion, how does each new generation of consoles effect a genre? Well it can improve or impede a genre, but even if a certain type of genre is rejected at one point it will almost certainly find a way back. Just look at Telltale Games single handedly bringing back point-and-click games, and very successfully so.
So even if you favourite type of game gets overlooked in the next console generation, take heart, there will always be new games coming out in that genre somewhere. Perhaps you shouldn’t hold out for there being many new text adventures though, there are exceptions to every rule.