Multi-genre video games

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Multi-genre video games, also referred to as cross-genre, are those video games which use multiple vastly-different play mechanics throughout the game. For example, in The Adventures of Bayou Billy, the game changes between a beat 'em up, a driving game, and a rail shooter as you progress through the stages. Multi-genre video games began pretty early in the history of video games with titles like Jungle Hunt, TRON

Definition

It's often difficult to decide which games should be considered "multi-genre" since most video games employ elements of various mechanics. Also, a lot of games have minigames or optional content which doesn't follow the mechanics of the primary game. I try to base the definition on what percentage of the game focuses on mechanics different than the primary. For example, the game Chrono Trigger has a racing minigame, but the amount of time playing it as a racing game is only a fraction of the time when you're playing it as an action RPG.

There is an additional concern for games built around the concept of minigames. A game which includes a dozen card games certainly uses a lot of minigames, however, they all function with very similar mechanics so I wouldn't consider it multi-genre. However, the minigames in Mario Party all feature different mechanics, so I would consider it multi-genre.

Also, there needs to be a distinction between multi-genre games and compilation games. The 7th Guest is a multi-genre game because all the different puzzles work as part of an overall theme, but Videocart-1 for the Channel F is not because nothing ties the three games together.

Examples

These are multi-genre video games which are important to me, for a complete list, see the category.

Title Released Developer Notes
The 7th Guest 1993-04-01 Trilobyte Includes a bunch of puzzle games, many with very different themes.
Actraiser 1990-12-16 Quintet Alternates between a beat 'em up and real-time strategy.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy 1988-08-12 Konami Changes between a beat 'em up, driving game, and first person shooter.
Glittermitten Grove 2016-12-26 Twinbeard Two primary mechanics include a real-time strategy and action-adventure, but has a lot of minigames too.
Pony Island 2016-01-04 Daniel Mullins Games Two primary are runner and logic puzzle, but has a couple other minigames.

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