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 and TRON.

I generally find games to be inferior when they use a multi-genre model, although I admit that there have certainly been some good ones. I think it seems like most games of this sort don't put enough polish on each individual genre, and they result in several unfinished portions.

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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