Useful abbreviation coined by the mag Micro Adventurer
(RIP) for the long-winded term 'arcade adventure' (see
below). Not to be confused with the animal or software
house of same name.
In its strictest sense this refers to a game in which
you control the action by entering simple typed commands
on the keyboard instead of having direct movement control
over a character as in a typical 'arcade' game. For
example, if you were trying to escape from a dungeon,
you might try typing commands such as 'Search dungeon'
or 'Kick door' or (possibly) 'Look through keyhole'.
If the computer understands the command it will either
carry it out and tell you the result, or inform you
if the action is impossible. A typical adventure would
involve exploring various locations in search of objects
to help you on your quest. The main challenge of these
games is working out how exactly to use the objects.
See also TEXT-ONLY ADVENTURE, GRAPHICS ADVENTURE, and
The most common type of computer game in which you have
direct movement control over a character. The term is
also sometimes used in a narrower sense to refer only
to games which started life in the amusement arcades.
The movement of a character to indicate different actions
such as walking, running, leaping, etc. Animation which
is detailed, smooth and realistic (and humourous) can
add enormously to the graphical impact of a game.
Basically an arcade game (no typed commands), but one
which is based around the adventure themes of exploration,
object manipulation and problem solving. A typical 'aardvark'
will show on screen only a small part of the total playing
area at any one time, and to solve it a player may well
have to map out the various locations. Examples of such
games are Quo Vadis (strong on exploration) and
Pyjamarama (strong on object manipulation and
Another term for jerky scrolling. (See SCROLLING)
Stands for Completely Vile Game. (Used only in extreme
Describes multi-screen games where the picture jumps
to a new location as the character reaches the edge
of the screen. Contrast with SCROLLING.
An adventure game in which the various locations are
illustrated on screen (as well as described).
Short for high resolution. Describes graphics which
are finely detailed.
Another term for 'arcade adventure'.
Short for low resolution. Describes graphics which are
'blocky' and lack detail.
A game where the enemies move in regular patterns, and
where the skill lies in understanding the patterns and
timing your moves accordingly. Many PLATFORM games are
also pattern games.
An unfortunate feature of certain pattern games where
the patterns never alter and the player has to move
through exactly the same route every time he plays.
Also known as PS.
A type of game started by Miner 2049'er where
much of the action involves leaping around a series
Games are often described as having a certain number
of screens. This only makes precise sense in flick-screen
games where there are distinct screen pictures, locations
or layouts. In games where the picture scrolls the 'number
of screens' normally refers to the size of the overall
A very common game feature where the screen picture
moves to show a new part of the playing area. It's as
if the player is looking at the view through a moving
camera lens. In most games which feature scrolling,
the picture moves in order to keep the character you
control in the centre of the screen. Scrolling can occur
in more than one direction and may be smooth and jerky.
A Zzap-coined term to replace the long-winded 'shoot-em-up'.
Any game involving stacks of blasting and zapping.
A program which tries to copy as realistically as possible
an activity such as a sport or flying an aircraft.
A term used for certain games which are neither arcade
nor adventure. Typically they will put the player in
a decision-making position, such as commanding a merchant
ship or running a company. On the basis of information
supplied by the computer he will make a series of choices
in an attempt to achieve some goal. Football Manager,
speaking of goals, is an example of a popular strategy
game. War games are also a type of strategy game.
An adventure in which the various locations are described
in words only. The advantage of this is that the memory
space which would otherwise be taken up by graphics
can be used on extra locations or added subtleties.
To thrash someone at a computer game. As in: 'Penn tanked
Rignall at Dropzone.'
To turn in an utterly useless performance on the joystick.
'The ed wimped out again.'