Action-adventure game  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Electronic Arts does Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia, so much for cultural pessimists.--Sholem Stein

An action-adventure game is a video game that combines elements of the adventure game genre with various action game elements. It is perhaps the broadest and most diverse genre in gaming, and can include many games which might better be categorized under narrow genres. The first known game in this genre is the Atari 2600 game Adventure (1979).

With the decline of the adventure game genre from mainstream popularity, the use of the term (and the hybrid term "action-adventure") has been more liberal. It is not uncommon for gamers to apply the term "adventure" or "action adventure" to describe the genre of fiction to which a game belongs, and not the gameplay itself, usually to the dismay of adventure game purists.

There is a distinction between thematic genres and gameplay genres, as in this case they have very different meanings and etymology. "Adventure" is a reference to the early computer game of the same name, and has no thematic or narrative meaning, nor any connection to adventure movies. Similarly, while action games usually do have violent themes similar to action movies, this is not a requirement.

Action-Adventure is a hybrid genre, and thus the definition is very inclusive, leading it to be perhaps the broadest genre of computer and video games.


  • Pure adventure games have situational problems for the player to solve, with very little or no action. If there is action, it is generally confined to isolated minigames.
  • Pure action games have gameplay based on real-time interactions that challenge the reflexes.
  • Action-adventure games engage both reflexes and problem-solving, in both violent and non-violent situations.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Action-adventure game" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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