What’s The Genre You Never Thought You’d Like?

I was certain I’d never have any time for roguelites. To clear up confusion about this most ambiguous of genres, by this I mean games that have permanent or mostly permanent death states, where losing means starting again from the beginning, with finite resources, and not necessarily any end goal. In fact, if you’d asked me a few years back, I’d have said this was the antithesis of why I play games.

I play games for the narrative. Well, that’s not true. It’s a big stinking lie. But it’s what I tend to say when asked, usually by people who don’t play games, what it is I get out of them. For me, the easiest answer, the most coherent and truthful I can find that encapsulates the pursuit as a whole, is for narrative experiences. To be a part of being told a story. It’s what half of games were when I first started playing them in the early 80s. (The other half being the arcade games that would probably be called “roguelites” if released today.) Text adventures, proto-RPGs, graphical adventures, RPGs, they were all about a beginning, middle and end. If you died, you reloaded. If you didn’t like the story you were being told, you played a different game.

The reason it’s a lie is because I play games to have fun. Whether that “fun” is being made sad or melancholy, or over-excited by tense action, or distracted by soothing clicking, it really comes down to fun. But if I gave that answer, WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK? “Narrative” sounds so much better, so much more likely to make them think, “Huh, maybe there’s more to these video-me-games than I’d realised,” as if I’m the ambassador to video games and need to care about what other people think of them. Still though, it remains a good deal true – being told a story is my favourite way to have fun with games. I just hadn’t realised that I could be told a story by a game that was hellbent on killing me, and making me start again over and over and over.

The first game to break past my NO THIS IS NOT FOR ME barrier was 2011’s Dungeons Of Dredmor. I ignored it for a very long time, put off by this ridiculous idea that I’d want to keep playing the same game from the start again and again. Pah. And then for some reason I tried it. And ho boy, I loved it. There was something compulsive about that desire to see if I could get a few floors deeper, use the smarts I’d gathered previously to outwit the game more, and get out of narrow squeaks with a better understanding of the available tools. And as I repeated and repeated the same few levels of the game, I realised I was being told a story here. Not a story in the right order, or one that had a middle or an end. But a story I was telling myself.

I realised I was completely defeated in any notion of an argument I may once have had when I found myself petitioning that Teleglitch should be in the top spot on our advent calendar in 2013. I am SO bad at Teleglitch. I haven’t even managed to get to the first level that acts as a restart point when you lose. I’ve just died and died in those first few areas so many times that it defies everything about why I loved playing video games for many years. And yet, wow, that game. That scratchy, cruel, frenetic madness, the minimalism combined with the difficulty, the exquisite movement, and the utter glee of pulling off a few good kills and finally – FINALLY – finding some more ammo.

I never thought I’d be this guy. This “one more go!” person. The sort of player who has spent oh-good-grief so many hours playing Pixel Dungeon on his phone. And I bet you have a similar tale.

Maybe it was point and click adventures. Maybe you’d always written them off as hateful fairytale rubbish, and then with the recent resurgence found yourself having a go and meekly realising you were having fun? Or perhaps it’s RTS – all that fiddling and worrying about ore and base building seemed like work, not play, and then somehow you were going to bed at 4am because of fighting off a huge army of, er, Space Ants? (I dunno – I’m still very much not converted here.) Pray, do tell.


  1. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    I know it’s totally unsexy and I’m honestly more than a little embarrassed to admit it but…


    The idea of a pointless game with no discernible end is anathema to the Monolith that is my gaming career. Yet somehow I have thousands of ‘heavenly chips’ in cookie clicker, the 3rd super-hero in clicker heroes, numbers so large in Venture whotsit I’m quite sure they’re now just making words up for them.

    & I can beat all of that. I have a level 84 toon in Godville (a ‘zero player game’, essentially an incremental that plays itself) and I’ve checked on her every. single. day.

    For 5 years


  2. Minglefingler says:

    Not so much a genre but I was very dismissive of Euro Truck Simulator 2 which is a game that I now love.

    • mgardner says:

      Immediately thought of this after reading the title. I dislike driving in real life, not sure why I enjoy it in ETS/ATS. Maybe it’s the power fantasy of getting stuck in traffic, performing a save/load cycle, and POOF I am all alone!

  3. lowprices says:

    Racing games. I’d tried with repeated instalments of Gran Turismo and never found the fun. It wasn’t until I fell in love with Burnout: Paradise that I started to enjoy them. I’ll never enjoy racing sims, but I’ve poured hours into Criterion’s NFS games, Grid 1 an the Dirt series.

    • dethtoll says:

      Racing games pretty much go right over my head. Unless they’re named Wipeout — then I can’t get enough. Someday I’ll get gold on that snowy map in the original… someday.

      • GWOP says:

        If you like Wipeout, might I suggest F-Zero GX, Jet Moto 2, XG3 and maybe keep an eye out for Formula Fusion?

    • davidelrizzo says:

      I mostly hate racing games but got Paradise City as part of a bundle. And my son who was 3 at the time loved cars so I played a bit and soon I was racing well into the night :}

    • Cronstintein says:

      Ahha, I have a similar experience. Never liked racing games but I really liked Burnout Paradise. But unfortunately that didn’t really carry forward after the series. I’ve tried Dirt several times and can’t get into it :(

  4. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    I’ve gone from thinking RPGs are boring grindfests with convoluted and obfuscated mechanics to thinking that some RPGs are good in spite of being boring grindfests with convoluted and obfuscated mechanics.

  5. Lakshmi says:

    Driving games. I have only ever enjoyed Carmageddon, but it was a damned fine driving game that I had a lot of fun with.

  6. liquidsoap89 says:

    Roguelites for me as well. I too play games “for their narrative” (despite the narrative typically being the worst part of many, MANY games), and never thought something like a roguelite could provide what I need. And then I played The Binding of Isaac…

    I’ve learned that the story you create for yourself is often times just as important as the story someone else is trying to create for you. Whether it’s some massive 60 hour saving-the-world-from-disaster RPG, or a short 3-4 hour point-and-click adventure, or a 15 minute run through a dungeon, all of it tells a story, and all of those stories can be equally valuable.

  7. amateurviking says:

    Actually, if I can turn the question upside down. It occurs to me that whilst I think I really like cRPGs*, often when confronted with the journeyman genre-pieces that an cRPG enthusiast should lap up like so much spilt milk, I tend to hate them.

    It’s the big ol third person open world icon ’em ups that I thought I despised but in fact will devour almost unthinkingly now.

    • teije says:

      I have a similar thing, where I see myself as primarily an old-school RPG fan. But if I actually look at what I’ve played the last few years, it’s mostly grand strategy stuff (Paradox) and open world Skyrim/Fallout types.

      I’ve been lying to myself apparently :)

    • dethtoll says:

      I’m very much the same way. A lot of the games that cRPG fans tend to like, I can’t stand (and depending on the game, I can’t stand its fans either.) But give me something like Mass Effect or New!Fallout and I can’t get enough. I’m actually in the process of setting up FO3 for another go, even.

  8. Vandelay says:

    MOBAs for me. Always thought it sounded tedious playing on the same map over and over again, with matches lasting an hour plus. How anyone could spend hundreds, let alone thousands, of hours playing an RTS in which you only played 1 unit just baffled me.

    My conversion begun with Awesomenauts, a game that didn’t particularly look like a MOBA, with its side on perspective and Saturday morning aesthetics, but still had the leveling and creeps pushing against towers. It was fun, in a TF2 kind of way. I would play it to while away sometime without taking it too seriously.

    At the same time, I also started to watch a few episodes of Totalbiscuit’s sporadic Single Draft Disaster series. Perhaps not the best example of high level Dota play, but it suddenly looked like something I could possibly enjoy. I gave it a crack played a few bot games and discovered I was actually really enjoying it. I some how managed to convince a couple of friends to give it a go too.

    About 4 years later and we are still regularly playing at least a couple of games a week (playing some tonight, in fact!) We still suck, but still having a blast with it.

    • TehK says:

      Ha! Same here. Also never thought I could get into MOBAs until Awesomenauts came out on PC. Brilliant little Game. Now I’ve sucked at Dota for about a thousand hours (and still do) and can’t wait for the next International…

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I was going to comment that I don’t have any genres I never thought I’d like since I’ll give any genre a try if the game is somehow appealing, but your mention of MOBAs (and particuarly Awesomenauts) got me thinking slightly differently: Primarily-multiplayer games like MOBAs, MMOs, and multiplayer FPSes are genres which are in principal Not My Thing, but some of my favorite games are in those genres. In the case of MOBAs, I’ve only tried Awesomenauts. Although I’ve not been playing it much lately, I still love it to bits. MMOs haven’t earned such lasting love from me *waves to Guild Wars and Ultima Online*, but Elder Scrolls Online is actually getting me to click the PvP and social buttons by choice and without meatspace friends by my side, which is very much Not My Thing. The “Multiplayer FPSes” category is basically just UT99 — another game I love for all the multiplayer memories, even though I haven’t played it online in ages.

    • mouton says:

      For me, it was Heroes of the Storm. I still think MOBAs are mostly libraries of arcane bullshit layered on toxic playerbases.

      But they can be interesting and enjoyable, especially when one plays the outliers of the genre, that try new things with the standard design and make it less of a chore to the less “hardcore” players who don’t want to spend their whole lives on it.

    • deadlybydsgn says:

      I’m about a year sober from Dota 2. I say that jokingly, but the game really took of my multiplayer gaming time a few years ago. It was frustrating to lose, but few games had even felt so good after a win. 2012-2015 was pretty much Dota 2 when it came to me playing anything with friends.

      In the end, though, I just don’t have the time to play them anymore. (1,100+ hours logged notwithstanding) I also don’t miss the stress the genre often creates.

    • Banyan says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how I became someone who spends most of their game time playing Dota 2. But once I had a sense of how the game works, a good game of Dota is like nothing I’ve ever experienced on a computer. Just absolute stomach-churning, screaming at the screen stuff until the game spits you out exhausted after 45 minutes .

    • fabronaut says:

      in a peculiar way, I feel as if I’ve been ruined for the MOBA genre by being introduced to it via Dota 2. I spend almost all of my available gaming time these days playing it, with the remaining bits going towards short form rogue-lite-ish games (Downwell and Spelunky, but mostly Downwell as of late)

      I was unlikely to play any MOBA games of my own accord, but an old friend sat me down and taught me how to play. I was utterly abysmal at the start, and nowadays I’m probably middling at best.

      I’ve toyed with the idea of trying out Heroes of the Storm, as it has been marketed and / or explained to me as “MOBA-ish, but in a quicker, less obtuse format,” but I think there’s a similar issue with someone trying to come up with “the next social network” — there’s so much traction with the existing userbase that it’s likely an awful idea to try to compete on the same merits.

      I have an absurdly large library of games on Steam now (as well as a handful of excellent console titles), and I suppose Dota fits my habits at present as well as providing a means of well… socializing by proxy. We live in different cities and have fairly different tastes in games, and I suspect it’s a matter of time and space as much as anything else.

      Not to mention that I bought that silly Winter Compendium, so I’ve been trying to complete those darn challenges, scratching that itch in my reptile brain marked “achievement unlocked” and so on… the fact that the bloody thing expires in a week and a half and I keep repeatedly losing matches where I would’ve got the bloody challenge is driving me mad! cursed feedback loop…

  9. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    Tower Defence games up until Toy Soldiers, which then had me playing quite a lot of them. It wasn’t dislike, I just never saw the appeal. It’s a pity that the original game hasn’t got windows release- the complete packs adds too much of the bombast (and bombards) from Cold War, which works the latter game but spoils some of the low key charms of the WW1 original IMHO.

  10. caff says:

    Playing football with cars. I remember looking at Rocket League in the top sellers chart with a confused shrug.

    Now approaching 400 hours and going strong.

    On the flipside there are genres I should love like strategy games/MOBAs that I should love because I’m really good with data and spreadsheets. But I just hate em.

  11. Haldurson says:

    I love roguelikes. I hate most adventure games (except for some RPGs, like the Elder Scrolls, and Fallout series). I like reading books, and I don’t have the patience for a story that is told while I figure stuff out or while I have to thread a needle or whatever it is. Just tell me the goddamned story already. But even then, those stories tend to be childish or clicheed or simply not worth the time it takes to tell them. I did like some of the early Infocom games, back when I had the patience to play them.

    If you want to tell me a story, give it to me in book form. The advantages of books are that 1) they have a fixed pace that will not be damaged by the fact that you can’t solve a puzzle or your eyesight sucks like mine does so you can’t find or click on the moving object. 2) Bad gameplay won’t ruin it if the story is good. 3) IF the story is bad, I won’t have wasted all that time with the gameplay just to figure that out. I could simply close the book and forget about it with much less time having been wasted.

    The advantage of Roguelikes, is that they don’t waste a lot of time trying to tell a story. Dredmor, for example, simply tells you ‘go kill Dredmor’. Why? It doesn’t really matter. Dying is fun, just go keep dying until you manage to make him die before you do. The end.

    Oh, and I’ve never been a fan of shooters. Even back when I played some of the mroe primitive ones, it was kinda like ‘oh wow, the 3-d is cool’. And 3 hours later, I’d either be pulling my hair out and quitting the game permanently. Or yawning, and quitting the game permanently. I think I did spend more than 3 hours playing the original Doom or Wolfenstein. But not by much.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      What do you think it is about the Elder Scrolls that you like? Some people complain about their main stories, but you can certainly take them at your own pace, and there are tons and tons of books and non-book side stories that many find intriguing. I personally like all of it, and I definitely go at my own pace, often ignoring the main quest for long intervals.

      • Imakandi says:

        I tend to find that the people that complain about the main quest in TES games are the same people that rush the main quest down.

  12. dethtoll says:

    Fighting games. Never understood the appeal, never had the friends to make them fun. Then I got Injustice.

    • ZippyLemon says:

      Oooooh yeah this one for me too. I was primarily a solo gamer my whole childhood, and then my girlfriend came into my life in uni, bringing with her a copy of Soul Calibur 5. That showed me how a raucous group can make a game truly great :)

  13. TΛPETRVE says:

    Football games, though I didn’t get so much into the genre per se as that I simply fell in love with Sensible Soccer. I still detest the sport, and I still don’t care for other football games (though I also enjoyed FIFA 98).

  14. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    None. Really, I cannot understand prejudices against a genre. It is fun what we are talking about.

    • Gomer_Pyle says:

      Same here. I am pretty open-minded when it comes to games, and although there are some genres I don’t enjoy as much, I don’t think there are any that I would say that I hate.

    • wicka says:

      This article is not about prejudices against genres. It is about genres that you never thought were fun and never thought you would like.

      • foxhandybread says:

        Isn’t that the definition of a prejudice?

        • Faxanadu says:


          If a guy stabs another guy in the face and you were next to that guy, it’s not prejudice to be a bit worried.

          If you play lots of poopy games from a certain genre it’s not prejudice to think that that genre is poopy. Then when a super duper good game comes out of that genre, it’s “the genre you never thought youd like”.

          So. Short answer. No, it’s not. Sheesh why people gotta drop the prejudice bomb anywhere they can….

          • Aldehyde says:

            The word prejudice isn’t a bomb, though. It just means to judge something based off of limited information. As in judging a game’s quality because of its genre.

          • Faxanadu says:

            The “bomb” comes from the inclination some people have to drop such an explosive word into every context they can, because of (in my opinion) the easy and hard to repel ‘moral high ground’ (horrible term for it, but conveys the meaning) they gain from it. I might be wrong, they might be sincere, but it’s the internet… Lots of pettiness around, myself not excluded…

          • April March says:

            The thing is, in this context, it’s pretty fair to judge something off of limited information. I’m not decided a human being is worse than garbage because of their skin colour, or because of something they posted on the Internet. I’m decided that a game in a genre I don’t like, with a theme that I don’t like, from a publisher whose previous work I don’t like, is a game I probably won’t like so I won’t even try it. I won’t be looking down at people who like it, I just won’t try it. Is it possible that I’ll be wrong, and a game which would be my favourite ever will pass me by because I’ve dismissed it? Yes, absolutely. But I cannot be expected to play absolutely every game that comes out on the off-chance that it’ll be the one I love the most. I scarcely have the time to play games that I was prejudiced to believe I’d love – and some of those I turned out to hate, or at least have a mighty unpleasant time with.

            Prejudice is a nasty world because it applies to people, but when you remember its root as “pre-judgement” it’s something that’s essential to live. Of course, with it should come the idea that you might be wrong about something you’ve pre-judged, and you should listen if enough people say you’re wrong. But there’s nothing wrong with starting with the belief you won’t like it.

            I’m, in fact, a bit surprised at the reaction that started this thread. Do you really get excited for any game that comes out? Do no announcements get you to think “well, clearly not for me” and move on? I am honestly asking here.

        • Premium User Badge

          particlese says:

          Yes and no… At face value, without familiarity with the word, one might define prejudice to be merely judgement of something before it is experienced, with or without a well reasoned approach and with or without malice and stuff. But in reality (Merriam-Webster’s, for example) it does carry a connotation of unfairness and lack of foreknowledge about something. One could argue that any foreknowledge is enough to make a reasonable judgement, but then it starts getting into Internet Fight territory.

          So, yes and no, but I’m inclined to agree with Faxanadu here since the word is easily associated with willful ignorance/wrongness and hatred these days.

          As an example of the loaded version of “prejudice” in the light-hearted context of gaming: I’ll admit to hating Gears of War probably unfairly because of its central gameplay conceit and (I assume) humorless hypermasculinity, based on Mass Effect 2 and UT3 respectively. But then I really enjoyed War for Cybertron which was probably similar in those respects. Robots in (not very good) disguises are so much cooler than gruff burly dudes, though, chainsaw guns or not!

  15. bfar says:

    I can’t stand roguelikes, so unfortunately I disagree with the author here.

    It’s like a rough throw back to the coin up era, where many very fine games were rendered virtually unplayable by the credits mechanic. One of the things that drew me to PC gaming was the progression from game design with ‘credits’ and ‘levels’ to more sophisticated content driven stuff. Maybe I’ve just played too many coin ups and I’m over it, but permanent death seems like a cheap cop out to me.

    As a parent of small children, it doesn’t really suit my habit either. As a gamer with limited time, I’ve got to feel like I’m progressing, or I feel like I’m wasting time.

    • Unclepauly says:

      But life is a roguelite…. BOOOM… that was your mind.

    • Replikant says:

      Funnily, for me it’s the exact opposite (also speaking as a parent).
      I also never like coin-operated machines, but simply because they are expensive.
      And I detest games which are based on “progress” in terms of numbers going up. A lot of MMORPGs and cRPGs seem to be entirely based around that combination of grinding and leveling. I fell for it, for a while, but ultimately found those to be an utterly shallow waste of time. Level-scaling tends to make even that kind of progress meaningless.
      I love Nethack and Slash’em on the other hand, exactly because of the sense of progress they offer. It’s a question of definition, I believe, because in (fair) roguelikes, the progress is not numbered primarily in the character stats (within a given run, it is, often), but in experience I, the player, gain.
      I learn to play more carefully, I start to use my inventory items to get me out of critical situations instead of just hoarding them. And I suddenly find that I can breeze through levels which I thought were unfairly hard. This is also the reason why I (mostly) love Dark Souls.

      In addition, most cRPGs will let you save n’ reload at will, destroying any sense of challenge. With permadeath decision start to matter again, resulting in a much more intense game. Therefore I started playing ironman games (prime examples XCOM and EU4) at some point and absolutely enjoyed it (EU4) or was really annoyed by stupid BS mechanics(XCOM).

  16. Sandepande says:

    RTS. I converted because of Easy difficulty and cheat codes.

  17. Frank says:

    Nice post.

    For me, it was RPGs. I remember thinking “Hey, if you just play it long enough — in the tens of hours — you get more powerful and progress. What’s the point of this grind? In strategy, every situation is what I make of it; and in adventure, every situation is a unique puzzle and progression of a narrative that someone at least tried to write well.” I guess Might and Magic 3-5 won me over, since I found that RPGs can be fun for the ability to explore a world. I’m still not crazy about the genre, but it can scratch that itch.

    Another would be online shooters. I thought it was a real low to spend time on those, like if I did then I’d be as serious a gamer/loser as any. I was won over by TF2, because it rocks, but still have a similar prejudice against MMOs.

  18. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Turn based strategy for me. Didn’t get on with RTSes and the thought of taking turns sounded so boring! But then played UFO/X-com on a whim and loved it despite how dated it was (this was only a few years ago). Then Xcom came along and that was it completely hooked. Along with the Xcoms I’d put frozen synapse and Invisible Inc up there in my favourite games of the last decade. My teenage FPS and PES addict would never believe it.

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  20. malkav11 says:

    There are a variety of genres that I never thought I would like and then found maybe one or two really exceptional entries that I could get on with. Sports games, and blitzball in FFX. Multiplayer shooters and (launch) TF2. MOBAs and Heroes of the Storm. Probably there are a few others.

    But I think probably the best example would be stealth games. I thought they were all about memorizing patrol routes and darting from shadow to shadow, a repetitive trial and error process prone to extreme frustration and plenty of downtime. And yeah, there are stealth games like that and I still cordially hate them. But then, I think because of my feelings around early PS2 GTAs, I tried Rockstar’s Manhunt. And it was a revelation. Not only did it let you pick off enemies one by one like some sort of walking avatar of death, but that was the actual GOAL of the stealth. The power fantasy of the stealthy murders combined with the extreme danger you were in if actually caught in the open was a heady mix indeed, and while the latter might have become obnoxious if it were a major failure condition, you were actually usually able to recover from being exposed with a little fancy footwork. The game kind of jumped the shark for me once they introduced levels where you had to do shitty cover shooting instead of stealth murder, but it opened my eyes to the possibilities of the genre and I have subsequently thoroughly enjoyed entries in the Thief series, Splinter Cell, Hitman and more.

    (Metal Gear Solid’s brand of stealth never worked for me until V, mind you.)

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I never thought I’d enjoy Thief, because I like games where you can choose to be stealthy or shoot them in the face/slash them up front. Why play a game where you’re only supposed to sneak around and steal stuff, where getting spotted is considered a failure and you suck at combat? Why limit yourself like that? Then I tried a demo of Thief 3: Deadly Shadows and it was great. The environments were great, I loved sneaking around plotting routes.

    • dethtoll says:

      If you liked MGS5 maybe work your way backwards in the series? MGS5 is just Peace Walker writ large, and MGS3 Subsistence should by that point be very easy to get into. By then you could probably more easily tackle the MGS1/2/4 trilogy.

      • malkav11 says:

        Well, technically I’ve only played Ground Zeroes to any meaningful degree so far, but I assume the same mechanics exist in expanded form in Phantom Pain. And I guarantee that I would not get into 3, 4, or any of the non-Ac!d PSP MGS games, because they only exist on console/handheld and have gamepad controls. Having full mouse and keyboard support is what made Ground Zeroes work for me. I HATE the gamepad controls, especially since those games care where you shoot enemies. I can’t speak to how the PC versions of MGS1 and 2 play (I think those are the two that got ported, no?) but since they’re not readily available it doesn’t really matter.

        It’s my impression that V is also significantly mechanically different from earlier titles in the series but without having versions with equivalent controls to compare, I can’t be sure. FWIW, I’ve enjoyed watching other people play them (4 aside), more for the ridiculous stories and crazy depth of simulation than for the moment to moment gameplay. I just don’t like playing them myself.

        PS: Metal Gear Ac!d 2 is still the best Metal Gear game full stop.

  21. Barberetti says:

    None. I still don’t like the genres that I don’t like.

    There are some that I enjoy that I’m completely rubbish at though, like RTS. I can just about managed to defeat a computer opponent on medium setting in Red Alert if the map is big enough, which gives me the time I need before the first wave hits.

    There’s just something fun about conducting a little top-down war.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      We are quite a few in that group.

      I was thinking that maybe “sports games” would fit what is said in this post, but I actually find them very fun. It’s just that I don’t play them. Same with online games.

  22. The Algerian says:

    There are genres I never liked, and there’s been a few exceptions, but I still don’t really like their respective genre:

    Fantasy MMORPG’s
    Exception(s): TERA

    Exception(s): “I have No mouth and I must scream”, “Primordia”

    Tower Defense:
    Exception(s): “Orcs must die”, “Orcs must die 2”

  23. Richard Parker says:

    MMORPGs, and even then I’m not sure if I’ve actually gotten into one – it depends on whether The Division counts as an MMORPG.

    It certainly has some of the mechanics (grinding, aspects of the combat, large semi-shared world), and yet it is not the same (other aspects of the combat, PVE is essentially solo or small co-op experience, very little actual role playing).

    So I don’t know. But I can’t put it down, even though it’s not that good… Which is basically how I’ve described the form of bondage that is MMORPG addiction.

  24. Det. Bullock says:

    Fighting games
    I was always a bit prejudiced, my only experiences were a pirated copy of Virtua Fighter 2 my PC-less cousin wanted to try at my home, the DOS version of Mortal Kombat and once playing Dragon Ball Z Budokai with my brother, and I wasn’t impressed, they appeared either shallow macho stuff (never really liked wrestling or sports in which people punch each other) and on the whole not very interesting or, in the case of Virtua Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat, kinda slow and stiff.
    I decided to try one seriously only when I decided on my “one of every genre” policy for collecting Mega Drive games, and after a bit of asking around and “ROM trials” I bought Super Street Fighter II and lo and behold! I greatly enjoyed it (perhaps having a manual where to look up moves and techniques helped) to the point I’m slowly trying to complete the arcade mode with all characters, I’m also thinking of buying Soul Calibur II for my Gamecube and get Street Fighter IV or V on the next Christmas Steam sale (not summer or autumn because of HOTAS expenses).

    It was a bit similar with strategy games and RPGs when I was younger but in that case it was more a mix “do I know enough english to play them?” and the clunky interfaces of DOS era RPGs (and some strategy games) rather than “I could never enjoy THAT!”

  25. Viral Frog says:

    John, I came to also comment how I never thought I would have liked the roguelike/likelike/lite/ultra semi-lite with no salt genre.

    “And as I repeated and repeated the same few levels of the game, I realised I was being told a story here. Not a story in the right order, or one that had a middle or an end. But a story I was telling myself.”

    This alone sums up exactly what got me hooked on the genre. I had initially tried NetHack (or something ASCII like that) and bounced off purely because the ASCII graphics were hard to follow. And I was like, 11, so patience wasn’t exactly my strongpoint. When I got older, I picked up Dungeons of Dredmor and it clicked.

    Whether there’s a bit of narrative included in the game or not, I always end up making my own adventures. I have my own stories to tell about games like Dungeons of Dredmor, Tales of Maj’Eyal, Dungeonmans and Nuclear Throne.

    The random aspects, such as world generation and item dispersion, help every run to feel unique. It helps them stay interesting for hours and hours longer than a linear, story focused game would.

    The permadeath makes it so that you have to really think about what you need to do to survive. If you make a hasty decision or don’t think hard enough about your next move, you’ll find yourself at the beginning again. And hopefully you’d learned a thing or two on your way there.

  26. santouryuu says:

    as someone who got into gaming relatively recently,and has started playing games other than GTA and prince of persia and fifa not too long ago,i really tend not to have a pre-conceived notion of any genre.usually i just play them and see if i like them or not.
    also,i think that becuase of archaic mindset people have towards games,i think that we have to and should lie(although of course i don’t think it is completely a lie),although i’m guessing it’s not too long since the thinking of games are kid-play things is treated as old people thinking

  27. Chaoslord AJ says:

    None I’ve played every genre and only dislike tower defense.

  28. Konservenknilch says:

    Strategy, until I encountered Paradox’ grand strategy games. Actually thanks to you lovely people from RPS I tried CK II, got immediately hooked and spent endless hours to this day, same for EU IV.

    • Replikant says:

      Europa Universalis: Tried EU2 once and bounced off, I very much prefered Total War back then. The EU automatic combat resolution seemed to be utter BS to me.
      Then Total War got tedious with hunting rebel spawns around the map and I gave EU3 another chance. I still think the combat mechanics are way to much reliant on the RNG, but I can’t think of a better one which doesn’t make the player overpowered. But still I’ve spent way to much time in EU3 and EU4, because of the grand strategy gameplay.

  29. uNapalm says:

    Elder Scrolls Online

    Tried it in the beta and it appeared to be just a very generic, average MMO so I ignored it. Tried it again two weeks ago and it’s my new favourite game. Almost total freedom to build a character how I want, emphasis on exploration, no need to rush, brutal combat, interesting and varied quests.

    It’s very relaxing and peaceful too in an odd 2-handed hammer to the face way. It’s stripped of most of the BS MMO mechanics too. I’d really recommend it.

  30. ghossttman says:

    Hidden Object Games for me.

    I’m usually something of an ‘action’ gamer (Skyrim, GTA, Fallout, etc…) so the one HOG I got in a bundle sat in my Steam library, never installed and ignored. Then, one weekend last year, I was filled with gaming ennui (you know, when you’ve looked at the same names in your backlog so many times, just the the thought of installing one of them feels tedious) and thought I’d give the HOG a try.

    Long story short, it was a fun, relaxing afternoon and I’m now a fan. Luckily, there are HOG bundles fairly often, though that doesn’t help me on the quest to clear my backlog…

    • Premium User Badge

      zapatapon says:

      gaming ennui (you know, when you’ve looked at the same names in your backlog so many times, just the the thought of installing one of them feels tedious)

      This sounds so familiar… And then instead of installing one of the games you fell you absolutely have to play, you install some random game for the hell of it. And – sometimes – the results are astonishing.

  31. vahnn says:

    MOBAs and Roguelikes. I’m terrible at RTS games, and I hate base building and managing semi-autonomous units fighting all over a map, but MOBAs do away with all that and focus on the good bits. And I didn’t build a super beefy pc that gets me 60 fps in all but the most recent power-power hungry games to play ascii games from the 80s! But daaaamn, I love them so much. Nethack, Caves of Qud, Tales of Maj’eyal.

  32. Jiskra says:

    For me its visual novels. I used to avoid them as mutch asposible because dating simulators ??? with anime grafic ??? animated porn??? also i am not really fond of japonese stuff. But recently i tryed western style visual novel, then tryed japonese ones, discovered that they can be mutch more then dating simulators and now i am devouring one after another :)

    btw. I still hate MOBAs, dislike roguelikes and pity players of sport games :P

  33. DarkMalice says:

    Shooters. Specifically, multiplayer shooters which require some degree of reflex skill.
    I generally prefer slow-paced games; turn-based tactical RPGs; open-world exploration; management games. Gulping energy drinks and blasting people repeatedly never appealed to me throughout my teens or twenties.
    These days, I can actually enjoy a short session of Planetside 2, Insurgency or whatever (although I am not by any means good at them). It was certainly the co-operative side of ARMA and PS2 that got me there initially. If I’m being honest, Orion Dino Horde played a large part in that too (99p trashy fun).

    Looking forward to Overwatch, which is something I would never have cared about before. Still hate energy drinks though.

  34. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    Purely twitch gameplay-based games. In principle, I couldn’t care less. But what John experienced with Teleglitch, I did with Super Hexagon. Super Hexagon brought me quite literally to a path of self-discovery. More recently, Luftrausers. Ok, so not really self-discovery with Luftrausers, just having immensely more fun with it than I ever thought I would have. Same with Rogue Legacy as well (not really sure what genre that is though).

    Now Teleglitch, I’m positively sure that’s not for me. Right? It can’t. But should I try to be sure?

  35. King in Winter says:

    RTSes. And for the record, I was right. I still hate them.

    • Unclepauly says:

      You’re doing it wrong.

    • Replikant says:

      I am still waiting for the RTS where I don’t have have to micromanage stupidity. Where I can sent my units to defend a region and don’t have to tell every single one of them to hide or button down or whatever. Where I can focus on the strategy and have the tactical decision taken care of competently. I presume the days of ari getting stuck behind trees or trying to cross a bridge (my favourite C&C moments) are over but all the recent titles I’ve tried still required way too much micro-management.

  36. Hirgwath says:

    I thought I thought adventure games were boring and too puzzly and full of bad developer logic. But at some point I remembered that I had played basically every Humongous Entertainment adventure game as a little kid and enjoyed them, though some of the puzzles were way too hard for me at the time. So in my ancestral subconscious I was already an adventure gamer, I guess?

  37. LennyLeonardo says:

    I used to love RTSs, but hated them in multiplayer because I’m so terrible at economy management and all that. Then World in Conflict came along and the multiplayer stole my life. More of an anomaly than a gateway, but still.

  38. Cinek says:


    Waaay too far in a time-wasters territory. But I eventually got to play some and do understand the charm.

  39. Monggerel says:

    And I was right.
    It’s not that I can’t appreciate different strokes for different folks. It’s just that JRPGs are terrible.

    • GWOP says:

      I hate grinding, which is why I usually don’t play JRPGs, but I always enjoyed watching my brother play Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, Breath of Fire, and Chrono Trigger. They had such strange worlds.

      I wonder if people consider Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma to be JRPGs…

      • Troubletcat says:

        Although both games are RPGs made in Japan, I wouldn’t say they’re in the genre of JRPG. They’re action RPGs.

        Actually I think of the Souls franchise more as character action games with slightly more RPG elements than character action games usually have… In any case, not JRPGs in the sense of genre.

    • batraz says:

      Mongerel, you made me very sad, since I happen to love Jrpgs, while aiming at being a nice and cultivated person… Jokes apart, I can understand why people would dislike the strange pop art\mythology blend, but for me as for others, it’s got an aesthetic appeal, believe it or not… On the other hand, I think that the writing of many western rpgs is overestimated as long as it provides boobs and cold blooded murder. I enjoy those as much as the next man, but don’t mistake it for “mature” or “good” writing. At last, the grinding argument doesn’t stand : every game you don’t enjoy feels repetitive instead of funny.

  40. Marblecake says:

    Survival/Crafting games for me.

    Minecraft sounded terrible when I first heard of it. DayZ sounded even worse. I couldn’t fathom how something mike that could be fun.
    I’m pretty much with John in that I tend to play games for the narrative. If a game does not have some semblance of a story to keep it together and lead me through, I quickly lose interest. Same goes for games that do have a story but it’s so detached from the actual gameplay that it’s basically irrelevant, i.e. icon-vacuuming games like FarCry, AssCreed and the like. I start playing them and then they just…fade away.
    So a survival game without any story or an end you try to reach….unfathomable

    Then this article about 7 Days To Die appeared here. It made the struggle sound so good, it gave the concept *life*.
    So I convinced my best mate to buy it, we started playing…and it was amazing. Blew my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever had a cooperative gaming experience as intense as that. Scrounging for supplies, slowly creating a stash of resources, constantly fighting of zombies, finally building that impenetrable fortress only to lose it in an epic onslaught…amazing.

    But we tired of zombies. So kast week we started Ark. Damn, I’m loving it.

  41. Troubletcat says:

    JRPGs. Which is funny because western cRPGs are hands-down my favorite genre. Which is probably why I’ve never found a single JRPG I enjoy. Combat is simple, slow and incredibly repetitive. You are often expected to grind, something which almost none of the good western RPGs require (because grinding is boring as hell). The writing is almost universally terrible and the stories and characters tend to also be awful, when with western RPGs this is half of what makes the game good.

    As I said, I’ve yet to find a single JRPG I enjoy, and I’ve tried lots of them. I managed to get a fair way through FFVII before quitting because I thought the goofiness of the story was kind of fun, but ultimately the terrible gameplay still left me cold.

    • Unclepauly says:

      “What’s the genre you never thought you’d like?”

      Did you read a different article?

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      Chrono Trigger. Until the very lazy final-final boss, it stands above all the rest of jrpgs designs.

  42. Faxanadu says:

    Erotic text games.

    Like seriously. Didn’t even cross my mind. But then, I was reaaaaally bored, and decided to pick around in Corruption of Champions. My reaction? Something along the lines of… “WWWWwwwweeeeeell now….”

  43. Unclepauly says:

    Tried racking my brains for a genre that I may have thought impossible in the past but I can’t think of one. I guess I’m just a very “open to anything” type of person. The only genre I can think of is puzzle type games but once I sit down with one the completionist in me takes over and I get it done. There is a joy to be had in defeating something you don’t like I guess.

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  45. BLACKOUT-MK2 says:

    There’s not really a genre that I like as a whole that I initially disliked, but there is a specific game that is a weird, massive exception for me. I generally dislike multiplayer, I hate microtransactions, I hate grinds, I don’t like free to play, the graphical side didn’t look like anything too special, and ships don’t especially appeal to me, but in spite of all that I still enjoy World of Warships.

    I initially downloaded the game because a friend said he enjoyed it, and I felt a little bad that there were all these games he enjoyed and wanted to play with me, and yet I put a lot of them off. World of Warships just happened to be there at the time I thought I’d download one to make him feel better but it got me hooked. I’m not quite sure why but I find the gameplay fun enough that it’s kept my attention. That attention has drastically died down over the past few months, but I still pop back every now and again.

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  49. masterpain says:

    Point and click adventure. My older brother used to play a lot of those Simon the Sorcerer titles and LucasArts games. I thought, meh, that looks boring (and then booted up Street Fighter II on NES instead)

    Broken Sword changed my perception. For the first time in a game (I was about 10 or 11 then), I am really curious about a game’s world and its environment. What if I go to this door? What if I clicked this object? I poured hours into that game clicking every object I could see.

  50. Skillasaur says:

    4x games.

    There’s a lot of reason to dislike them – they’re slow, they have a lot of down-time when you’re not actually playing the game at all (waiting for turns to end, sifting through menus, micromanaging), and most of them are convergent to a single style or point. I started hating 4x games vehemently, declaring them as dull optimisation simulators that are balanced specifically towards preventing any single strategy from winning.

    Turns out the only real reason I hated them was the Civilisation series. I’ve always loved Colonization and couldn’t work out why modern x4 games weren’t really doing it for me – that was until I found Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. Suddenly 4x was fun again, as rather than a game based around trying to keep everything strictly balanced for multi-player competitive shenanigans (and in the process making everything super dull) here was a game that actively encouraged heavy exploitation of the game.

    The problem with 4x games is that many don’t allow you a clear path to your objective because of dependencies interlinking. Civ 5 is a great example of this, where if you want to own a lot of cities you need a lot of happiness, and if you need a lot of happiness you need a lot of research, and if you need a lot of research you need a lot of tech buildings, and if you need tech buildings you need money, and if you need money you need citizens, and if you have citizens you need happiness, meaning that any strategy which focuses towards a certain target is suddenly creating a chain reaction which ends up making the actual impact of your decision almost invisible.

    Fallen Enchantress says “Well, instead we’ll force you to make meaningful decisions.” Instead of each city being cookie-cutter suddenly you have to make very early decisions about whether they’ll be Forts (army), Conclaves (Research) or Towns (Population/Money). If you build too many towns you’ll reach high unrest quickly, if you build too many Conclaves you’ll not have enough production or money to support your research and if you build too many forts you won’t have enough money to support your army.

    But each provides a different global bonus to at levels of “growth” – conclaves providing magic and research related bonuses, forts providing global production and unrest related bonuses and towns providing gold and food production bonuses.

    Suddenly you’re not dealing with an empire of detached outposts with tenuous links under one banner, but cities which rely on each other. And there are clever tricks you can employ too, like building an outpost and upgrading it through a nearby town so that it provides growth, then building a nearer town and letting that town take the growth bonus.

    The combat is much more involved as well, with a neat little turn-based system with all sorts of quirky combat techniques, such as one ability “Maul” which makes a character attack repeatedly until they miss. Couple that trait with a unit that uses axes (which provide an additional attack on a miss) and you have a nigh unstoppable berserker.

    Suddenly, enthusiasm restored. 128 hours and counting.