Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined . Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!
But, without further delay…. this week we are defining sports games. This is a very relevant topic considering the number of games in the genre that have come out in the last few weeks. There are also a few different kinds of sports games that people might not think about. Take a look below!
Sports games are some of the most easily recognizable games on the market today. They are games that attempt to emulate the playing of a “traditional” or “real world” sport like football, basketball, American football, tennis, etc. They may not be readily available on store shelves, but the digital age has breathed life into the sports game genre. There are titles available for fishing, lacrosse, and even cricket that can be purchased on app stores and digital store fronts.
Sports games come in two main varieties: simulations and arcade sports games. Both of these sub genres are focused on emulating the play experience of “real world” sports. The difference, however, comes in the execution.
Simulations focus on realistic recreations of sport. The designers set out to make sure all of the different game elements from the art to the physics all accurately represent the act of playing (or watching) the sport. They do this to attract fans of the different sports. The goal is to get these fans to build a steady audience to help with sales. Some of the communities built around games like Madden and FIFA are HUGE! Some of the more common sports simulation games are the Madden series, the FIFA series, and the NBA 2k series.
Arcade sports games are focused more on creating a fun gaming experience without emphasis on accuracy. These games might include exaggerated physics, bizarre art styles, and sometimes even power ups. Sometimes these games are dismissed by hardcore fans as being “too casual,” but those types of comments miss the point. These games are often targeted at broad audiences that might not notice (or care) that some design liberties were taken. Some of the more common arcade sports games are NBA Jam and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.