These games emphasize overcoming challenges using physical means like response time and aiming challenges. By definition, arcade games helped define the action category. Space Invaders (1978) popularized the projectile shooter type of game. The success of early arcade cabinet games generated what later became the video game industry. As a primary category to video games, the action games subgenre covers many other related game genres like the following list.
A typical action game will set the player in a scene where they control one or more characters. The goal is to navigate levels, often collecting things, avoiding obstacles, and of course battling enemies. The primary focus often centers around fighting or shooting. This could be a melee street battle or a medieval cold metal situation. Firearms and other projectiles make interesting game objects, even more so given multiplayer game modes. In single-player action games, levels typically might even with boss fights. When the player's character is hit by enemies, their life will be depleted and without multiple lives, it may be game over.