Tags and Keywords

This page is a DRAFT!

Main Categorization of Games

In order for the tag system to be really useful, in some cases we need to narrow the definition of some words / genres. Here’s a list of some tag (combinations) and what games they should represent:

  • beatemup – Double Dragon and similar – not Street Fighter II (see fighting).
  • fighting – Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, etc
  • shootemup – this one is restricted to a special type of shooters (Project-X, Xenon 2, SWIV, etc). It should not include overhead games where you control a solder or similar and can shoot in any direction – ask if unsure!
  • shootemup, vertical – Xenon 2, SWIV
  • shootemup, horizontal – Project-X, Apidya, Disposable Hero
  • racing, topdown – Nitro, Supercars
  • racing, behind – Lotus Turbo Challenge II
  • racing, cockpit – Test Drive


Genre Keywords / Tags (Examples)

This online database will most likely not try to group games into discrete categories (genres). Instead, a set of genre keywords will (probably) be used to organize the games. Here are some examples of what this may look like (note, the headings used here have no significance):


  • Lotus 2: Racing, Cars, Behind, Competitive, Time-Limit, Split-Screen
  • Rajd Przez Polskę: Racing, Cars, Behind, Humour/Fun,

Platform Games:

  • Addams Family: Platform, TV, Scary, Humour/Fun
  • Rick Rangerous: Platform, Shooter, Humour/Fun
  • Superfrog: Platform, JumpOnThings, Cartoonish, Cute
  • Turrican: Platform, Shooter, Sci-Fi


  • Banshee: Shooter, SteamPunk, Vertical, AutoScroll
  • The Chaos Engine: Shooter, SteamPunk, TopDown
  • Dogs of War: Shooter, Horizontal


  • Cadaver: Action-Adventure, Fantasy, Isometric
  • Syndicate: Strategy, Action, Tactical, Squad, Realistic, Realtime, Sci-Fi


  • UFO – Enemy Uknown: Strategy, Tactical, Squad, Realistic, Turn-Based, Sci-Fi


  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Adventure, Point-and-Click, Humorous
  • Strip Poker: Adult, Nudity, Cards
  • Gem’X: Puzzle, Anime, Time-Limit
  • Arkanoid: Reaction, Bat and Ball


Here are some tags which has been suggested by database users:

  • Run-and-gun (Turrican, etc)
  • Gauntlet (Gauntlet-style games, such as The Chaos Engine).

Suggested Tags / Keywords


While games are not associated with a single genre/tag, most, if not all games should include at least one of these tags (list is not complete yet):

  • Adventure
  • Cards
  • Platform
  • Puzzle
  • Racing
  • Reaction
  • RPG
  • Shooter
  • Sport (non-motor)
  • Strategy

Sub-genre / Additional specifications

Some games have a certain sub-genre or an additional specification that goes along with the main genre. Common examples would be ‘Adventure, Action’ or ‘Reaction, Bat and Ball’.

  • Action
  • Bat and Ball
  • JumpOnThings
  • Run-and-gun


Most games feature a certain theme (or more than one). For sport games that could be ‘Football/Soccer’ or ‘Olympics’, while for a racing game it’s most likely ‘Cars’, ‘Motorbikes’ or ‘Airplanes’. More general theme tags are ‘Fantasy’, ‘Sci-Fi’ or ‘Cartoon’.

General themes:

  • Anime/Cartoon
  • Fantasy
  • Futuristic
  • Historic
  • Medieval
  • Sci-Fi
  • Steampunk
  • WW1 (World War I) or WW2

Sport specific themes:

  • American Football
  • Football/Soccer
  • Golf
  • Olympics

Racing specific themes:

  • Airplanes
  • Boats/Ships
  • Cars
  • Motorbikes

Viewpoint and scrolling

Most games can be classified by a viewpoint and a way to scroll the screen.


  • Angle/Isometric

(should only be used for games that match the common ‘2.5D’ definition: Wikipedia)

  • Behind (aka Third Person)
  • Cockpit
  • First Person
  • Sideways
  • Split-Screen (additional)
  • Top Down

A viewpoint should only be given to describe a genre that has several of them more clearly (like racing or shooter), but not be used to categorise a genre (for example all pinball games are ‘Top Down’ and thus the tag isn’t needed for these). Furthermore a game can have multiple viewpoints, but if for example ‘Top Down’ is only used for a map screen it should be omitted.

  • Autoscroll (additional to any of the following)
  • Flip-Screen
  • Horizontal
  • Into Screen
  • Multi-Directional
  • Vertical

Scrolling should be used to describe mainly scrolling games. When an adventure scrolls the background horizontally it’s still not a mainly horizontally scrolling game and as such the tag should be omitted here. Multi directional scrolling should only be used if horizontal and vertical scrolling is used in almost the same amount. A mainly horizontal scrolling game that let’s you scroll around a screen height up and down shouldn’t be classified as multi directional for example.

Multiplayer keywords

For multiplayer games, please add one or more of the following:

  • competitive – two or more human players can play against each other – they should be able to interact or affect each other in some way.
  • cooperative – two or more human players work together to beat the game (even when you have separate scoring?)
  • solitaire – you play against each other, but separately (either physically separated or playing by turns, and one player’s actions can not affect the other one). Most likely, you compare results (best time, highest score).

Miscellaneous keywords

Various others keywords can be used to describe a game better. A lot of additional tags can be used, but in general only two or three main keywords should be used for each game.

  • cute
  • humour/fun
  • Ironic/Sarcastic
  • realistic
  • realtime
  • shop – you can purchase items and upgrades (for your vehicle or character) during the game. (Xenon 2, Gods, Kid Gloves, Nitro, Super Cars II, Flimbo’s Quest!, Leander).
  • squad/team – you control a squad/team instead of a single person in the game (mainly for strategy and RPG games)
  • tactical
  • timelimit
  • turnbased

Please comment on which keywords/tags and categories of them you think are missing and should be added.

7 thoughts on “Tags and Keywords

  1. I have been trying to tag as many games as I can that I have played, and play ones I haven’t. It’s proving more difficult that I thought to choose/decide on keywords that accurately fit the games. I am still going back to ones I have key-worded and changing them as I learn. I have been using 25D (2.5D) for games that are not isometric, but instead have X, Y, Z in them, so games like double dragon, as you can walk in and out of the screen, or Indy Heat as it’s no a “top down” view, but at a slight angle. I’m looking for a better keyword if anyone can think of one?

  2. Please post which tags you would like to have added or simply use them 🙂

    For text-adventures you could/should use: “Adventure, Text” and “Adventure. Text and Graphics”.

    • Remember that the tags list isn’t a sentence – but rather a comma-separated list of words 😉

      So “adventure, text” for text adventure, and “adventure, graphical” for graphical adventures. Most graphical adventures will be “pointandclick” as well (adventure, graphical, pointandclick). But there are of course some games which fall between chairs here. Maybe we need “adventure, text, textandgraphics” for some games, or maybe simply “adventure, text, graphical” will be sufficient.

  3. I am loving the idea of this tag system. To make it easier to use is there any chance you could have a drop down multiple select box for all the tags so we can add/remove tags easily. Then if a new one is required we either discuss it on that page or have an option to “insert new tag…”

    • Hi, it certainly makes sense to have a specialized GUI for editing some common database – for example tags – and let you see and select from pre-existing tags. It just isn’t top priority because the current system works and there’s other stuff to implement first 😉

      • No probs, well until it’s implemented I applogise in advance for tag variations (i.e. movie/movies, humour/humourous, etc)

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