10 games that mix unexpected genres

Games are one of the most unique forms of entertainment available. Interactive and dynamic, the hands-on nature of video games allows developers to focus on creating the most enjoyable experience possible. This includes mixing elements and ideas from other places, to form something really special.

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Some developers do this by combining multiple game genres, merging their end product into a game unlike anything we’ve seen before. Like chocolate and peanut butter, some flavors go really well together, even though those combinations can be unexpected. Here are some examples of great games that blend multiple genres together.


ten Chronicles of Valkyria

Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles series has developed a cult following since its original introduction on the PS3. The game’s stunning cel-shaded graphics and gripping story of a fictional war contribute greatly to the charm of these games, but it’s the unique gameplay systems that set the series apart.

Valkyria Chronicles is a turn-based strategy game with elements of a third-person shooter. You’ll select each individual soldier in your platoon, taking control of them one at a time to move them as far as their range of motion will allow – a staple of strategy games. Once you get into position, however, you take aim in third-person, ordering your soldier to fire at nearby enemies and hazards. The depth of this combination is truly remarkable, with battles becoming increasingly intense as new elements are introduced.

9 golf history

Golf Story is a charming RPG about a young golfer trying to reclaim his passion for the sport. It might seem like a small-scale game with a niche concept, but don’t let the stylized retro graphics fool you. There’s a surprising amount of content to find across the game’s eight areas.

In Golf Story, you’ll attempt to rise through the ranks as a golfer, bonding with the various members of your golf club and participating in a range of activities between competitions on the course. Golf is fun enough, but the surprising variety of adventures you’ll take part in during the game takes it to a whole new level.

8 Worship of the Lamb

Cult of the Lamb is a truly one-of-a-kind video game. In this dark and eerie roguelike, you’ll control an ancient sacrificial lamb, resurrected by your dark ruler in an effort to defeat the four heretics trying to banish him. You’ll fight your way through legions of enemies in four different environments, while making your way towards your four targets.

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You’ll also rescue and recruit followers along the way, allowing you to create your own cult to worship your master. There’s a management sim involved in play in Cult of the Lamb – you’ll build your base, hold sermons, perform rituals, and even farm resources to feed your followers. Who knew leading a cult was such hard work?

seven neon white

At first glance, you might think Neon White is just another high-octane first-person shooter with an unusually colorful art style. And while you’ll shoot a variety of monsters, the real fun comes when you get rid of your guns.

Your guns in Neon White are presented as cards, and running out of ammo causes you to lose that particular card. If you choose to discard your card earlier, however, you’ll instead use each weapon’s special ability – the pistol gives you a double jump, the rifle lets you dash through enemies, and so on. The one-of-a-kind mechanics give this shooter the feel of an action-packed platformer, and that’s before you dive into the game’s visual novel-inspired optional mechanics.

6 Loot River

One of the most unique concepts for a roguelike, Loot River is a title that mixes puzzle solving with violent, fast-paced action. As you make your way through the procedurally generated ruins, you’ll also control the platforms you’re standing on, sliding each Tetris block-like platform in order to progress further or to fight strategically.

Is the platform next to you full of enemies? Leave a few in your block, then move it away to spread them out. Stuck in a hallway too small for your platform? Adjust the set of shift blocks until you can take control of a smaller one that will fit. Fighting your way through each area, as you acquire increasingly powerful weapons and abilities, makes for one of the most intriguing game genre combinations we’ve seen.

5 Moonlight

Sometimes Moonlighter feels like playing two games at once. In the first, you’ll travel through a dangerous dungeon, taking down monstrous opponents and collecting resources and materials. The game’s combat is fun, fluid, and can present quite a challenge at times.

The second half of the game, however, begins when you exit the dungeon and return to your home town. Here, you run and manage a shop, selling the materials you’ve gathered during your quest. You’ll set prices, arrange sales, and even deal with thieves, all while trying to make a profit before resuming your more adventurous ways.

4 rollerdrome

The terrain for Rollerdrome is immediately apparent when you start the game – what if Tony Hawk, but with guns? In this skate shooter, you’ll roller skate through various arenas, performing tricks to reload your weapons and shooting down enemies as you skate.

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What seems like a startling idea will quickly keep you coming back for more, as you try to complete each of the games challenges. You’ll also begin to unlock the secrets of this dark and dangerous sport, with subtle clues about the nature of the competition appearing as you progress.

3 Crypt of the Necrodancer

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more original idea than Crypt of the Necrodancer. A rhythm-based roguelike, the game tasks you with blasting your way through its dungeons and defeating the boss, or simply surviving until the end of each song.

Every action you take in this roguelike adventure will be taken to the beat of its background music. You control the entire game simply by moving in one of four directions, giving the game a sense of simplicity that complements its timing and fast-paced gameplay. If you like this particular mix of dungeons and dance moves, be sure to also check out Cadence of Hyrule, the spin-off of the Zelda-based game.

2 Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

The original Ni No Kuni is a good example of genre-blending in its own right, with its fusion of traditional RPG gameplay and the capture of Familiars – somewhat in the style of games like Pokemon. Ni No Kuni II takes this formula even further by adding a city-building element to the mix.

You play as Evan, a petty king trying to rebuild the kingdom of Evermore from the ground up. Between traveling the world, battling with your element-based weapons and Higgledies, you’ll return to your base of operations, gradually building the camp into a kingdom worthy of a ruler.

1 Deny automata

Summarizing Nier Automata is an incredibly complicated task. The game opens in shoot-em-up style, putting you in the cockpit of a mech suit that glides along a set path, shooting down enemies as they appear. Eventually, you’ll find yourself on foot, where you can hack your enemies with melee attacks and combos, while retaining the ability to shoot down anything in your path.

Of course, this only scratches the surface of what Nier Automata really is. The game is worth experiencing as blindly as possible, but its various gameplay systems, characters, story beats, and mind-blowing twists are sure to keep you engaged. Just be sure to play multiple times.

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