Wikigrounds, the free Newgrounds encyclopedia

Although there are plenty of exceptions, the majority of Flash Games on Newgrounds clearly fall into one of several genres and subgenres. Flash Authors can pick from one of dozens of genres and subgenres when submitting their work. Several larger genres are used on the Newgrounds "Games" page to help users find the style of game they want to play.

Over the history of Newgrounds, advances in technology and changes in culture have changed the popularity of the various genres. For example, Toss games have become far more popular since Kitten Cannon!, and Rhythm games have also become more common since 2005, due to both the rising popularity of music games on home consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and the increase of file size limits, allowing for more music to be placed in a game. Conversely, some genres such as Dress Up games have lost popularity, due to competition from other genres.

It is important to note that although there have been three dimensional Flash games, Flash is predominantly a 2D technology. Even games that take place in a 3D environment, such as Road of the Dead, tend to use 2D graphics. This has helped to differentiate Flash game genres from the those of console video games.

Much like in other forms of gaming, the various genres and subgenres of Flash games often overlap or fail to accurately describe a particular game. Therefore, not all games can exclusively belong to a single genre, and some don't fit well in anywhere.


Action games are a very broad category. They generally require reflexes, quick thinking, and timing to overcome enemies and obstacles. The Action genre also includes several other genres, including Shooters and Platformers. Popular Action games on Newgrounds include the Fancy pants series and Castle Crashing the Beard. Some genres, such as Puzzle Platformers, combine aspects of Action games with other genres.


Some VS games allow more than two character to fight on a stage.

Fighting Games are a subgenre of Action games that put an extra emphasis on defeating one or more enemies. They usually fall into one of two categories.


First, there are Brawlers like Dad n' Me and Larry And The Gnomes, in which the player must defeat groups of enemies to progress. These games often feature a number of levels, and features relatively simple combat. They may also borrow some elements from Adventure games, though the focus remains primarily on the action.


The other major category is VS fighters, including Newgrounds Rumble and Super Smash Flash. These usually feature one on one combat, and are what people in the larger gaming community usually consider as Fighting games. These games tend to have more complicated controls and take place on small stages. Oddly enough, some of the most VS games on Newgrounds, including the two games listed above, place an unusual emphasis on mobility, a gameplay element often sacrificed in favor of complex controls.


Some Platformers feature large environments to explore.

Platformers put an emphasis on running and jumping through an environment. They can either focus on solving environmental puzzles, safely traveling through a dangerous area, or skillfully navigating through an environment.

Hop and Bop[]

Hop and Bop games like Super Mario Crossover and the Fancy Pants series put an emphasis on using a specific ability, jumping, to defeat enemies. These games borrow elements from Classical titles such as Mario, and often put an emphasis on precision or trial and error rather than exploration or puzzle solving.


Puzzle Platformers combine the mechanics of platforming games with environmental puzzles. The SHIFT series is a good example of a platformer that changes the normal conventions of the genre to create specific puzzles. Other puzzle platformers, such as Tuper Tario Tros., retain the basics of standard platforming while adding new elements.


Platformers are a diverse breed, and have had many games that have broke the mold. Metroidvania games such as Level Up! and William and Sly focus on exploration, Ching Chong Beautiful focuses on more realistic physics and challenges, and Dino Run adds RPG elements.


Many Madness games are Run 'n Gun shooters.

Shooters require the player to use projectile weapons to defeat enemies, either in a vehicle or as a ground-based character. This is probably the most diverse subgenre of Flash Games on Newgrounds, drawing inspiration from a huge crowd of console video games. Games in this genre often focus on reflexes, environmental awareness, and conserving ammunition.

First Person[]

Despite the common association with advanced gaming consoles and online technologies, First Person Shooters on Newgrounds are frequently simplistic affairs. The defining trait they share in common is the unique perspective, which is frequently used to emphasize precise shooting rather than movement. One of the most popular FPS's on Newgrounds is War On Terrorism.


Fixed shooters forgo movement almost completely, instead focusing on precise shooting and wise management of resources. The most popular games in this subgenre are The Last Stand and its sequel. These games introduce RPG elements

Horizontal Flight[]

Horizontal Flight games have the player control a flying object, usually traveling from left to right, shooting enemies in the front along the way. Unlike in many shooters, Flight-based shooters place heavy importance on moving about to dodge enemy attacks. Robot Dinosaurs, though a parody, is an excellent example of this subgenre.


Multidirectional shooters typically take place from a top-down perspective. These games often require a mouse to play, and pit the player against large numbers of enemies that can overwhelm them.

Run 'n Gun[]

Run 'n Gun shooters combine aspects of the shooter and platforming genres. They require a combination of nimble platforming, precise shooting, and exploring an area for resources. Some of the most popular and acclaimed games on Newgrounds fall into this category. Most legendary is Alien Hominid, which led to the creation of The Behemoth. Other notable Run 'n Gun games include several Madness titles, the Thing-Thing series, Metal Slug Rampage, and Pico Blast.


Rail shooters pull a player along a predetermined path. Many of the earlier shooters in Newgrounds history fall in this category. However, this has been a fairly unpopular genre in recent years.

Vertical Flight[]

Vertical Flight shooters are similar to their horizontal cousins. However, they are renowned for being much more difficult, and often feature "Bullet Hells" where players are required to dodge literally hundreds of enemy projectiles.

Other Action Games[]

Some Action games do not fall neatly into fighting, platforming, or shooting genres. For example, Miami Shark puts players in control of a hungry shark eating to its heart's content. Road of the Dead resembles a Vertical Flight Shooter save for the minimal amount of shooting. IndestructoTank! practically creates its own genre, where players must drive a vehicle into the paths of explosives in order to make combos.


Adventure games are another broadly defined genre. Generally, they include games that encourage exploration and puzzle solving over reflexes.

Point 'n Click[]

Although it contains limited shooting elements, Pico's School is still a largely conventional Point 'n Click Adventure game.

Point and Click Adventure games present the player with an environment, which they must progress through by finding items and using them to interact with the environment. One of the most notable and famous games on Newgrounds, Pico's School, is a Point 'n Click game. Many games in this category incorporate deeper stories or more humor than games in other genres. This is similar to early PC Point 'n Click adventure games such as Monkey Island and Grim Fandango, which were famous for their humor.


RPGs use mechanics similar to traditional Role-Playing tabletop games, such as Dungeons and Dragons. Characters in these games usually possess a variety of abilities and attributes that must be utilized to fight enemies. Several common features of many RPGs include a limited health bar, an independent meter for special attacks, and multiple playable characters. RPGs can be either turn-based or in real time. The recent Epic Battle Fantasy series is one of the most popular series of Flash RPGs ever created.


Gadgets are unusual amongst games in that they have no real goal, instead allowing the player to toy with objects in an environment. They include The Scale of the Universe and Cooties Bar X-Ray Glasses.

Construction Set[]

Construction Set games allow the player to assemble objects to create virtual buildings and places. These can either allow the player to build without restrictions, or require them to follow laws of physics.

Dress Up[]

Dress Up games are some of the simplest games on Newgrounds. A player can drag articles of clothing on and off of an in-game character, often based on a popular character from a television show or video game. These games are often made by inexperienced Flash artists, and are usually sexual in nature.


Musical Gadgets, including Punk-o-matic, can be used to create music. They can also be used to emulate instruments.


Soundboards consist of a collection of sounds, words and phrases that can be activated by clicking on their icons. These gadgets are usually based around a certain theme, such as words and phrases by a certain character or words and phrases about a similar topic.


Webcam games can only be played with a webcam. They generally involve the player interacting directly with objects or characters on the screen. Only a tiny fraction of games fall under this category.


Puzzle-Platformers combine the mechanics of action games with the focus of puzzle games.

Puzzle Games require the player to solve problems, often based on logic and reasoning, in order to advance through the game. This genre includes Puzzle-Platformer hybrids such as Achievement Unlocked and Aether, which utilize Action elements.


In Difference games, players are presented with two or more images and are asked to find the differences between them. In these games, a large focus is put on the artwork, which may tell a story.


Some of the most popular Falling Puzzle games on Newgrounds are clearly inspired by Tetris.

Falling Puzzle games revolve around solving problems while objects fall from the top of the screen, similar to Tetris. Sushi Cat is a more offbeat example of this genre.


Quizzes ask players a variety of questions, which they answer in a Multiple Choice format. Although some quizzes are impossible to fail, others, like The Impossible Quiz, are notoriously difficult, and may require trial and error.


In sliding puzzle games, players need to shift around objects in order to progress.


Rhythm games feature music as a core element for gameplay. Many of these games require the player to hit certain buttons at specific times, similar to games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.

An image of the popular music game Music In Motion by game programmer and artist Coolio-Niatio


Simulation games are based on real-life activities, often with a fictional twist.


In Dating Simulations, players need to build up their abilities in an RPG-like format and form relationships with various characters. These games often have sexual overtones, and tend to be rated M or A. This is one of the most popular genres on Newgrounds. SimGirls, for example, has had over 46 million views since 2002, making it the most popular submission in Newgrounds history. Less adult incarnations of this genre, such as Pico Sim Date, have also been successful.


Job simulation games are based off of real-life work. These games often have a comedic and exaggerated style. However, there is little in the way of common gameplay in this category.


Buddy games are not necessarily family friendly.

Pet/Buddy games give the player absolute control over a non-playable character's life. Although some games in this genre are nonviolent, others, including Interactive Buddy and The Torture Game 2 focus on hurting and even killing the non-playable character.


Many of the most popular simulation games on Newgrounds take a more strategic approach, such as Infectonator : World Dom and Pandemic. Others, like Newgrounds Sim, have more RPG elements.


Skills games are based on a player's specific skills, whether they be physical skills such as reflexes and endurance, or mental skills such as logical thinking and mental agility.


In avoid games, the player must avoid objects on the screen. Often, these games are focused around the mouse, and are easily cheated. Others, like T E T R I S ' D: The Game, are button based affairs renowned for their difficulty.


The popular ! Fishy ! requires players to "collect" small fish by eating them while avoiding big fish.

Collect games require players to collect a number of objects on the screen. These objects will usually either disappear after a while or be otherwise hard to reach.


Toss the Turtle was arguably the most successful Toss game in Newgrounds history.

Toss games revolve around throwing an object or animal as far as possible. These include Kitten Cannon!, Hedgehog Launch, and Toss the Turtle. Since its inception, this genre has steadily transformed from largely luck-based mechanics to designs that allow for upgrades and direct control over the flying creature.


Typing games focus solely on the player's speed and accuracy when typing.


Spam games are usually short, vulgar, and pointless. They are commonly submitted by certain crews and people who are hoping to win Turd of the Week or Underdog awards. It is worth noting that many games that are generally considered spam are not included in this category- the category was only created in 2010.


Sports games are inspired by real life sports. They can either be strict simulations or more fantastical reinvisionings.


Despite the sport's popularity in the United States and Europe, relatively few games on Newgrounds focus on basketball. What few basketball games exist on Newgrounds focus on the shooting aspect of the game, rather than team play. [1][2]


Boxing games, on the other hand, are fairly popular, despite the sport's relative obscurity. K-FED: Dancing with Fire was made by Newgrounds staff members, and several other games use a similar first-person format.[3] Furthermore, several boxing games also draw inspiration from classic video game franchises like Punch-Out.[4] This may be due to the popularity of violent games on Newgrounds, which easily translate into the Boxing genre.

Casino & Gambling[]

Casino games are essentially Flash equivalents of traditional gambling activities, such as Poker, Blackjack, Slots, and Roulette. Many games in this genre are given themes based on popular characters and online phenomenon, such as Duke Nukem Slots or Newgrounds Hold'em.


Several Golf games have gained widespread attention on Newgrounds. Some, like Golf Master 3D, aim for a realistic simulation of the game. Others focus for a more colorful, fantastic version of the sport.[5] Still other games focus on a 2D simulation of minigolf.[6]


Racing games are possibly the most popular subgenre of Sports games on Newgrounds. Drag Racer 3 for example, is the fourth most viewed submission in Newgrounds history, while its prequel, DragRacer v2, is the ninth most viewed, just ahead of Alien Hominid. [7] The majority of racing games have simple controls, take place from a top-down view, and have simple AI and physics. However, many games offer variations upon the basic idea, such as power-ups, customizable tracks and vehicles, and multiplayer modes.


Soccer, known as Football outside of the United States, has had several popular Flash games on Newgrounds. These include both games where players control one or multiple players.


Strategy games revolve around skillfully planning and management in order to win.


Crush the Castle is one of the most popular Artillery games in recent years.

Artillery games give the player control of a piece of artillery. They need to hit specific points by aiming the piece and determining how much power should be used.


Real Time strategy games require players to control multiple units to win battles. Economic management is often an integral part of gameplay. One example is Mastermind: WC.

Tower Defense[]

In Tower Defense games, such as Pokemon Tower Defense and the Bloons Tower Defense series, players build towers or other installations along a path to stop enemies from advancing.


Tutorials are games that provide lessons to players. One popular topic for tutorials is how to make Flash animations and games.

Games Page[]

In addition to the genre system used for each individual game, there was also a hub of game collections until the 2012 redesign. These pages functioned like conventional collections, with genre being the theme that ties them together. The organization here does not necessarily overlap with the genre that people designate their game upon submission. The top scoring five games from the last round of weekly awards were also displayed on this page, along with six entries recently featured on the front page.

List of Game Collections[]

  • Act85.241.27.22 09:47, February 23, 2013 (UTC)ion
  • Adventure
  • Casino
  • Defense
  • Driving
  • Fighting
  • Gadgets
  • Multiplayer
  • Puzzles
  • Rhythm
  • Shooters
  • Shooting
  • Sports
  • Webcam

Game Collections