Like just about everything in life, gaming goes in cycles. There’s probably something poignant tucked away in there but damned if I can see it. Anyway, in the same way that one day you’ll be able to sport that fine mullet without a twinge of shame and folks pointing from the other side of the street, so too will gaming’s forgotten genres be remembered, rekindled, reborn.
This year we saw the resurgence of 3D platformers, for better or worse. The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter a while back seemed to shift things up a gear, even if it ultimately ended up being the least remarkable of the bunch. It saw us get A Hat in Time, Grow Up, Super Mario Odyssey, Skylar & Plux, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Poi, to name but a few.
All good things will pass, but one day they’ll come back around. Just look at Call of Duty: WWII; a safe haven from the years of interminable modern shooters set in sun-drenched deserts.
So what I’d like to open up to you is - which forgotten genres would you like to see make a return soon? Is there nothing out there that’s quite scratching that itch you felt when you first played Dungeon Keeper in the 90’s?
I’m going to start off with a well-worn one - God Sims. Before Peter Molyneux hammered the genre into the dust with one over-ambitious promise too many, and before we chipped away at that stupid Curiosity cube in the hopes of unearthing some deeper meaning, we had the sublime Black & White games, and a personal favourite of mine - Populous. With the additional resources available now, and the advances in AI, it seems fitting that a big studio could take this idea and run with it. I can but dream.
And now it’s over to you, are there any genres from gaming’s past with have largely been forgotten?