The video gaming industry has become a behemoth generating around $150 billion in revenue annually. Hundreds of new titles are released every year for all of the main consoles, smartphones, and computers.
A large majority of these games fall into the same typical genres: fantasy RPG games, racing games (arcade and simulation), card and casino games, first-person shooters, puzzles, platform, fighting, and sports. Combined with annual releases of popular titles like Call of Duty, Madden and FIFA, it can seem like the world of video games is very repetitive.
More recently, this problem has been made worse by the string of re-releases and remastering of classic games like Crash Bandicoot and Doom.
That doesn’t need to be the case though as there have been and continue to be a string of video games that break the mold with a unique genre. Here are some of those games.
Firefighter F.D. 18
Just about every platform from the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation 4 has been flooded with games about the police and the military. There have even been some titles about paramedics and hospitals, such as the comical Theme Hospital where patients had humorous affiliations like “Bloaty Head” and “King Complex”.
However, there have been few games about firefighters. That was until Firefighter F.D. 18 was released for the PlayStation 2. This game puts you in the shoes of a firefighter who must use a range of equipment to extinguish blazing infernos and rescue people trapped by the flames and debris.
Instead of the weapons found in many games, you have tools like an axe, hose, and fire extinguisher to help you progress through the inferno.
The game has several different levels, including a road tunnel, a chemical plant, a ship and a research lab.
Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge
In the United States and several other countries around the world, horse racing is an incredibly popular sport. A day out at the races is a cool way to spend time with friends, and many fans also watch racing at home on TV. Playing the ponies is also popular, particularly in the US where sites like Racing Picks choose which runners to back with guides and picks on horse races.
With horse racing being so popular, it’s no surprise that the sport has been turned into a video game. Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge is named after Phar Lap, a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse from Australia.
Released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox one, the game gives you several different modes from a simple race mode, to a full storyline. There’s even a mode called “betting party” where you can wager “play money” on the games.
In story mode, each race you win earns you prestige and in-game cash that you can use to buy items for your horses and stable.
Another profession that has been mostly overlooked by video game developers is that of a refuse collector. Binman is the exception to this.
The game was released back in 2002 by Idigicon, where players are given control of Stan, a friendly binman from a fictional town called Turniptown. You must collect the bins from the front gardens of houses and empty them into the back of the bin lorry.
Things aren’t as simple as it first seems though. Dogs, skateboarders, and cars also pose a risk to Stan and you must direct him away from danger as he goes about his work.
Before the release of Papers, Please, few would have imagined that a game that simulates the work of an immigration officer would be fun. However, this game makes this potentially tedious task exciting. It does it so well, it has a score of 85 from Metacritic and won a BAFTA award#.
In the game, you work for a fictional country somewhere in Eastern Europe. You must review the passports, visas, and other documents of visitors, checking them against watch lists and attempting to detect forged passports.
You receive bonuses for hitting targets but you will be fined for accidentally letting in an undesirable person into the country.