Shack Chat: What's a game genre that's grown on you over time?

In this week's Shack Chat, we want to know which game genre has grown on you over time.


The weekend is upon us, and that means it’s time for Shack Chat, our weekly community question where the Shacknews staff and members of the Chatty weigh in on the wild and whacky questions we conjure up. This week, we opted to go with something a bit more evergreen instead of focusing on something related to current gaming events. Let’s dig in.

Question: What's a game genre that's grown on you over time?

We all have our favorite genres, but tastes evolve over time. What we loved years ago might be a distant memory, and what we weren’t a fan of in the past could be our jam in the present. This week’s answer doesn’t have to be about something you disliked, just something that has grown on you over time.

Collectible card games - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Heart of the Cards Editor

I was never the kind of person to get into games like Magic: The Gathering or The Pokemon Trading Card Game. I'm still not, to a large extent. However, a few years after starting at Shacknews, I remember walking into the studio to record Weekend Confirmed where we went over the agenda for the show. Jeff Cannata brought up this Blizzard card game he was getting into. It was in beta and it was called Hearthstone.

The unique ideas that Hearthstone implemented from the world of video games to make it a totally different kind of card game wowed me, so I got into it at 1.0 and haven't looked back. I can't say I've gotten into every CCG (Legends of Runeterra hasn't clicked with me for whatever reason), but I'm now a lot more into games like Marvel Snap, Fights in Tight Spaces, Roguebook, and Slay the Spire than I would have been ten years ago.

Puzzle games - TJ Denzer, Brainteaser Aficionado

I’ve always loved a good puzzle. I fiddled with riddles, cracked conundrums, and played with practical brainteasers all the time when I was little. I never quite realized how well that would translate to covering puzzle games until I started working full time in video game journalism. Where other folks sometimes shy away from these, I still love the kind of game that makes me think and unravel a mystery.

Games like Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, where you have to solve riddles and use context to unravel a truth became my obsession for a while. And even though that obsession has cooled a bit, I still really enjoy digging into games like this year’s Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective remake. It’s just fun tugging the threads, figuring out where the clues fit, and getting the whole picture. I maintain that the eureka moment of any tough puzzle is a tough feeling to top in the sheer amount of joy it provides.

Mobile games - Asif Khan, Shacknews CEO/EIC/EIEIO

Mobile games have carried quite the stigma in the past decade, but there are some real gems in the vast sea of apps found on Google Play and App Store. I love how easy it is to pick up and play mobile games in 2023, but back at the advent of modern smartphones, I was pretty skeptical of what kind of games were being released. 

A few bangers did appear shortly after the App Store launched. iPad games like Plants Vs. Zombies really pushed iOS forward in the 2010s. Now there are a lot of games that I absolutely love playing on my mobile devices. WWE SuperCard had my attention for awhile, and I do find myself playing some games made by Voodoo like Super Goal, Crowd City, and Mob Control.

A screenshot of Retro Bowl

Another fine example of mobile games that really shine on the platform are Retro Bowl, which finally brought together touch controls and a fun football game into a delightful package. Even some ports like Vampire Survivors play pretty well on mobile despite the lack of a control pad.

While I will still prefer the tactile feel of controller based games, the mobile games industry has innovated around a lot of the user input issues and found some really exciting ways for players to play. Pokemon Go is a fine example of this, even if fans have soured on it as of late.

There are definitely some really bad mobile games out there, but I have found time to carve out for special gems like the ones mentioned above and last year’s Modojo @Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year 2022 Marvel Snap.

Action role-playing games - Bill Lavoy, Diamond City Resident 

This week’s Shack Chat was born from a conversation with Asif. I don’t recall what we were talking about but he mentioned to me that I was a big fan of ARPGs, which kind of shocked me. It’s not something I had ever thought about before, but immediately I realized how true it was. Some of my favorite games include Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Elden Ring, Monster Hunter: World, and now Remnant 2. It wasn’t always this way, though.

The first action role-playing game I dug into was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it was released in 2015. I snuck into games journalism in 2013, and prior to that stuck mostly to shooters and sports games. The Witcher 3 was my first dip in ARPG waters, and what better way to sell me than Geralt and crew? If that wasn’t enough, Fallout 4 was later the same year, and that game is a masterclass in environmental storytelling, in addition to being an incredible showcase for the ARPG genre.

I’ve always described myself as a fan of games that feature hunting, fishing, survival, and open worlds. Mix them together and it’s even better. Now I’ll add ARPG to that list, even though it turns out this has been a thing for eight years now.

MMOs - Sam Chandler, Thinks D2 is an MMO

Before getting started at Shacknews, I, like most gamers out there, had been playing video games since I was old enough to curl my fingers and jab a button. My video game preferences were developed and basically set in stone and little has come across my plate that has altered my opinion of a genre or sub-genre. Anything I'm ambivalent toward now will likely remain that way, anything I adore will still be loved, and genres I detest will be a closely guarded secret.

However, I think I am now more accepting of MMOs. I very much doubt I will ever try World of Warcraft, but thanks to the likes of Destiny 2 and Fallout 76, there's at least a sub-genre of that hardcore type of computer game that I find enjoyable.

I think the trick here is that the MMO elements need to take a backseat to something else. In the case of Destiny 2 it's the wicked gunplay and build crafting. For Fallout 76, it's the alt-history universe and the ability to only play with my friends and no one else (sort of takes the MM out of the MMO, though).

I certainly look forward to seeing more video games release that treat a genre in a unique way. Shout out to Into the Breach and Lemnis Gate for tricking me into playing a turn-based game.

Tactical, turn-based strategy & RPGs - Dennis White Jr., Community Manager

Games like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem I had no patience for when I was younger but totally love now. Outside of some dabbling from time to time or watching friends play, I had no experience with the strategy genre for quite some time in my earlier years. And when it came to turn based JRPGs, Final Fantasy 3 was pretty much it for me. I eventually played FF8 on my cousin’s PlayStation and the memory card corrupted when I made it to the final disc! Not the best luck with the genre for a while. Things didn’t really click for me in comparison to action RPGs, horror, or fighting games. But when XCOM: Enemy Unknown hit my Xbox as a request from my friends several years ago, I had a ton of fun with that game. Midnight Suns is keeping some of that charm going as well more recently. I got some hands on time with more titles like Advance Wars and such after getting a 3DS. I poured so many hours into Fire Emblem: Awakening and it blew my mind how well that game kept my attention at the time. There was no turning back after a few key games got me more interested in the genre. I also started a first playthrough of a fan favorite recently in Chrono Trigger! Better late than never right?

Tactical strategy games - Donovan Erskine, ADVENT Slayer

As a kid, there were few things more boring to me than a grid-based tactical strategy game. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was tasked with writing an impressions article for the Switch port of XCOM 2 for this very website, that I realized how much this genre really appeals to me. It only took a few missions for me to have my eureka moment. I felt like the food critic in Ratatouille as all the tactical strategy games I’d passed on over the years flew by like a montage. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having playing XCOM. I sunk a ton of hours into it, and even bought it on PC for the true experience. I went back and played Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, which is also great. These days, I’m always on the lookout for the next decent tactical RPG/strategy game. I’m currently making my way through Jagged Alliance 3!

First person shooters - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo Show Host

I guess if I have to pick a genre that has grown on me, it’s First Person Shooters but really one game in particular in said genre. When I was younger, I didn’t like GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64. The copy we had must have had messed up graphics or something as it was very dark and the controls felt off. That being said, I decided to give the game a second chance on the Stevetendo show when the game was added to the Nintendo Switch Online service as part of the Nintendo 64 section. It was interesting to play this classic on the show and start to come around on it.

There you have it, a fine mix of nifty genres that have grown on our staff over time. Now it’s your turn. What genre has crept up your list of favorites over the years? Let us know in the Chatty thread below.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola