Action-adventure is the genre of video game which combines the elements of Action and Adventure. It includes reflex-based gameplay, puzzle solving, exploration, and item collecting. This is usually accompanied by a strong storyline and the ability to interact with non-player characters.
The Legend of Zelda is an example of an action-adventure game. It is considered the archetype of the genre.
During the 1980s, Sierra Entertainment released a number of graphical adventure games. Some of them were based on classics. They also featured interactive fiction elements in Roberta Williams’s stories. These elements enthralled fans and paved the way for more interactive games like King’s Quest and Castlevania.
There are also graphic adventures, which tend to have fewer action game elements. They sometimes have a free-moving central character. Often, these types of games are touted as the ‘action-adventure’ equivalent of an RPG.
In the early 1990s, the PC saw the release of games like Prince of Persia, which introduced an open-world style to the genre. That game, and the sequels, helped make action-adventure a staple on the home computer.
Several action-adventure films have been produced over the years. Most of them involve physical danger and hair-raising obstacles to overcome. Douglas Fairbanks, Burt Lancaster, and Stewart Granger were among the stars of these films.
Unlike in other types of video games, an action-adventure game usually does not have jumping puzzles. But instead of the twitch based gameplay found in fighting games, the action-adventure style is more about navigating a large world with an unflappable hero.