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File:Metroid - NES - Start.png
The game that defined the genre.

Metroidvania is a genre of video game traditionally described as 2D platformers with a strong emphasis on exploration and action and include ways to increase the strength of your character. This usually is done by collecting items to gain stronger abilities, leveling up by gaining experience, or both. The genre was made popular in the late 1980s by the Metroid and Castlevania series.

These games tend to be among my favorites for several reasons. I like the fact that they tend to be graphically beautiful with a thought-provoking atmosphere. I like that, if areas are too difficult, you can grind for a little while and try again when you're stronger. I also like returning to previous areas after you've become stronger and seeing how easy it has become.

Games that I feel best illustrate the genre include: