Rail shooter

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The 1983 game Star Wars is one of the first rail shooters.

A rail shooter is a genre of video game where the player must shoot at enemies, but their movement is confined to a pre-planned path as though they were on rails. Constricted movement is a necessary part of the genre and the player's perspective tends to be first-person or over-the-shoulder third-person. This genre is an arcade mainstay that became popular in the early-1980s and has remained popular even to this day.

Although some really good ones have been made, I don't much care for rail shooters. I find constricted movement as hindrance to game play and the preordained paths to make the game feel more like memorization of maps rather than interaction. However, I understand why they're so popular, because the game mechanic is remarkably simple. Even non-gamers can understand and play them with little effort.

Games

Some of the more popular rail shooters include:

Links