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The games Flappy Bird and Swing Copters, both created by Dong Ngyuyen, have very similar play mechanics. Both require the player to navigate a character through gaps in walls, and require very little else, scoring mainly by how far the player can go before an inevitable crash as the player character automatically scrolls through the game.

Other games have similar game mechanics: Jetpack Joyride is a similar game, and other short ios and flash games follow a similar style of play - seeing how long a player can persevere in a level that automatically scrolls.

What is the name or genre for this type of wall-avoiding game that seems so prolific in short ios/flash games like these?

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marked as duplicate by Zibbobz, galacticninja, Michel, Studoku, Rapitor Aug 29 '14 at 18:55

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Side scrolling platformer? – TZHX Aug 27 '14 at 19:28
@TZHX It's definitely not a platformer. The character is explicitly not supposed to land anywhere, including the platforms. – Zibbobz Aug 27 '14 at 19:31
That just depends on your interpretation of platforms. – TZHX Aug 27 '14 at 19:32
It also just occured to me that auto-scrolling is a major element of this type of game, so I've added this to the question. – Zibbobz Aug 27 '14 at 19:33
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The term/genre is known as an Endless Runner or Endless Flyer. Endless games are defined by just that... They keep going indefinitely until you inevitably lose, either by ramping up difficulty the longer you go like Jetpack Joyride or just being difficult from the start like Flappy Bird and Swing Copters.

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So this would also apply to a 3D version of such a game, like Temple Run? Or auto-racing games like Race the Sun? – Zibbobz Aug 27 '14 at 19:34
yes it does. You are still progressing endlessly. – Rapitor Aug 27 '14 at 19:35
3D versions of the same genre are just that, 3D versions of the same genre. I would also consider Brainpipe and TEC 3001 to fit into that category. Also note that such games are not always endless, or may have an endless mode and a non-endless mode, so I generally just refer to the combined genre as "runner". – Brian Aug 27 '14 at 19:44
The genre is sometimes referred to as "Auto-Runner", too. – Brian Aug 27 '14 at 19:58
@Batophobia, Donkey Kong may be endless, but it isn't a "runner" - you don't automatically run forward at a more-or-less-fixed speed while dodging obstacles. Donkey Kong is a platformer, like (Super) Mario Brothers: you choose when to stay still, when to run, when to climb, when to jump, and in what direction. – Paul Marshall Aug 27 '14 at 22:55

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