Tile-based game

Tile-based game

A tile-based game is a game that uses tiles as one of the fundamental elements of play. It has different meanings depending on how it is used. There are many traditional games which use tiles, but when referring to video games, normally a tile-based game means a game which uses tiles as part of its graphic output and/or unit movement system.

Traditional games

Traditional tile-based games use small tiles as playing pieces for gambling or entertainment games. Some Board games use tiles to create their board, giving multiple possibilities for board layout, or allowing changes in the board geometry during play.

Each tile has a back (undifferentiated) side and a face side. Domino tiles are usually rectangular, twice as long as they are wide and at least twice as wide as they are thick, though games exist with square tiles, triangular tiles and even hexagonal tiles.

Traditional Tile-based physical games

* Chinese dominoes games
* Dominoes
* Mahjong (may be played with special playing cards instead; this variation is known as Mhing)
* "Rummikub"
* "Scrabble"
* "Quad-Ominos"

Tile based games that use non-rectangular tiles

* "Blokus"
* "Gheos"
* "Tantrix"
* "Triominos"
* "Bendomino"
* "Hive"

Tile-based board games

* "Alhambra"
* "Betrayal at House on the Hill"
* "Carcassonne"
* "Diceland"
* "Fjords"
* "Settlers of Catan"
* "Zombies!!!"

Video games

A tile-based video game is a type of video or computer game where the playing area consists of small rectangular, square, or hexagonal graphic images, referred to as "tiles". The complete set of tiles available for use in a playing area is called a tileset. Tiles are laid out adjacent to one another in a grid; usually, some tiles are allowed to overlap, for example, when a tile representing a unit is overlaid onto a tile representing terrain. Tile-based games usually simulate a top-down or isometric view on the playing area and are almost always two dimensional.


Early video game consoles such as Intellivision were designed to use tile-based graphics, since their games had to fit into video game cartridges as small as 4K in size. Regardless of their outward appearance or game genre, all Intellivision games are tile-based.

Notable tile-based video games include:
* "The Ancient Art of War"
* "Civilization" series
* "Aligasia-Online"
* "Dig Dug", "Bomberman" and "Super Boulder Dash", all of which highlighted the presence of tiles to create a scrolling video game version of a board game
* "Heroes of Might and Magic" series
* "Gold Box" D&D RPG series (also have a first-person display mode)
* "Neverwinter Nights" on AOL, the first graphical MMORPG
* "Pac-Man"
* "Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, Silver, Gold, and Crystal"
* "SimCity"
* "Ultima" series (some games also have a first-person display mode)
* "Utopia", Intellivision
* "Caesar and Pharaoh Series", Sierra
* "Starcraft", Blizzard Entertainment

perspectives began to predominate in tile-based games. Notable titles include:
*"Ultima Online", which mixed elements of 3D (the ground, which is a tile-based height map) and 2D (objects) tiles
*"Civilization II", which updated Civilization's top-down perspective to an "isometric" (more accurately described as dimetric) perspective.
*The "Avernum" series, which remade the top-down role-playing series "Exile" with an isometric engine.Hexagonal tile-based games have been limited for the most part to the strategy and wargaming genres. Notable examples include the Genesis game "Master of Monsters", SSI's Five Star Series wargames, the "Age of Wonders" series and "Battle for Wesnoth".

Some entirely 3D games have been tile-based; one notable example is the "Neverwinter Nights" series from BioWare.

Some games, like side-scrollers, are technically also tile based (that is, the playing area is made up of graphic tiles), but are normally not referred to as such. Lode Runner is another example.

Early tile-based games shipped with pre-constructed levels or generated levels at game startup (for example, with "SimCity" and "Civilization") or on the fly (as with "Roguelike games"). A feature of tile-based games is that they allow for the creation of easy to use map editors, and many tile-based games come with an editor that allows players to construct their own levels. While completed levels for a game may hide all traces of tile-based technology, use of an editor for such a game strips away all polish and reveals a game's tile-based framework.

ee also

* Sliding puzzle
* Tile engine

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