A deconstruction game is a game that deconstructs aspects of Video Games in general. At the minimum, it takes one aspect, and blows it up to such ridiculously exaggerated proportions that it simply becomes laughable, as if to make a point that "You can't make a game based just on this!" or with some, "If you enjoy games because of this one reason then you are an idiot!"
In order to qualify, a single part of the game at the minimum must take at least one single trope, mechanic, or gimmick, and either explore it exhaustively to the possible point of Mind Screw, or play it far too simple and flat to be taken seriously. Typically they rely heavily on their nature as a parody to be entertaining, but on rare occasions they're fun to play as well. They often make use of Playing the Player.
Action Adventure[edit | hide | hide all]
- Harvester: A deconstruction of Evil Is Cool and Video Game Cruelty Potential, not through heavy-handed Video Game Cruelty Punishment, but through a heavy-handed ending that asks, What the Hell, Player?
- META: Amateur adventure game design.
- Flower, Sun, and Rain: Sidequests, convenient puzzles, event flags and adventure game mechanics in general. The game, and often even the characters, will deliberately waste your time while your actual mission is to stop a terrorist from blowing up a plane. No one's really clear on why you need to solve math puzzles at every turn, either, but they seem to accept it as normal. In the end, your reward is mostly mockery.
- Haze is a Deconstruction of First Person Shooters. It was a failure however, due to Executive Meddling forcing them to rewrite the plot several times until the message was completely gone.
- Duty Calls: First Person Shooters in the vein of Call of Duty...that is when it is not outright parodying the trends and tropes.
- I Wanna Be the Guy: Difficulty / Unfair deaths
- You Have to Burn The Rope: Portal. The game consists of a short hallway which serves as a tutorial, a boss fight, and a catchy theme song that plays over the credits. The song mocks the short length of the game, including suggesting that you just try playing it over again. There is no story given outside this, and there are only two characters (the player character and boss). And the theme song is longer than the game itself.
- Arguably a failure, as it misses one important part of Portal -- the part after the furnace where the game stops telling you what to do.
- You Only Live Once: Platformers in the vein of Mario.
- Level Up: Leveling up in games.
- Sonic the Hedgehog OmoChao Edition: Stop Helping Me! (This game actually has added challenge—you have to avoid everything that triggers Omochao's comments as much as possible for Rank Inflation, and for Speed Run enthusiasts, there's the fact that the timer won't freeze whenever Omochao speaks.)
- The Modron dungeon in Planescape: Torment: Dungeon crawlers in general. Complete with enemies who don't know their motivation and leave items like, "A goody!"
- BioShock (series) deconstructs several gameplay mechanics as part of a Genre Deconstruction of Shooter-RPG hybrids (such as System Shock and Deus Ex). Mission Control, Notice This and But Thou Must! are a product of being under Trigger Phrase-induced mind control, and Death Is a Slap on The Wrist because you're the son of Andrew Ryan and the game's ressurrection devices are keyed to your genetic code as a result (thus making you the perfect puppet to carry out the whims of the Big Bad).
- Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale. Item shops and.
- Progress Quest: RPGs that assign players randomly generated quests. The game automates grinding and fetch quests which is all the game is.
- Ginormo Sword: Arguably, grinding and the emphasis on weapon upgrades.
- Yume Nikki: Exploration and sandbox gameplay. The entire game is a Beautiful Void and there is no plot to speak of, which has prompted elaborate Fanon and Wild Mass Guessing on behalf of the players, in an attempt to invest the game with externalised meaning.
- Super Press Space to Win Action RPG 2009: RPGs in general, and overly-linear Quick Time Event-heavy action RPGs in particular. The credits specify that the game was "inspired by God of War".
- Devil Survivor: Mons games. As in, how would something like Pokémon play out in a more realistic setting? Answer: Poorly.
- Parameters is all about distilling an RPG to its purest bare-bones form: all the enemies and quests are represented by simple boxes and numbers and all you need to do is to click repeatedly on them. It manages to be pretty enjoyable nonetheless.
- NieR: Protagonist-Centered Morality and Dark Is Evil. Especially given how there are no real enemies in the game, with the "Shades" being the actual humans and the supposed "humans" being their intended vessels. Not to mention that the supposed Big Bad is Not So Different to the protagonist but with conflicting goals and the closest thing the game has to an actual villain has been dead for centuries. It also deconstruct the concept of dungeons and the absurdity of the rules most RPG have.
- Undertale: EXP, LV, saving and reloading are actual, relevant plot points. Also, it brutally deconstructs 100% Completion on its Genocide route, where not only the game kepps giving you the You Bastard treatment with every step you takes on the extermination of friendly and quirky game characters, actually murdering every killable character irrevocably ruins your next playthroughs.
Shoot Em Up[edit | hide]
- Don Pachi series: One Man Army. Which is made possibly only by killing wave after wave of your own comrades, resulting in the ultimate soldier. And if you refuse to carry out your orders? Prepare to Die.
- Thunder Force V: The premise of a One Man Army going up against a rogue AI menace. Except that the AI in question's still loyal to humanity despite its compromised programming and deliberately left gaping holes for the protagonist to exploit, making it possible to go after said AI at all and deliver a Suicide by Cop.
- Nanashi no Game uses the cursed, nameless game to deconstruct RPGs. There's no battles to win, levels to grind or heroics to engage in—you just walk around, talk to people and collect hidden items that must be found to reach the good ending.
- Achievement Unlocked: Achievements.
- Frog Fractions starts as an In Name Only Edutainment Game, but quickly goes hilariously Off the Rails.
- From the same author: Futilitris.
- Upgrade Complete: Upgrades.
- :the game: and REPLAYING :the game:: Cut and Paste Environments.
- Help the Hero: Grid Inventory
- 50k Racewalker: The same.
- Steamshovel Harry: Forced Tutorials. There is no game. The earth will be destroyed in fifteen minutes-- and that's how long the tutorials take!
- Execution by Jesse Venbrux can be seen as a deconstruction of Flash "assassin" games. The only way to "win" is to quit. Restarting after you've killed your target results in an "it's already too late" message and shows you the failure screen, even if you delete and reinstall the game. This is because the game records your loss in your computer's registry.
- Don't Shoot The Puppy: Press X to Die.
- The Stanley Parable: Narrative and choice, along with several smaller aspects of games that promise an open world but confine you to a linear story progression.
- QWOP: Some Dexterity Required.
- Cow Clicker deconstructs the idea of social games like Farmville, by distilling it to just the simple mechanics. You have a cow, and you can click on it after set intervals. You can click on it more often by paying real world money. And you can post it on your Facebook feed and invite friends.