Collect-a-thons: the rise and case of the collecting adventures

In the world of video games, it came to trends over the years, which could win the complete video game scene for themselves. Currently, that is probably most likely the so-called Battle Royale titles, especially of course, games like Fortnite, Player unknown’s Battlegrounds or also Apex Legends.

But we do not want to go to the current state of industry here, but rather throw a look at a past epoch in the video game age. Strictly speaking, we want to look closely at titles of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 or a Spiro The Dragon are titles that are no longer an integral part of the video game history. Even if you did not play them by hand, the probability is still pretty high that one of the names is known. Although these classics have dominated and revolutionized a whole generation of games, they find title of their kind but rarely and after continuations of certain rows one seeks in vain.

What do these games have together at all, and how does this hang with their sudden appearance and following disappear?

Table of Contents

  1. Page 1Collect-A-Thons: The ascent and case of the collection adventure, page 1
    1. 1.1Collect-a-what?
  2. 1.2Why the big boom?
  3. 1.3The Golden Era
    1. 1.4The burrowing
    2. 1.5The Level design
  4. Page 2Collect-A-Thons: The ascent and case of the collecting adventure, page 2

    1. 2.1The gameplay
    2. 2.2The disappearance
    3. 2.3How does the situation look nowadays?
      3rd page 3 picture gallery for Collect-a-thons: the ascent and case of the collection adventures
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It should be noted that there is no general definition for the term Collect-A-Thon and, depending on the definition, even different games fall under the genre. Some players generally designate all games where there are many collectables than Collect-A-Thon. After this definition, for example, a title such as Assassin’s Creed would be referred to as Collect-A-Thon.

On the other hand, Collect-A-Thons describes the most common definition so that collecting accounts for the most part of the game and is essential to continue to advance in the game. We also dedicate ourselves to this definition in this article.

The linearity of the gameplay also plays an important role for many in the definition whether something is a collect-a-thon or not. For example, Super Mario Galaxy is mostly not seen as part of the genre. Although you collect stars and get along with these things in the game, but there are not really significant other collectables and the stars primarily also act rather than goals linearly rebuilt levels and less than collection objects that can be found in the world.

Why the big boom?

The ideal solution: Collectables! These could be easily used to fill the world with a very simple yet rewarding activity. Furthermore, if they were placed intelligently, they could simultaneously serve to lead the player through the world and to the interesting places. For example, Banjo-Kazooie takes through the clever placement of the notes representing the most common collectables of the game, always automatically with the next exciting point in the world.

Super Mario 64 is valid today as the father of the Collect-A-Thons, since just this game principle was used there for the first time in a 3D game. Also, if many discussions are guided whether Super Mario 64 is to be classified as Collect-A-Thon at all, as here as well as at Super Mario Galaxy is also often set on linear gameplay and not really collective items. Nonetheless, it is not to be denied that Mario has laid the base for all Collect-A-Thons with its first 3D adventure.

The Golden Era

For several years, Collect-A-Thons stood at the top of the video game food chain. If you talk about this time, you just do not come around a developer: Rare.

Rare, or even Rearward, is a studio that developed for N64 times exclusively for Nintendo until 2002 was bought by Microsoft. The developers managed to convince the Mario Group as much with Donkey Kong Country with Donkey Kong Country so much that they were then able to spend the leap in the three-dimensional space.

In contrast to the SNES, with the hardware of the N64, it was possible to make impressive 3D worlds that waited to be explored. Therefore, Rare began to develop Collect-A-Thons primarily after having created a title with Donkey Kong Country 3, which goes into approaches in this direction.

First, Banjo-Kazooie, which until today is considered one of the best, if not as number 1 of his genres. On Donkey Kong 64, which also comes from Rare, but now it is often negatively looked back. Although there was some time after Banjo-Kazooie appeared and significantly more to collect, Donkey Kong 64 has not today’s cult status, which enjoys a Banjo Kazoo.

Of course, the question raises the question of what exactly is a good collect-a-Tho never.

The burr migration

In order to be a collect-a-thon, there must be enough collectables and incurable areas in the world. At the same time it should not be too many and the whole thing must not be too big, otherwise you just lose the overview. This difficult burr walk between too much and too little to cope with, is essential for a successful collect-a-thon.

Here you can draw the comparison between Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. While Banjo-Kazooie brings a decent number of collectables with him, one still never feels overwhelmed by the mere amount. At Donkey Kong 64, this looks very different. Rare has been so exaggerated in Donkey Kong 64 that the game with Sage and Write 3821 Collectables since 2008 has been an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for most collection objects in a video game.

So, for example, you’re traveling with Donkey Kong in a tunnel and collects a few yellow bananas, it may also happen that a few red bananas can be found directly afterwards. For these you have to run to the nearest barrel on which you can swap the character to switch to Daddy Kong. With Daddy Kong you go back to the tunnel to pick up the red bananas, just to see that at the end of the tunnel is a switch, for whose activation you need another character.

This principle makes from the originally super simple collecting an extremely long-term employment, which does not really help in leadership through the level, but rather promotes massive backtracking.

The level design

Banjo-Kazooie also convinces in the area of ​​Level design on a whole line. The worlds are just big enough here that you can look nice in them, but never loses the overview or really runs.

Furthermore, they are reduced to the most important. Instead of offering huge worlds without content, large buildings or other interesting points are always distributed in the levels. These points invite not only to explore, but are also designed so unique that you can orient yourself well.

Continue on page 2!

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