A side scroller is a type of video game where a side-view camera angle is used for action viewing. Side scrollers are generally in 2-D with game characters that move from the left to the right side of a screen. Some side scrollers require users to move in one continuous direction (usually to the right). However, many side scrollers allow backtracking, as well as up, down, left and right movements.
Side scroller games were popular during the golden era of arcade video games and third generation consoles. The genre is associated with fast-paced action because a number of classic button mashers were created during the side scrolling era.
The side-scrolling format is most commonly implemented in platform game genres, such as action games with characters that run, climb and jump through a series of sequentially advanced levels. One of the purest examples of a side scroller is the original Contra (1988) for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), where players shoot their way through each level by moving from left to right, with no possibility of backtracking.
The side scrolling platform was also popular in beat 'em up and shooting genres. During the 1980s-90s, there were many popular side scroller games, including "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Super Mario," "Shinobi," "Metroid," "Double Dragon," "Streets of Rage," "Golden Axe" and "Megaman."
As graphics and processing powers have advanced, video games also have evolved beyond the side scrolling perspective. However, some games are still designed with side scrolling elements or as side-scroller games.