In coin-op videogames
, the attract sequence is a cycling display
of the game's features, typically overlaid with the words INSERT COIN
you to the machine, for the purpose of getting you to part with your money. For most games, the attract sequence includes a demo
of the gameplay (often a number of demos showing different stages and characters), the title screen
, some plot
description with stills and/or animations, character profiles, and of course the high score
table. It will display the game's title
at some point.
The most famous attract sequence of all is probably Pac-Man's roll-call of characters and bonuses. Before everything went 3D and ultra-generic (thanks Namco!), attract sequences were like short animated films. One of the masters of the form were SNK: always trying to squeeze more power out of their hardware, they used huge chunks of sprite memory to create cel-like animations (check out the awesome Last Blade 2).
As a result of their coin-op heritage, a large number of console action games have an attract sequence (a bit pointless you might think, but looks good on display in the shop). As a rule of thumb, the attract sequence is anything that cycles before any input is made to the machine. Stuff that happens after you've pressed start is better termed an intro.