A garbage term for a genre that was created entirely by Metroid and for which Castlevania deserves no credit for. """Metroidvania"""s are characterized by their open world environments and their use of upgrades that slowly make more areas of the map accessible. Most games in the genre are two-dimensional.
Gamer: Look at my new Metroidvania game!
Other gamer: Please just call it a Troidlike or whatever...
by poudink January 5, 2021
Get the metroidvania mug.
Loosely defined, "Metroidvania" is supposed to be a 2D video game style in which the gameplay is focused on considerably non-linear exploration, item retrieval and proper usage of these items in order to fulfill the game's primary objective and achieve the desired outcome.

A combination of "Metroid" & "Castlevania" coined after "Symphony of the Night" (Castlevania game) because of the exploration aspect of the game.

It's a stupid term because games that could be described this way were around before there was ever a Metroid or Castlevania game.

Just a very short list of games that could arguably be classified as Metroidvania or have similar exploration and/or action credited to Metroid that were released well before or around the same time as Metroid:

1) Dizzy the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure
2) The Ultimate Play the Game games like Sabrwulf, Jetpac.
3) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64)
4) Many games with "Treasure Island" in the title
5) Gauntlet
6) Batman (ZX Spectrum)
7) Dandy
8) Saboteur! (good example)
9) Cobra
10) Bruce Lee
11) Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future

and many others that are probably even better examples than these.
1. I like calling non-linear video games Metroidvania because I'm ignorant of games in that style before Metroid and didn't have anything else to compare them to.

2. This game has great Metroidvania replay value because I can go back and take routes I didn't take the first time around.

3. I love this Metroidvania game because I have to figure out where to get and how to use these items and I'm not sure which way to go. It really makes me think a bit.

4. I think Adventure games sounds boring. I'm going to call them something corny like Metroidvania instead!
by I'm smart. You're stupid. November 2, 2010
Get the Metroidvania mug.