Early strategy games featured a top-down perspective, similar in nature to a board game or paper map. Many later games adopted an isometric perspective. Even with the rise of 3D graphics and the potential to manipulate the camera, games usually feature some kind of aerial view. Very rarely do strategy games show the world from the perspective from an avatar on the ground. This is to provide the player with a big picture view of the game world, and form more effective strategies.
Exploration is a key element in most strategy games. The landscape is often shrouded in darkness, and this darkness is lifted as a player’s units enters the area. The ability to explore may be inhibited by different kinds of terrain, such as hills, water, or other obstructions. Even after an area is explored, that area may become dim if the player does not patrol it. This design technique is called the fog of war, where the player can see the terrain but not the units within the explored area. This makes it possible for enemies to attack unexpectedly from otherwise explored areas.