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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Monday 16 September 2013

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Here I am talking to a stripper at the local dive bar in Snow Job (1995), an FMV game for the Panasonic 3DO gaming console. This game is very much the same as yesterday’s SotD in that it is a game that is undermined by some poor game mechanics that exist purely to artificially extend gameplay.

The first is that it is a timed game. The second is a money mechanic that is required for traveling around, for buying items to solve puzzles or buying items that are needed to progress in the game. The latter is so bad that it is unlikely that anyone could finish this game on their first try without being tipped off about it, using a cheat, or being an obsessive save-scumming gambler like me. (I played craps for about 90 minutes this way and still finished the game almost completely broke). It also has a limited inventory, forcing you to juggle what items you think are important.

I wouldn’t mind this game at all if it had more modern sensibilities as it has some decent puzzles and I like FMV, but it becomes a repetitive chore due to the above gameplay issues.

     
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Bastich - 16 September 2013 12:45 AM

This game is very much the same as yesterday’s SotD in that it is a game that is undermined by some poor game mechanics that exist purely to artificially extend gameplay.

The first is that it is a timed game.

Extending gameplay by adding a time limit. Clever.

Confused

     
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Zifnab - 16 September 2013 02:18 AM

Extending gameplay by adding a time limit. Clever.

Confused

Making a game timed is absolutely a way to extend the length of a game because it requires that you pointlessly replay segments over and over again that you already know how to complete just to get back to the ones you don’t every time you fail. This makes the game take a lot longer to complete without adding any new content. It doesn’t get any more artificial than that.

This works to some degree in other genres like action because there is a skill component involved there, but in an adventure game it’s just a blatant scam to inflate the gameplay hours posted on the back on the game box as there is zero challenge in replay there. It’s utterly mindless repetition.

     
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Screw that. I wouldn’t do it. I rarely replay games anyway so my gameplay time would be reduced to 1 or 2 playthroughs. Or I’d save every few minutes in case I do the wrong thing.

     
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Bastich - 16 September 2013 03:53 AM

Making a game timed is absolutely a way to extend the length of a game because it requires that you pointlessly replay segments over and over again that you already know how to complete just to get back to the ones you don’t every time you fail. This makes the game take a lot longer to complete without adding any new content. It doesn’t get any more artificial than that.

Reminds me of an old game called Traitors Gate. The game was played in real time, i.e., you had 24 (timed) hours to complete the objective. The only way to do this was to save game, play the next sequence to see what had to be done, restore game and play the sequence in real time. 24 hours took forever to finish.

     

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