Screen Peekers

Video Game News, Commentary, and Fist Fights

What One Aspect Makes You Buy a Game?

I had a message in my Reddit mailbox today asking me to participate in a survey because of my activity on r/games. The survey was about what it was about certain games that makes me interested in purchasing them and conversely what makes me less likely to purchase something. Seems like a pretty straightforward question but I found myself wondering if there was one thing in common that I liked about my various gaming purchases. What is it that makes me want to buy a Mario game that similarly wants me to buy a Dark Souls game? Clearly it isn’t a genre specific reason since my gaming tastes are quite eclectic and wide spread. My thought was that I just like games with good gameplay, but that’s a pretty broad explanation for a medium with ever increasing gameplay variance. Obviously, gameplay-wise, Dark Souls and Mario are vastly different, yet I love playing both games.

A majestic look at Majula

A majestic look at Majula

I wanted to find something more specific and less broad as “good gameplay” or “high quality”. So I asked myself what it was about a game that gave me the impression of high quality or solid gameplay. I ran a mental check of games I enjoy and came up with the idea of details. What I mean by this is when I play a game and come across a small detail (in gameplay, environment, story, etc.) that on the surface seems unnecessary but adds that extra flair. This shows me that the people working on this were passionate enough about the project to add a little something extra for those players that test the “boundaries” of the game. It gives me this sense that they left no stone unturned, as it were. Some examples that pop in to mind are the goombas and koopas dancing to the beat in the New Super Mario games (or the baby Yoshi’s singing with the music in New Mario U) as well as the little decisions you can make in Dark Souls that can subtly change events around you.

An adorable little Koopa jig

An adorable little Koopa jig

It was a really intriguing question to me and one that made me think a lot more than I initially thought it would and was something I wanted to share with those of you that visit us on a regular basis. I’d like to pose the same question to you as well. What is one thing that makes you most interested in purchasing a game? Feel free to let me know below, I would love to hear other perspectives on this!

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About shickj

I am an Accounting Specialist currently residing in Portland, Oregon. I graduated with a Bachelors in Mathematics. I've been playing Nintendo since I was a kid and never looked back!

2 comments on “What One Aspect Makes You Buy a Game?

  1. cary
    January 27, 2015

    This is a really interesting question. After thinking on it, and though I hate to admit it, I think the *one* thing that makes me buy a game (as opposed to borrow or rent) is familiarity. That can mean anything from understanding an existing control scheme, like in Mario and Metroid games, to being drawn towards familiar series, like with Uncharted and the Batman Arkham games. Sometimes it involves character familiarity too, like with Simpsons and South Park games. If a game doesn’t resonate with me on some sort of known (to me) level, I’m likely not going to buy it.

  2. shickj
    January 27, 2015

    This is something I was thinking about as well since some of my favorite game franchises are long running. Familiarity is certainly another big contributor for me. Thanks for the response!

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