The Cruelty of Tharsis

“There’s a not so fine line between really hard games that are fun and really hard games that are not fun.

The key to making a punishing game enjoyable is to repeatedly evoke that horribly stinging gut feeling of defeat in the player, and tint it with the tiniest glimmer of hope that the obstacle of the moment could one day be overcome. If that glimmer grows too large too quickly, than the game becomes too easy and loses its allure. If the glimmer is too minuscule or nonexistent, than the sting becomes a symbol of doom. But if the glimmer is just the right size, the player will return again and again to get his ass kicked by whatever monster, puzzle, or dice role the game can conjure up. This, coupled with the sheer rush that victory is indeed possible, makes the severity of the challenge all the more satisfying…”

 

Read the full article at Gaming Rebellion:

The Cruelty of Tharsis

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