What gives games great replay value (and value for money)?

Let’s begin with a simple observation: plenty of people love jigsaw puzzles and true enthusiasts often spend many an hour finding patterns emerging out of the chaos of scattered pieces. But the fact remains that, although enticed by the activity of “puzzling”, few would complete the same jigsaw puzzle soon after finishing it.

A single jigsaw puzzle lacks that “replay ability” factor. But a quick search for, say, the “best NJ online casino” may well culminate in playing game after game of digital baccarat or poker. Just as video gamers will revisit top-tier chartbusters like CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Bethesda Game Studios epic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim time and time again.

As a cautionary aside, gaming can become problematic for some. Limiting time spent (and adhering to your own limits) is always a wise choice, as indeed is seeking fully licensed, reputable online casinos if the card table, slots or roulette wheel are what “float your boat”. Online resources such as Resorts Casino, for example, has decades of successful experience in the brick-and-mortar casino business to draw from in creating a genuinely state-of-the-art online casino, replete with 24/7 customer service. Always do a little internet research before you play in a new inline venue.

But to return to replay ability, it perhaps falls into the category of “you know it when you experience it.” But it can also be described clearly – and it’s worth considering before you spend money on a new video game. It’s certainly one of the key factors to weigh up when you ponder, “Will this game be worth the money?”

The fact is, the more inclined you are to replay a game, the more you get for your dollar. An expensive game that you play only once or twice clearly possess less value for money than one you return to again and again. Yet the replay ability resides less in your “inclination” than in the game’s inherent features.

While consumer tastes in genre, music, graphical style etc., may vary, games with a high “replay value” tend to demonstrate certain consistent characteristics. Games that reveal intriguing worlds yielding variable outcomes (rather than, say, repetitive and predictable scenarios) are more likely to be replayed by gamers than games that don’t. And if the plot draws you in (instead of making you yawn), you have another replay ability factor.

And while some games can be played for hours, a game that inherently requires such a time commitment may not. It needs to demonstrate “utility” – delivering enjoyment while catering for a gamer’s time limitations. And it will deepen a player’s interest if it demonstrates “emergent gameplay”: an intriguing strategy that a player can progressively discover over multiple sessions.

To give an example: when Forbes contributor Erik Klain reviewed the 2022 dark action epic Elden Ring, he highlighted a key “replay ability” feature. Describing the world created in the game as “vast and mysterious”, “dotted with mini-dungeons, fortresses and cathedrals that walk around on legs”, he was detailing its rich variability features – absolutely crucial to a game’s replay ability.

But he also emphasized the virtually limitless ways that players can craft the characters to comport with their preferred play style and the tough challenges of working through the scenes.

Now, that seems to be a veritable master class in replay ability.

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