Aside from great game play, nothing is more important than replay value, especially if you have a very simple game. A game has to have some sort of addicting feature that keeps you coming back for more. Nothing is more addicting to me than getting upgrades for your character such as weapons, armor, and anything else that will makes your life in the game better. That was the main reason why I played Castlevania: symphony of the night, over and over again and still do once in a while. Getting ALL of the weapons, especially the rare items from each monster proved a challenge but worth it, just so I could say I got it. Something that a lot of people love to collect, especially with online games, is to change the visuals of your character and to be able to gain new things such as clothing, hair or armor. I personally have not been to addicted to this, but this is probably due to the type of games that I play.
The second most addicting thing that I absolutely love is the level-ups. Nothing is more satisfying than to kick the the enemies down with ease who were previously a challenge to fight. Of course strength and defense is important, but I also love speed as it can make you feel invincible.
Collecting things seems to be a mysterious addiction. Even when you don’t really know why you need to collect the stars, you still feel like you need to collect them for the entire level. It’s great, especially when it’s mixed with a fun sound. Sometimes I would collect stuff just to hear the satisfying sounds of coins!
Collecting points can also be pretty addicting, but it seems that was best in the Atari/Nintendo NES days. The aspects that has somewhat taken over points are achievements and they
don’t have to be online to show off to your friends to be fun. It simply ties into the addicting collecting aspect of games and it creates the feeling of fulfillment when your awarded with mini quests such as
killing 150 ninjas or going through the level without dying. This is especially true when achievements unlock things such as weapons, character enhancements, stages, or new characters.
Gaining new levels or modes is always a plus for having good replay value for a game. I even enjoy levels that are the same, but a little harder and different graphics such as
“hell version” or “night version”. Castlevania: symphony of the night did a great job with this by having half of the game being the first castle, just upside down. Bonus levels can be create great variety in the game…if it’s done right. If the bonus levels aren’t fun, then it can be down right torture for the player. A bad example which I hated, was the boxing bonus levels in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. It was no fun to me and felt like work more than anything.
Multiple ending are fantastic to me, usually triggered by achievements, story changes, or playing different characters in the game. Heavy Rain and Silent Hill were great examples of different
endings, depending on what you did during the game.
Games don’t really have to be complicated at all to be worth anything, some of the most simple games can the most satisfying, such as Peggle from PopCap Games or Flight from Armor Games. I very much believe that replay aspects like these can really make small games worth while to purchase.