Gamer A -- Story:
I like exciting stories that maintain dramatic tension and don't have plot
gaps or character inconsistencies. The game should make important story
elements obvious, leaving speculation for minor story points.
Gamer B -- Story:
The story should unfold gradually, and parts can remain in the background.
Not all the plot threads need to be tied up by the game's end. The story
should be told via characters, texts, puzzles, and the gameworld itself.
Ideally, the game should leave you thinking, make you reanalyze things that
happened early on, possibly even make you want to replay to see the story
unfold now that you know more.
Gamer C -- Story:
The story is what makes or breaks an adventure game. I like games with
plenty of character interaction and multiple cut scenes, giving a
cinema-like experience. The story should be fresh, original and deep. I like
plot twists, and have no trouble keeping track of multiple subplots. I
identify with characters so much that sometimes I even dream about them.
Gamer D -- Story:
The most important thing about a story is that it not get in the way of
the gameplay. If the story enhances the puzzles and makes sense of the
gameworld, then it's a plus. If cut scenes or dialogs or diary/journal
entries are too frequent or too long, the story has become a hindrance.
Gamer A -- Puzzles:
Puzzles should fit the plot and the gameworld. They should advance the plot
or reveal information about the characters. I like to know why I'm solving a
puzzle -- the appearance of the puzzle itself should make sense, just as the
puzzle should be logical. If they fit the story, a few timed puzzles and
mini-games are fine.
Gamer B -- Puzzles:
Good puzzles are innovative, don't require the gamer to undergo a lot of
repetition, and are fairly clued. They should start out easy and then become
more difficult as the game advances. I like puzzles that require pattern
analysis, especially the kind that involve color or sound, and I also enjoy
mechanical puzzles. It's a bonus if the puzzle fits into the gameworld and
story, but the cleverness of the puzzle itself is more important than how it
happens to "fit in."
Gamer C -- Puzzles:
The puzzles should suit the story. I favor inventory puzzles over other
types. If puzzles slow progress down too much, they destroy the game's sense
of flow. None of the puzzles should be gamestoppers -- if gamers have to
abandon a game because they can't solve a specific puzzle, the game has
failed. All adventure games should have hint systems and "show all hotspots"
features, and all timed puzzles should be skippable after a certain number
Gamer D -- Puzzles:
Puzzles should be challenging -- if they're too easy, the game is
disappointing. I like variety and innovation in puzzles, but I also like
traditional puzzles, especially if they have a new "take" or are approached
in a slightly different fashion. I actually prefer a poorly designed puzzle
to a puzzle that's too easy. I don't mind being stuck for hours, and love
the feeling of accomplishment I get from finally figuring out a wickedly
difficult challenge. I like sliders, tone-matching, decoding, and classics
like the Tower of Hanoi puzzle. I don't like timed puzzles -- I want to test
my brain, not my reflexes, at least when playing an adventure game.
Gamer A -- Environments and Exploration:
Exploration is okay if it doesn't disrupt the game flow. Back-and-forthing
through the gameworld should be kept to a minimum. Environments should help
to immerse the gamer in the game. They should suit the story and the
puzzles, add interest and depth to the overall experience. They should make
the gamer feel that s/he is a part of the game.
Gamer B -- Environments and Exploration:
The environments should provide an alternate reality that's fun to explore.
The more exploration the better. The environments should be eye-catching,
detailed, and compelling. I like to observe the surroundings, and
prefer a large environment with fewer hotspots (or a way to tell which
hotspots are essential), rather than a smaller environment loaded with
hotspots. Stylized graphics, cartoon-like graphics, photorealistic graphics
-- they're all enjoyable. I drink it all in. The best gaming reward is a new
area opening up to explore.
Gamer C -- Environments and Exploration:
The environments should suit the story and help the gamer learn more about
the characters. They should blend smoothly with the cut scenes. I enjoy
cartoon-like graphics where the story and characters are engaging. A
gameworld map that cuts down on back-and-forthing, and the ability to
double-click to get a character to run or to transition to the next area
should be standard features. I prefer a smaller gameworld with lots to
interact with -- rather than huge, empty environments without much
Gamer D -- Environments and Exploration:
The environment should be fully integrated into the puzzles, so much so that
often it IS the puzzles. I like labyrinths and I don't mind back-and-forthing
if it's logical and adds to the challenge. Show me an environment with
intricate paths, locked doors, tunnels, rail switchbacks and underwater
caverns -- and I'm in paradise. I have a great sense of direction and seldom
get "lost" in the environments. Photorealism is much preferred to
Gamer A -- Atmosphere:
Everything about a game should contribute to its atmosphere. Story,
graphics, puzzles, music -- all should be integrated and working together to
evoke a specific type of emotion or dramatic effect, giving an overall sense
of flow. I sometimes encounter a character or an element in the story or
environment that "sticks out" and disrupts the atmosphere, and this can
significantly affect my enjoyment. Music that is overly repetitive is a
distraction, and I tend to turn it off if I have the option. Puzzles that
are random obstacles having nothing to do with the story, or that have been
"stuck" randomly in the environments, also destroy the game's atmosphere.
Gamer B -- Atmosphere:
A game with a compelling atmosphere is one that gets all the details right,
so the game feels authentic. When designers pay attention to the details,
this increases the chances that the gamer will experience a sense of
immersion in a time, a place, or in the unfolding events. "Atmospheric" is
not the same thing as "dark." For instance, historical details add to a
game's historical atmosphere, or give-and-take among wacky characters adds
to a game's comedic atmosphere. I can be just as drawn into the atmosphere
of a colorful, quirky gameworld as I am drawn into the atmosphere of a
somber, threatening gameworld.
Gamer C -- Atmosphere:
Atmosphere should suit the "genre" of the story. A game has atmosphere if it
has evoked an emotional response. If a game makes me scared, or makes me
sad, or makes me laugh -- these emotions show that the atmosphere has been
Gamer D -- Atmosphere:
I notice the atmosphere most in dark, brooding games. The scenery
contributes to a game's atmosphere, but even more, the game's background
music and/or ambient sounds contribute to the atmosphere. I'm not always
consciously aware of atmosphere, but I do notice if the game lacks