How do you play Choice of Games?

I’ve played a good number of CoG games and I find the concept very compelling; however, I often have trouble finishing them and when I do I always find myself left with a sense of - how shall I put this? Hollowness? Disappointment? Not from any problem with the games themselves (as far as I can tell) but from a feeling that I somehow haven’t played it the way it was meant to be played, haven’t experienced it to its fullest or gotten the truest version of my character’s story. So I was wondering: how do other people tend to play these games? What sort of mindset do you get into whilst playing, and how do you go about making choices and roleplaying? What are your strategies for getting the most out of a game?

It could be that I’m doing nothing wrong and these games just aren’t for me - which would be a shame, since as I said I find the concept really compelling and I really want to enjoy the experience. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

(P.S. I’m new to the forum; looking forward to engaging more with this community!)


Play 1 should in theory be ‘what would I do in that situation’, unless you are role playing someone quite different to yourself.

The obvious question is how you are playing them that makes you feel that way.


I’m curious what makes you feel this way. Is it that when you make choices, things happen that you don’t expect? The story goes a different direction than what you were expecting? Or are you failing stat checks?


short answer: I just play?

Long assed answer: I have been playing games since the Atari. So, the way I do it is a bit different .

My 1st playtrough is to map the game in my mind . Meaning, in that 1st playtrough, anything goes . I make mistake, I pick choices just to see what reaction I will get, and sometimes I break up relationship just for the heck of it and see how it all end . (Nowdays they use that and call it ‘‘Default world state’’ :smile: cose everything goes to shit) .

There arent many COG that have enough replayability where you make a 100 mc . Well maybe some do, I wouldnt know…too lazy to do that .

Lets take my favorite wip : Fallen Hero

Innit I do have many mc . I have my main MC who struggle and is hoping for ‘die-in-your-arms-Ortegah’ kinda of ending. Then I have an mc who is playing everyone for fools . Another is there to destroy everything . Another want to take the world for themself…and so on .

There is no ‘True way’ to play . There is no, this is how the game should be played . Its called CHOICE for a reason.

Here you need to ask yourself if this sort of ‘Short coming’ is because the template of your character isn’t fitting with the story narrative, or higher expectation maybe?

I say that, because some peoples go with this mindset of ‘Imagining where this story would go’ and often it doesnt fit that, and they get dissapointed .

I say just play the game, create your character based on the narratives and choices you see before you . Not whats inside your head, thats role playing…but role playing cant change whats already written in the story .

You can always write fanfic yourself and give closure to your own character and to feel better . Thats allowed I think .

I hope this help a little :wink:


Like I’m playing Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect, or the Witcher 3. That’s the mindset I approach these stories from.

I go in with the expectation that the author has a certain idea in mind for the story and that I’m just there to tag along for the journey. I can make choices within that framework but ultimately I either have to surrender and enjoy the experience or stop reading and find something else that’s enjoyable.

I make choices/role play based on what I want to do in a certain situation or based on which choice is most likely to yield the outcome I want to happen.

And there aren’t such a thing as a strategy for what you’re asking. Certain stories have a stat checks that you need to succeed at if you want the “good” ending/result, but there’s no definitive answer for what you’re looking for.

It feels like you’re trying to “grind” your way to finding enjoyment for these stories? Or something, I’m not sure what specifically the term would be.

Sure certain stories have more stat checks than others which require you to strategize a bit more than just read, but there’s not a tried and true method that will work for getting the most out of all the stories across the board.


I get this feeling when I play games that depend on stats quite a bit. I would try to not focus on just one strength and have my character be good at a couple of things, but then I would fail stat checks or I would just be confused at what answer is meant for which stat. At the end it would feel like I missed things in the game or that I didn’t get a satisfying ending. An example of that would be when I played “The Magician’s Workshop”. I really messed up in that one and while I was able to do some things successfully, I was not satisfied with the ending I got at all.

I guess now I avoid games that depend on stats a lot and play ones that are more story focused. I also tend to focus on one or two stats and that the choices that depend on them would be obvious. It worked when I played “Mask of the Plague Doctor”.

1 Like

When I’ve played games like Oblivion, Skyrim and Fallout I usually play through the main quest and any side quests I can find with one character who is just my test character to just see what choices or different questlines are out there and understand the world. And then I use what information I found or bits I like that to create like…8 different characters for each game to roleplay. So in skyrim I have one character who is a half altmer half nord who I use to do the stormcloack questline, I have a breton assassin who joins the dark brotherhood and travels collecting plants to make poisons with. And my dragonborn is a dunmer who is the grandchild of the main hero character in the last game.

Sometimes when I play a COG I choose a character archetype I want to play after reading the demo and roll with that character for the whole game and choose the same options when I replay it because I enjoyed it so much ( Like in Tally Ho I always play the stotic and extremely diligent butler who loves Rory and takes his duties seriously and used to do bare knuckle boxing like a proper english butler).

On the other hand in some games where I don’t have a good handle of how some dialogue responses or what stats allow for some choices I end up doing a few test run throughs to work out what does what to find my ‘optimum playthrough’

1 Like

Welcome to the forum! I hope you enjoy your stay! How I play CoGs is by thinking long and hard on each choice and what might be the consequences of picking it since I am the cautious type xD. Once I finished the game the CoG if it satisfied me, I play again to try different paths and what would have happened if I chose this. Anyway, that is how I play my CoGs/HGs/ WIPs. Thank you for your time!

1 Like

Welcome to the forum!! :slight_smile:

As for how I play… my first run through any game or demo, I have two characters (already developed, fairly middle of the road in most character traits and easy to get along with) that I use. One is for a fantasy/sci-fi setting and the other is for a non-fantasy setting.

If I like the demo enough, I create a character specifically for the game–I typically try to stick with the background we’re given, if we’re given one, but many times that doesn’t stick (my characters develop how they wish, not how I wish!). If I buy the game, I’ll typically develop another character or two for it, just so I can see different paths or romances, and how different choices affect the game. That said, sometimes different characters make the same choice so I don’t get to see it, anyway!

I don’t think games are meant to be played any particular way, though. It’s whatever works for you. The first couple of CoG games I bought, I never picked up again because I didn’t like them and they did feel shallow (I need characters and interaction to enjoy a game, and don’t get off on stat-raisers where that’s all that matters). After that, I picked up a couple of others that really appealed to me. I learned to play demos before buying–if you don’t like the demo, chances are you won’t like the game. Of course, if you catch the games on sale, it may be worth a shot.

I guess this makes me a bit of a cheater, but I always like to look at the game’s code as I play. That way, no matter what I choose, I can check what would have happened if I chose something else. I still pay for the games, so hopefully the creators don’t mind, and it really helps me enjoy the story even more because I never feel bothered that I made “the wrong decision”.

Sometimes I treat COGs more like “books” in which I could make characters to choose the options that would make sense for them (even if I know that I’m going to fail a stat check). Other times I treat them more like “games” where I like to challenge myself to raise the stats to get the results that I want.

I have fun both ways but I understand why mixmaxing stats could be a little frustrating. :sweat_smile:

Aaand sometimes i just want to explore everything/get all the achievments lol

1 Like

I prefer to try to play through as many routes as I can, both for achievement hunting and for experiencing content. Even the “evil” routes, just to see what happens.

The only time that a game is intended to be played through a particular way is if there are sequels, and only one or a few endings carry through in the next save. Fortunately, most games are pretty good about this (implementing continuity for each possible end state), or are logical in which endings move on and which don’t (Psy High requires you to be free and keep your powers to experience the story of the second game, so you can’t carry a character that was imprisoned or gave up their powers forward). Choice of Romance is the only game series that I can think of that railroads you onto a particular route to continue the story (you must be the Monarch’s consort or lover) past Book 1, but books 2 and 3 have much more variation allowed in the continuity.

1 Like

I usually just go with what feels right to me in my first playthrough. A lot of times cogs will have different personalities/character traits you can take in your game, and different things happen to you based on which one you choose. There is no ‘right ending’, if you get an ending you’re not happy with, that’s great! You get to play again and keep trying! Every path is its own story, and while I’ll usually have a favorite playthrough I always love exploring other options just to see what happens.

I don’t really have a first playthrough. I have a series of test runs where I get a feel for the game. Usually I don’t make it to chapter 3 in any of them.

Once I have a feel for the game, I decide on a character and embrace a playstyle suited to that character. I’ll usually play that character several times before I switch to another one, spending just as much time imagining non-linear scenes as I do playing the game.

Eventually I’ll find my favorite character, who will recieve more attention, and a more expanded non-linear spotlight than the rest. For this reason I tend to enjoy titles with sequels more. But ultimately, the most important thing is that I’m granted the ability to make a character I can invest my attention in to the point that they take on a life beyond the scope of the actual app.

Quickly, instinctually, and chaotically.


The best way to play it. I approve.

You read to the bottom of the screen and click a radio button.

Usually when I look for games to play, I look for stories that catch my eye. A plot that sounds intriguing and something I haven’t really heard about or is usually explored.
I also enjoy games that allow customization of the character, since I like creating different charas for different games.

There’s no “true” way to play a CoG, in my opinion. Since the games are made to choose your own path and ending.
But if you usually feel disappointed, perhaps you haven’t quite found a game you really like. Try playing games that are in demos and are currently being worked on! Maybe you can have a different experience from that!

same here, it depends on my mood. Some game I can play for hours, othen can quit after a few minutes

What I love about interactive novels, as opposed to the regular ones, is the opportunity to see the storyline and characters from many different angles. It’s like having a 3D cube that you can rotate vs having to make do with a drawing of a cube*. So when I read an interactive novel, I try to approach it from as many angles as possible to get (ideally) the full picture; and of course that some angles appeal to me more than others, but that doesn’t mean that any of the less appealing ones are ‘wrong’. They’re all valid and they all coexist in their respective paralel universes, and some of them happen to be my favourites. :smiley:

*not that there’s anything wrong with drawings, per se (books are awesome!!)

1 Like