How many times do you play through a CS game?

I know the answer varies wildly depending on the game, but about how many times do you play through a CS game–I’m thinking the published Choice Of and Hosted games–before you say, “OK, I’m done.”

Do you try to get every achievement? Do you try to generally explore every path? Or do you play about three times, and say, “all right, I’m good.” Do you pursue relationships with all available characters?

Or do you play just once to establish the reality of your version of the main character and not want to change it?

I guess what I’m wondering is to what extent you seek out unread/unplayed content, even after X number of plays.


Some read the code to “experience” all the additional content.


At what point do you decide to do that?

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I don’t but of the three people I know who do, usually they do after their “cannon” run - the run where they are satisfied with the story.


Several times, my first play through is usually as the “good” guy after that play through I try to explore other paths. Although sometimes if the game’s stats aren’t clear/to my liking I end up restarting several times but might only finish once or twice.


I am a pure role-player So I replay a lot or not at all. Depending on story, If story has character development and important choices I would replay a lot. ZE I had replayed it more 30 times.

However if game is not character dynamic and not allowed me to create my character I never replay it. An example based on two games from same author
@JimD Wise use of time No replay
@JimD Zombie Exodus +30
It happened with mid summer and Empyrean I had replay 7 or 8 times the first never replayed Empyrean at all. No character personality development and too much assuming what my character believes… No point in role-playing it.

I only looking code if author needs something like that. I don’t metagaming


It’s been a long time since I’ve played a completed CS game. Usually I beta-test.

I played the first four games over and over again though. I absolutely loved all of them. I’ve not played any of the other games close to as frequently as I did with those.

I think Choice of Robots comes next in terms of replayability for me. It was one of the few games I didn’t beta-test and I loved how replayable it was.

Nowadays I generally play once, maybe twice, then look at the code, and imagine my perfect playthrough while reading code. Then again I also tend to read wikipedia summaries, or recaps, far more frequently than watching movies, or reading books, or playing games.


Generally, I play once for each character I want to romance. Afterwards, if I really liked the game and especially if I know there’s gonna be another game in the series, I do one more run to get it ‘right’.


For me it depends on the game itself. There are some games like the Lost heir games where I’ve played through like 20-30 times and others that I’ve only played through a couple. I think it helps when the game itself promotes replay ability.


If I die, I play once. If the game is bad after my first play, I play once and look at the code. If I’m board, I’ll play most of the different branches that appealed to me while keeping my gender or a few other things the same until I’m satisfied with the game or run out of all the routes I want to explore. I played the vampire game to completion out of boredom.

Wow, you treat death as final in these games? That’s really interesting! Is that to ramp up the tension for you?

It’s more of me rage quitting because I didn’t mean to die, most CoGs don’t have a save and I’d have to start all the way over, or the game is so difficult I’d have to closely follow a walkthrough just to finish it.

I would replay if the death scene was great (as long as a good end, with closure, maybe an epilogue) and not so depressing that the only good end is death/ suicide cough cough Aloners :tired_face:

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Like @FairyGodfeather, I generally tend to read WIPs rather than completed games, and in that case, I will play them through a few times and read through the code. I guess part of the reason for that is that WIPs almost feel alive (and there are cool people to talk to about them), whereas the published games are already set and unchangeable.

For published games, mostly I only play them once, but I have played some more often. In some cases (Waywalkers, Psy High) it was to get different romances (and play slightly different characters) in games I enjoyed, but in at least one case (Hero of Krendrickstone) it was because I found my initial attempt so infuriating that I had to attempt it again, and when that went wrong, again. In the end, I started it three times, died once, and rage-quit twice before I realised just how much I hated it (so, enjoying the game is not necessary for replaying it)…


Number of replays varies widely for me, but I’m more likely to replay based on how much I like the story than how replayable I feel a game is (although both are factors). I’ll play through once for a game I don’t particularly enjoy, probably three times for a game I like, and maybe ten for a game I really love, sometimes over the course of a few years.

I’m also a code-diver. I’m more likely to look at code if I really enjoy a particular character or a scene, and I want to see all the instances of the character, or permutations of the scene, without playing through the entire game several times. I think I’ve done that in about eight CoG/HG titles, total.

And if I die, particularly if there aren’t return-to-chapter-opening options, and I didn’t really love the game, that will probably be my canon run and my final playthrough. Again, it’s more of time constraints than anything else—and in a lot of games, if I’ve died once, I’ll probably die again before I make it to the end so I don’t replay unless I really liked the game.

Lots of blathery specifics, if anyone is curious:

Of the games currently published by CoG and Hosted Games, I’ve replayed probably about half of them (I’ve played all of them at least once save two). If I don’t particularly like the story, I don’t re-read it, even if it’s a ‘good’ game, or extremely replayable…there are so many books and games out there, after all.

When I like a game, I’ll probably play it about three times. I generally like to try variations of pacifist routes, unless I’m beta testing and then I try to get more creative. (And I try to play games at least three times when I’m beta testing, even if I really don’t care for them.) My first run-through of a game will always be ‘can I get through this without the game making me hurt anyone or me dying’ though!

Some of the simpler games (Dragon, Starship Captain), I’ve replayed several times but over the course of years, often when roping other people into trying IF. Or sometimes just because they’re fun.

The games I’ve really loved, which include Deathless, Lost Heir II (specifically the second one), and Metahuman, I’ve played ten or even a dozen times. I enjoy the story, setting, and characters enough to want to mess about experimenting in the world for as long as possible.

There are also a few games I love (Steampunk, Tin Star, Broadsides) that I haven’t replayed more than once or twice either due to time constraints and their length, or because the first play-through was, to my mind, a perfect story, and the second and third were just to iron out the rough edges or try one portion a bit differently.

Overall I’m definitely a story-reader, not really a gamer, insofar as IF goes. Spoiler for LH II: For instance, I much prefer the ‘loss’ ending in that game than the ‘win’ one. It suits my characters better most of the time, and I also thought it made for a more interesting story. I have no desire to have wonderful stats or massively powerful protagonists; I more enjoy exploring the story from different angles, whether I win or lose.


I’m the opposite if I don’t enjoy the game or story I most likely won’t finish it I guess it’s a good thing we can play the demo before committing to buying the full game

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Oh, yes. If I don’t like the demo, I won’t bother with the full game. I guess one of the problems was that I’d already bought it, so I wanted to enjoy it, but never did.


And that’s why you don’t pre-order games but that’s a completely different discussion :unamused:

I mean unless your a fan of the series.

Usually, I only play once or twice per game. The first attempt is a blind playthrough, choosing the paths I think fit my character’s personality with little regard for min-maxing and efficiency. The second round is the opposite, where I attempt to obtain the best possible ending (or the one I wanted) while managing my stats. I figure there’s no point in going for all the possible paths after that because they’re just extras and I already got what I wanted.

That being said, If I really like a particular game, am in the right mood, and if I think it offers lots of replayability then I may open an exception for it.


Usually twice. Once to play it through and just see what it is, a second time to try variants or replayability. If I find that it is enough of a difference between the paths, I then do a third run to get the perfect one.

That being said, there are very few games I actually buy, most of them lose me during the free chapters. Not enough time to get invested or care, and very few have enough feel and good writing to make me feel the need to continue right away. The exceptions: Tin Star and Samurai of Hyuga. Tin Star I can see myself replaying many times, but there are very few deviations from the path I choose. Just making it closer to my headcanon. SoH I will replay every time a new book come out, just to get into the spirit.