As I’ve been downloading some COG/HGs on my phone, I’ve been a little surprised to find that one thing in particular seems to gain low ratings and negative reviews for the games, a short playthrough length.
Personally I find this really strange. It makes sense that the ratings wouldn’t be as high as they are in longer games, since they can’t go into as much depth when it comes to plot, characters and story arcs. Still, a lot of reviews tend to complain specifically about the games being too short.
The reason I find this weird is that the majority of games will say in the description the amount of words in the game. (Since I’ve been quite busy recently, I’ve been looking specifically for shorter games to play so that I don’t get too distracted by them.) The length of a game should be pretty easy to determine from the word count. If the game has over 300,000 words, you know to expect an epic that you’ll be reading for hours. If a game is only 30,000 words long, it’s safe to assume that you’re not going to get much more than an hour of game play.
It’s a shame since it seems to be a problem specifically for interactive fiction, because you cannot physically see when the story is going to end. After all, if somebody picked up a book in a library that was only 100 pages long, they wouldn’t reach page 99 expecting the book to be halfway through, then be surprised and disappointed to find that it finishes on the next page.
What do you guys think? If a game states in the blurb that the word count isn’t very high, is it fair to then criticize the game for being too short?