I have 2 that I hate.
Rejection/We can only be lovers choices
These mostly show up in otome games but irk me just as much when I see it in other types of games, text-based or otherwise. Sometimes I really like someone, but only platonically. I would love going down their route, getting to know them and everything about their life, and trying to change it for the better, but I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with them. I hate it when games force you to choose between dating the person or rejecting them and not getting to know them at all.
Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t entirely mind a love interest that refuses to speak with you after you say that you are disinterested in them or something. As long as that childish attitude is part of their personality, then that makes it a decent character and not annoying writing. I also don’t mind it too much if I’m playing a previously defined character who is not me, meaning they already have their own previously defined personality that I have no control over. In that case, as annoying as I would find it, it’s understandable if they choose not to have any close relationships that are not romantic in nature. In both those cases, though it’s not my favored style of writing, they are both potential story elements and not due to the creator(s) not wanting to write friendship scenes… or at least the author doesn’t make it apparent.
Dead end choice
This is the choice that I hate above and beyond all choices in any game be it text based (it shows up more here than in other formats), table-top, 2D, or 3D gaming. This is the choice where, if you choose it, you automatically die or otherwise automatically fail the entire game with no chance of redemption. To me, this shows poor writing skills like why did you even include the option if you didn’t actually want to go through the effort writing a continuation of the story for it?! This doesn’t include situations where the choice is pretty much at the end of the game. I feel that those, if any, are valid places to input dead end choices.
Ex: Player has a choice pretty early in the game of fighting back against an assailant or hiding in a corner. It is noted the assailant is pretty skilled in combat when compared to the player’s character.
What I view as bad/lazy writing:
Instead of choosing to hide, the player decides to fight back but isn’t just beaten, they are killed.
What I view as decent writing:
Instead of choosing to hide, the player decides to fight back but they lose. The gap in between the attacker’s skills and the player’s character’s skills is huge and obvious. Just before they are killed…
- Someone could come to save them
- The winner could feel like the PC’s death is not worth the energy
- They could be captured
- Literally anything but doing something that automatically ends the game. Like why would you put the choice there then?