What makes you decide not to buy a CoG or HG?


Hmmm, it’s hard for me to say, considering I own most of the games. I’d say first I look at the peer reviews, because people who play these tend to be more honest and open with their reviews, next I’ll see if its written well and what type of game it is. Choices have to matter and also the stat system. I like complex stat systems. I’m also into romance.

Strangely enough, if the game is overly complicated or it’s like reading a textbook I don’t enjoy it. It was a struggle for me to finish choice of Alexandria for instance.


The first thing I check before buying a game is the word count. Normally it has to be at least 150 words long for me to consider buying it, unless I’ve already played other games written by the author and I know that I like the way they write.
The next important thing for me is if the game allows me to play a female MC. I know all COGs lets the player to choose the MCs gender but there are genderlocked HGs. I gave them a chance when I bought A Study in Steampunk. I couldn’t complain about the writing or anything, but I still couldn’t enjoy it the same way as I enjoy playing a COG/HG which isn’t genderlocked.
Romance options are kinda important for me too but the lack of them in a game isn’t so offputting for me that I wouldn’t buy a game which otherwise seems interesting. The thing I think is important about ROs is giving everyone the same quality regardless of the gender of the MCs gender. It’s not COG/HG but as a really bad example for this is Baldurs Gate 2 with 3 LIs for male PCs and 1 for females. Even if there are actually more male gamers then females it still just seems like the creators where just too lazy to care about giving more options for females. Now I don’t find it annoying if there is just 1 RO or none, what I find annoying is when I feel kinda like I’m punished for being a female who would like to play an MC which fits my own gender.
Other things I like in a game: if it’s less linear, a lot of customization and being able to create the MC I want and not the one the author would like (bad example: Hero Project: Redemption Season).


If it’s to “difficult” for me. Meaning that it contains; politics, buisiness management, a big world with a lot of pages to explain things or “hard English” (I am Dutch, so English is quite difficult sometimes). Also, if I don’t like the protagonist, the writing style and if I must make an extreme choice that I do not want.


Some of the things that turns me off a purchase:

  1. Flat, uninteresting characters.
    Come on, interactive fiction with people that have the personality of a cardboard cutout? Pass.

  2. Overuse of a gimmick
    There are some authors with a strong preference for a gimmick or format. Used well I do not mind it so much but overuse grows tiresome fast.

  3. No internal logical consistency.
    I tend to have a very low threshold of disbelief for serious works. If the characters are acting highly irrationally or the contrivances pile on too thick, I will simply put the work down and not go back to it.

  4. Bad representation
    Good representation I can get behind. Bad representation not so much. CoG tends to be good at this but outside of it there were works that turned me off due to very poor representation of various communities.

  5. Requires foreknowledge
    Usually I will not purchase a work set in an established universe unless I am already familiar with it. Too little leisure time to get into something new just to purchase something else.

  6. Player agency denied
    If the player’s choices, or even (much) worse, choices offered feel like a straightjacket, I will discard the work. If I wanted to be told what to think, I will enroll in a school.


Nothing can make a game 100 unsellable to me. But these are things that can make it a harder sell:

  • Locked gender. Locked gender to male and the game really have to be unique to drag me in. Mostly I will just put it away if I see locked to male. Locked to female and I might try, but I vastly prefer to be able to choose.

  • No RO. You really have to have a unique premise to get me to play a game with no RO. (And by unique premise, I mean something like choice of cat or playing a toddler or something like that.)

  • Speaking of RO, games which marketed themselves as: be able to play as straight, gay, bi and asexual. As an ace person, I have by now been burnt so many times by COGS and Hosted games which are incapable of distinguishing between ace people and aroace people that I just don’t trust them.

Other than that. A plot which is not really character driven. I like interacting with NPCs. I like character driven stories.


For me, every COG game, whilst phenomenal comes down first to the interest. I want to be immersed in the story, and often at times, a choice feels meaningless or rushed. But the theme itself is what sells me on the game.

I know theme is generally down to personal preference, but it goes hand and hand in immersion. I am generally captivated by how dark it can get, or even light, but it’s the meaning behind my choices and the actual impact it can have. With COG Dragons, everything had impact, but it seemed rushed in the grand scheme. Many of my stats and choices had very little impact on whom I ended up being. Yes you can manipulate a few skill points here or there, but like the final battle, or your approach, it’s often minuscule enough to not even matter.

Zombie exodus, everything seemed very streamlined, where after beating it, I felt discouraged to replay when many of my choices ended in either the same result, a premanufactured end to the dilemma, where nothing changes, but I may gain a few skill points that have no impact or an item, (much of the oil rig or bandit race)

Let’s have a friend die who had meaning, let it deeply impact my relationships beyond repair, have relationships form behind my back depending on these choices. I know it is a ton to go that depth, but ripples are ever so deep and captivating.

But all of this leads to what authors I follow, who I dedicate to, and what story is the most appealing.

It took me forever to attempt the Hero’s COG because I expected a very light hearted tale, and while deep in many meanings, I sort of got what I expected.


You should enjoy the sequel, Safe Haven more then. lots of NPC characters can die in this one.


Just FYI - all the CoG/HG games are available to buy and play on the CoG website. The reason they haven’t dropped the whole catalogue on to steam is that Valve won’t let them do so yet.


It’s fun playing as a Native American woman. They’ll talk shit about you, the yo kick their but and now they’re afraid of you. THE POWER! (`∀´)Ψ


My sole criterion is great prose style. I don’t really care what the game is about, and I don’t particularly care about the mechanics: I am in this for sparkling prose.


I remember having some issue a few years back trying to purchase one, so I’m not sure if that issue still persists. I’ll have to check once financial aid finally comes in and I can put money in a prepaid credit card(which was the issue last time, the card was not accepted because it was a prepaid card - I do not apply for credit cards and hate using my bank account for anything other than savings so no checking account or check cards) and see about that. (and no, paypal is not an option, they’re the reason I only use prepaid cards for anything)


A good example is your main character in fatehaven. I love to be able to choose my stats and then see how they affect everything around me, from tiny bits of story to my power element. Also, later in the game something happens with your appearance and it feels very real to me.


I am Turkish, my English is not that bad but while playing some of the games (playing mobile) i kinda feel that i have to use translate. Some authors making novels more complicated to make it more significant. But some of us are not actually comfortable about this. Like playing medieval of CoG games there is no problem. But the modern ones have lots of different words. I don’t know if something can be done about this but i just wanted to say it.


Yes, very few of the attempts to use “flowery” English work out if the writer is inexperienced and/or non-native. For hosted games especially that isn’t going to work out given lack of resources for a copyeditor to fix it.


Thank you, I actually beat it twice, I loved safe haven and have been following it’s progress on part 2 relentlessly. It’s a world of difference and I am estatic for its future.


I care a bit about what the game is about, but for the most part I’m the same - if the writing grabs me, I’m generally pleased to continue playing a game even if the subject isn’t my immediate interest.

In CoG/HG game demos I tend to focus on the writing and the choices first off - if the writing doesn’t grab me, or the choices don’t allow for the actions I’d like to take, or are repetitive, then I’ll set it aside. Sometimes I’ll return to a demo later and play the game in full, though, if my mood or tastes shift.


If a game is gender locked, I won’t play it. I usually play as a male, but even if the game’s main character is a gender-locked male I won’t be able to enjoy it. Just having a choice in what gender I can play as can make a huge difference.


If I can figure out that it is too heavily dependent on stats, I won’t buy. Unfortunately, many games do not show this until towards the end, and then I regret the purchase.

No gender choice - either none at all, and you are… a grey blob for all it matters, or only able to play as male.

That’s two big things. Next, almost as big, is if I do not get immersed and feel drawn in, then I will pass. Usually this comes down to shallow characters, ‘dry’ writing (for instance; Asimov, the sci-fi author, write way too dry for me) and no redeemable qualities in characters, be it my own or the others.

Often hard to judge some of these aspects from a demo, and unfortunately I have several games I played once and may never play again. Mostly it is those frustrating stat checks that kills it for me, in a bad way.

Edit: Oh, and this is (should be) obvious for a CYOA game - when choices matters little, just like in any Telltale game, no matter how much they lie. :wink:


I am ALL for comedic stories, doubly so if they balance an actual story and the light heartef aspects of it well (Magician’s Burden, Tally Ho, School of Necromancy, to name a few), but I feel like Diabolical tried to blend seriousness with comedy, and succeeded at neither.


Yes, it is, ahem, devilishly difficult to pull that one off. :smirk:

The biggest thing that make me not buy a game is that is hasn’t been publish yet. Automatic non-purchase, that one. I mean like, totally ugh! :roll_eyes:


I’ll go now. :no_mouth: