They’re as essential a part of the experience as any other element, but they’re not always enjoyable.
All game developers know that nowadays, replay value is an extremely important factor for gamers, especially with gamers becoming more wary of the current trend of DLCs. Games have become veritable investments, and in order to convince a player to invest the time and money to play your game, you need to convince them that they get their money’s worth with an intriguing storyline, smooth gameplay and controls, and of course, lots of things to do on the side.
This is especially true with role-playing games (RPGs), as they often follow a strict story that the player unravels as he explores the world within the game. Without side quests and mini-games, RPGs become linear and boring, often failing to fulfill their full potential, even when they have all the other things figured out. This is why, when you look at the communities dedicated to the independent creation of RPGs like RPG Maker have had extensive discussions about the creation and execution of mini-games.
But these mini-games don’t always click. Take for example the Serendipity Casino in Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Square Enix’s response to gamers’ complaints that the previous game in the series had been too linear. Serendipity Casino was, for all intents and purposes, only there to eat up some game time, but there were also some items that you would have had to get from the casino if you wanted to get 100% completion of the game. These included Fragments, and even the completion of a hidden story regarding one of the characters from Final Fantasy XIII. But Serendipity Casino proved to be more annoying than enjoyable, and many players were able to get the Fragment from a slot machine by simply sticking rubber bands on their controllers and leaving the game running for hours. We’re not even kidding.
After all, it wasn’t like the previous casino in Final Fantasy, the beloved Gold Saucer, where games were actually quite fun, with one even spawning its own mobile app. But these games were enjoyable because they had a bit more of an element of skill to them, unlike casino games, where luck was the most important factor. This is something that many gamers have repeatedly complained about, and even though Intercasino. the world’s oldest online gaming website, has said that there’s always a way to boost your chances of winning at slot games, many gamers have complained that RNG (random number generators) just aren’t the way to go when it comes to casino mini-games.