10 Video Games Built Around A Mechanic That Got Old Quickly

Game mechanics are the main features of any game and are central not only to the game itself but also to the player’s enjoyment of the game. Mechanics also affect immersion into the game, making them one of the most important elements that game developers think about when designing new games. While most games have a handful of mechanics to keep player’s interest, some games are focused on one particular mechanic that can make or break the game depending on how the player base reacts.

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One-trick pony games tend to become tiresome the fastest while multi-mechanic games can distract from the frustrating mechanics that make them tedious to play. There are many games out there built around one major mechanic that quickly faded away in future games because it was frustrating to deal with.

10 The Rewind Mechanic In Life Is Strange Gets Tedious

pompidou from life is strange

Life is Strange has a few major mechanics in its gameplay, but most of them aren’t as central to the story as Max Caufield’s ability to rewind time. At first, the novelty of this mechanic is interesting and fun to watch. But depending on how much rewinding a player needs to do, this mechanic can start to feel boring and time-consuming.

Luckily, Life is Strange isn’t exactly a long game and it rides on replay value since there are multiple outcomes to most scenarios. But once players have seen everything the game has to offer, it’s unlikely they’ll pick it up again.

9 Using Cards For Combat In Kingdom Hearts: Chain Of Memories Is Jarring

box art for kingdom hearts chain of memories on the gameboy advance

Changing the original Kingdom Hearts combat system to the card-based system in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was a bold yet strange choice. In Chain of Memories, players need to collect and purchase cards to combine in battle for various effects. This adds a grinding mechanic to the game since players need in-game currency to pick up new and stronger cards.

Such a strategic card system felt out of place in a franchise like Kingdom Hearts and made Chain of Memories frustrating to get through. Luckily, this method of battle isn’t too common, and was likely a result of the Game Boy Advance not being powerful enough to handle the franchise’s typical fast-paced, cinematic battles.

8 Battling In The World Ends With You Becomes Tiresome

battle in the world ends with you on the gameboy advance

The Nintendo DS was an industry-shattering system that prompted game developers the world over to design gameplay elements that are unique to the DS’s double screen.

The combat system in the World Ends With You was conceptualized as something that could only be played on the Nintendo DS, so Square Enix and Jupiter designed an overburdened battle system that uses both the touch and top screens of the DS. The result is overly loaded battle screens that require players to split their attention as best they can, focusing on tactile mechanics for the touch screen.

7 Cooking Mama’s Appeal Fades Quickly

Like many early Nintendo DS games, Cooking Mama wanted to use the DS’s unique touch screen feature, so nearly every game mechanic depends on the touch screen. At first, chopping vegetables, stirring soup, and blowing into the microphone to cool down hot food is charming and immersive.

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But tapping, slicing, blowing, and other mechanics unique to Cooking Mama became cumbersome and predictable. As a game that’s obviously intended to promote replay value, Cooking Mama‘s replay appeal fades once players master recipes.

6 Movement & Combat In Any Tactical RPG Is A Headache

final fantasy tactics battle split image

Tactical RPGs embrace a battle system that is simply too time-consuming and too cumbersome for many gamers. Characters move on a grid system and cannot attack opponents who are too far away. Moreover, there can be a large number of combatants on the battlefield, meaning players need to wait for every playable character and NPC to make their moves before continuing.

The result is a tedious fight that can take way too long to end. At least tactical RPGs tend to have compelling and interesting storylines to distract from the battle system, such as Final Fantasy Tactics. This type of game mechanic enjoys niche popularity.

5 Final Fantasy XI’s Subjob Grinding Was A Pain

character info screen in final fantasy xi showing all job levels

The main job/subjob system was both unique and slightly frustrating, especially early on when it took much more time and coordination with other players to gain levels. For a long time, the maximum level in Final Fantasy XI was 75, meaning the maximum subjob level was 36. And since some jobs could offer subjob benefits that others couldn’t, it was pretty common for most players to spend time leveling up two or even three subjobs to complement their main job, depending on circumstances and party needs.

Having to coordinate leveling parties and slowly stack up experience points for several jobs became cumbersome but the game’s job system functions best with subjob variety. Final Fantasy XIV ultimately retired this system.

4 Poetry Word Selection In Doki Doki Literature Club Takes Too Long

choosing poetry words in doki doki literature club

Since Doki Doki Literature Club masquerades as a dating simulation game, it makes sense that one of its major mechanics involves writing poetry with words that appeal to the player’s chosen romance option. Choosing words from the notebook UI isn’t difficult and players can choose words at random.

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But certain girls will like certain words and players need to choose carefully if they’re going for a particular option. On top of that, 20 words need to be chosen before progressing with the game. By the last few word choices, the experience feels tedious and unnecessarily repetitive.

3 Babysitting Ashley In Resident Evil 4 Got Real Obnoxious, Real Fast

Resident Evil 4 Ashley Graham

While there’s plenty of gameplay mechanics in Resident Evil 4 that make it a fantastic game, the mechanic that involves Leon S. Kennedy looking after Ashley Graham is expected from the beginning of the game. After all, the entire reason Leon is on a mission is to locate Ashley and bring her back to safety.

But when Leon does finally rescue Ashley, he needs to escort her through dangerous territories where enemies can kidnap her and carry her away as she obnoxiously screams for help. And if the enemies make it out of the area before Leon rescues her, it’s game over. Ashley’s suit of armor is the best upgrade in the PlayStation 2 version of this game since it makes Ashley indestructible.

2 Gambits In Final Fantasy XII Turned Out More Frustrating Than Expected

On paper, the gambit system in Final Fantasy XII seems like a genius system that would revolutionize battle in classic RPGs. The reality is that players have to micro-manage characters’ gambits and adjust when a gambit doesn’t work as expected.

The other side of this mechanic makes for potentially boring gameplay since players can technically put down their controllers and let the gambit system do much of the fighting for them. As innovative as this system is, many players tired of it and opted to control at least one character themselves.

1 The Knuckles & Rouge Stages In Sonic Adventure 2 Became Annoying Almost Immediately

knuckles the echidna searching for emerald shards in the pumpkin hill stage in sonic adventure 2

Sonic Adventure 2 contains several types of gameplay mechanics based on which character players control, making it a game with some unique gameplay variety. But out of the three major types of gameplay, hunting for Master Emerald shards as Knuckles the Echidna and Rouge the Bat are by far the most annoying.

Not only are the shards randomly scattered throughout the stage, but they also have to be found in order, meaning players have to revisit sections of the stage while hunting down the shards. There are hints scattered throughout the level that point toward the shards’ locations, but they don’t make the search any less frustrating.

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