Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Replay value is a term usually found in combination with video games, but it may be also used to describe other kinds of games, movies, music, or theater plays. The term replayability can also be used in the same context.
Video game players use the term replay value to describe the entertainment value of playing a game more than once. Although this is obviously a subjective criterion, there are certain factors that consistently enhance or detract from a game's replayability. For example, a game with a linear plot will typically have a lower value than an otherwise similar game in which the player has some choice in the course the story takes.
While some genres, especially adventure games, tend to have low replay value (as a focus on storytelling often conflicts with replay value); and other genres, such as strategy games or simulations, tend to have high replay value, ultimately the quality of the game design decides the playability. Role playing games is a genre which is famous for good replayability, as the player can often play completely different characters each time. Consider the popular computer game Diablo; many players, having beaten the game once, will go back and try it again with a different character class. In massively multiplayer online games, the other players contribute to the variety of gameplay, and thus the replayability.
It should be noted, however, that variety in gameplay is not essential to replayability. Many arcade games, especially from the golden age of arcade games, are completely linear, yet people continue to play these games, even those that have been around for decades. A clear example can be seen in Tetris. The gameplay is extremely simple compared to more modern games; yet it is arguably one of the most addictive video games ever made.
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