->''"There are also a few obscure objects mechanics that the game doesn't explain properly but bases its puzzles around regardless. It's possible, for example, to place boxes on top of the roving proximity mines. '''It's not fair if you don't make all the rules clear!'''''"
-->-- '''[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]]''', [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/9981-The-Talos-Principle reviewing]] ''Videogame/TheTalosPrinciple''

Imagine playing a FirstPersonShooter and finding that [[SheatheYourSword NOT shooting the bloodthirsty enemies]] is the expected solution, and merely pointing your gun long enough without firing or firing some warning shots will scare them away with no body count. Since every shooter is designed to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin let you shoot enemies]], why would you think this time would be different? This can also be the result if a PhysicsEngine or gameplay effect is made to simulate reality (or what people generally accept as "real"[[note]]For example, a puzzle that involves a bull and a red cape. This is a myth proven untrue, but is still commonly accepted.[[/note]]) without the player knowing, and is suddenly called upon to solve a problem.

Didn't know you could do that? How could you not? It's common sense!

As always, TropesAreNotBad. There are [[PuzzleThriller a number of games]] in which [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_concealed_rules part of the game is figuring out the rules]], or in which changing the rules is necessary to win. This type of gameplay is simply not very common, which is why it tends to bamboozle and frustrate some players.

Subtrope of HiddenInPlainSight, sometimes overlaps with CuttingTheKnot. Contrast MoonLogicPuzzle, in which the logic which solves the puzzle is so out there that there's no ''way'' it was obvious, as well as MisaimedRealism, where an element intended to be realistic only ends up highlighting unrealism.

'''As this is a puzzle solutions trope, there are unmarked spoilers ahead.'''



!!Gaming examples:

[[folder:Adventure Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/AnotherCode'', you have to press two maps together, one on the top screen and one on the bottom screen. To do so, you have to close and open the DS.
* One late game puzzle in ''VideoGame/LastWindow'' involves retrieving a key from a music box. The DS essentially acts as the lid and the interior of the box, which turns off when the two halves are sufficiently closed. The trick is using this at just the right time in order to pop out a key when the internal mechanisms are aligned in such a way as to let it out, which is assigned to one of the shoulder buttons.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' series is known for its {{Moon Logic Puzzle}}s. However, ''VideoGame/UruAgesBeyondMyst'' at times simply requires you to jump up and down on stuck bridges or run over things to continue. (Granted, ''Uru'' has a different interface from other ''Myst'' games.)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'' (the first ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' sequel,) you come across a locked gate that looks like there should be enough clearance for a person to simply crawl under it if it existed in the real world. Because of the game's tendency toward everything being a {{Moon Logic Puzzle}} and the point-and-click interface significantly circumscribing the paths you can take, it can be a bit surprising when you realize that the solution actually is to just go under it.
* At the end of ''[[VideoGame/SimonTheSorcerer Simon the Sorcerer 3D]]'' you find a computer where you are supposed to insert a CD. However, within the game you cannot interact with the computer to open its CD drive. The solution is to open this on your own physical computer. Unfortunately, some computer setups do not send the signal the game looks for when opening the CD drive, thus making the game UnwinnableByMistake.
* The PC version of ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}}'' has a bridge that collapses because you have too much weight.[[note]]The original NES game and the Game Boy Color UpdatedRerelease ''Shadowgate Classic'' allow you to cross with the help of a potion.[[/note]] So how do you cross? By lowering your weight: [[InventoryManagementPuzzle leave ALL your possessions behind]], except for a torch and one item needed for the puzzle on the other side.
* At the start of ''[[VideoGame/DejaVu Deja Vu II]]'', you begin in the bathroom with NOTHING in your inventory. And we mean ''literally nothing''; you [[NakedOnArrival start as a nudie.]] You might want to get your clothes off the bathroom door and wear them before leaving and talking to people.

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'':
*** In the City in the Sky, at one point Link enters a bottomless room guarded by two lizalfos. Simply take two steps forward into the room (after the door locks behind you) and both leap to their doom while trying to come after you.
*** Another ''Twilight Princess'' example is the second jousting match with King Bulblin. The first time, you rode Epona past his boar and swung your sword to knock him off, a la a proper joust. The second time you face him, he's wearing armor on his sides that protects him from sword swings. How do you properly joust him this time? [[CombatPragmatist Who said anything about jousting? Just pull out your bow and shoot him a few times in the chest.]] The third match would be the worst offender, now that he traded his armor for shields that prevent swords AND Arrows. How do you get past him now? Well his reactions aren't perfect, just shoot him when you're close enough that he couldn't possibly be fast enough to block.
*** At one point you run into a snow drift that blocks your way while following a scent. There's nowhere to climb over it and none of your items seem to help. Just dash into it and the snow collapses.
** In ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', you have to press two maps together--one on the top and one on the bottom screen. To do so, you have to close and open the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' thrives on this trope, applying real-life rules to the game that must be taken into consideration in order to survive. For instance:
*** You're free to ignore the story quests and make a beeline for the final boss at the first opportunity. You won't learn anything about the story by ignoring the main quests, and [[EarlyGameHell you will likely]] [[NintendoHard die horribly]], but you have the option.
*** Hearts, rupees, and other supplies no longer drop from cutting down grass or breaking pots. You will need to gather food and cook meals to recover health, barter items to earn rupees (although they can still be found in some treasure chests), and use whatever weapons enemies drop to fight.
*** If you're carrying any metallic equipment in a thunderstorm, they will conduct electricity and make you into a lightning rod. To avoid possible death by thunderstrike, you'll need to either drop said equipment, or find shelter.
*** Your armor is important when travelling into areas with harsh temperatures: if you don't equip properly insulated armor when going into an area with frigid cold temperatures, you'll take continuous damage from the cold; while not having properly light clothing will cause damage in deserts.
*** If you fall from a high place, rolling won't save you: you will hit the ground and hurt yourself, or even die.
*** Bomb arrows are rendered useless in rainy weather, due to their fuses getting wet. It's also ill-advised to use them in volcanic areas: the extreme heat will cause them to detonate prematurely and hurt you.
* The manual for ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateOfAtlantis'' action game warns you that the roulette tables in Monte Carlo are rigged, and hints that you need to do something to "beat the system". The expected solution? See what number came up, then [[SaveScumming reload the game]] and bet on that number.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarII'', there is a segment where the player has to climb up to a ledge to continue. There is a pushable block nearby, but standing on the block still leaves the ledge just out of reach. There is a switch the player can hit that causes a square part of the floor to raise up on a thin, round pillar, but it falls back down too quickly for the player to use it. The solution is to kick the block UNDER the raised floor before the pillar falls. Like many examples here, in real life this solution would be obvious, but most players would expect [[HitboxDissonance the entire floor-pillar object to act as a solid rectangle.]]
* The third person shooter ''Videogame/SpecOpsTheLine'' has many examples of this. In one instance, the player is confronted with a riotous mob of civilians threatening to kill the player. Naturally being a shooter, the expected response would be to gun them down, especially since the scene begins with the players weapons drawn and aimed at the mob [[spoiler: along with your squadmate begging to shoot them]]. However, if the player simply fires warning shots into the air or ground, or even melee attacks one of them, the civilians all run away, allowing the player to pass without killing anyone.

[[folder:Pinball Games]]
* Done twice in ''VideoGame/ObsessionPinball'':
** In "Balls 'n Bats," hitting a specific target will make the pitcher throw the ball towards your flippers; "batting" it rewards points, while missing the ball results in a "strike." The ball is lost after three strikes.
** Along with playing pinball, "Desert Run" requires you to repeatedly shoot the "Place" ramp to maintain and advance your position in the race, and the "Pitstop" ramp to get more gas to continue.

* In ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' one section of the game has you trying to find a way into Meridia, an area that you can see through a glass tube, but can't get to. The solution is to simply destroy the glass tube with one of your vast array of explosive weaponry--but because your weapons normally only affect enemies and doors, not scenery, it's not obvious. (Unless you've seen the clue in another part of the game, where a similar tube has already been destroyed.)
* In ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' for the {{NES}}, there's a gap between two platforms that is about as wide as your character and impossible to jump across, as the ceiling is too low and you end up hitting it and falling. The solution is to simply walk over it.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' confounded many players with the physics for moving around on a boat. Getting on the boat and shooting [=FLUDD=] made the boat move as if shooting the water was applying thrust. For example, shooting behind the boat made the boat move forward. In that sense, it follows cartoony physics that are easy to understand. However, when it comes to turning, things are a little trickier. Sometimes shooting left would turn the boat right, as expected, but sometimes it didn't work out so cleanly. The explanation comes from where Mario is standing on the boat; if he's standing near the back of the boat, shooting left shifts the ''back'' of the boat to the right, therefore the ''front'' of the boat turns left.

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/HunterTheReckoning'', the final boss is a Lasombra Vampire. The Lasombra are a clan who specialize in turning darkness and shadows into physically controlled weapons and tendrils, but take extra damage from sunlight. The Boss is in the top floor of its hideout, a boarded up abandoned building that, three levels earlier, you entered during the day. The quick and easy way to defeat the vampire? Don't aim at him, instead aim at the boarded up windows behind him. Shatter the boards, the sun streams in, and he's toast.
* Some [=NPCs=] in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' would refuse to talk to you if you had a weapon drawn or [[PleasePutSomeClothesOn weren't wearing any clothes]]. This was dropped by ''Hordes Of The Underdark'' and not picked up for ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2''.
* In ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'':
** You can spend most of the game with your gun out and ready to fire without consequences. Places where you shouldn't have a gun out will remove all but holdout weapons, and you can still draw holdouts without causing alarm. But a couple of very tense quests to resolve conflicts between factions that are either about to shoot or are already shooting will only end in violence ''unless'' you holster your weapon. Because approaching a hostile situation with a plasma rifle up and ready to fire is naturally going to lead to some assumptions from both sides...
** Some characters, both major and minor, will react completely differently depending on several factors, such as: what type of clothing you're wearing, what followers you have with you, what your reputation with specific factions is, among other variables. For example, if you want to talk to someone who'd normally be hostile to you because you've killed their allies in the past, you can throw on their ally's armor beforehand, and leave that Follower they hate somewhere out sight. Not realizing this beforehand can lead to situations where you're just minding your own business and someone you've never met opens fire on you for reasons you don't even understand.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** In most games, [=NPCs=] usually react angrily if you talk to them while holding your weapons; if you want to speak to someone without having your reputation with that person plummet, you have to literally SheatheYourSword first. This came as a surprise to numerous gamers, who were quite used to the video game idea of being able to walk around with holding a sword of pure evil, with a small armoury strapped across your back, and have none of the [=NPCs=] of that particular game bat an eye.
** In a swing back to MisaimedRealism, this can be [[GoodBadBugs exploited]] in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]''. You can play a little persuasion minigame to raise a person's disposition to you, but everyone has a maximum value you can raise their disposition to with this. If you raise their disposition to the max level with your weapon out, you can back out of conversation, sheathe your weapon, and head back into a conversation for an instant jump in their disposition beyond what is normally possible.
** To acquire some daedric quests your player character needs to be "unlikable" and/or "unpleasant" so that the daedric prince will dignify speaking to you, so you can brew and drink a potion that specifically lowers your charisma stat ''or'' get drunk with a lot of alcohol which will have the same effect.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'': In the vast majority of RPG games, even shallow water is treated as an InsurmountableWaistHighFence, which forces you to either go around it or look for a means of transport across it. ''Xenoblade'' doesn't restrict you. If water is all that stands between you and your intended destination, your party can simply hop in and swim across (though you'll still [[GrimyWater take unavoidable damage and eventually die]] if you stray out ''too'' far).
* ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'': When asked why he always created so many situations in which the player is forced to [[WouldHurtAChild kill children in combat]], Richard Garriott stated that in those situations, there were several other ways to resolve the combat without killing them. For example, casting CharmPerson or ForcedSleep on them, or [[SheatheYourSword dropping your weapon]] and then punching them until they run away.

[[folder:Simulation Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ProjectZomboid'': In a game of this detail, it's hard to say what realism would be unexpected, but try these:
** With hundreds of buildings to loot, some will be locked, so you can usually smash a window instead. The "expected" result (assuming you didn't [[SoftGlass try to use your bare hands]]) is that the noise will draw zombies; "unexpected" is that climbing through it will injure those hands severely if you didn't take a moment to clear the glass shards, and you might need a tweezers item to deal with the trauma effectively.
** A [[SickeningCrunch leg can be broken]] from a fall. "Expected" is that anyone can fashion a splint from sticks and rags. "Unexpected" may be that you will actually have to keep that splint on for in-game weeks (already better than the real-life months!) before your zombie-competitive mobility is restored.
** There is a setting for the realism of reloading firearms. Given that there are three choices, it might be "expected" that at the highest setting you would need to pay attention to [[OneBulletClips individual rounds in individual magazines]], and this it true. It might, however, be "unexpected" that if you misuse the "[[DramaticGunCock rack-the-action]]" button when there is already a round in the chamber, an unfired round will be ejected to the ground for you to pick up—or not.

[[folder:Stealth-Based Games]]
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', the fight against Psycho Mantis. He starts controlling Meryl and making her try to blow her brains out. The easiest way to stop her? Just put her in a choke hold to knock her out.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' has a mad, passionate love affair with this trope.
*** You have to open a locked door. How do you do it? Disguise yourself as a scientist, and knock.
*** The Fear constantly uses up all of his stamina to turn invisible and jump around. He replenishes it by finding food on the battlefield. Thus, Snake can leave his rotten or spoiled food around for The Fear to find and actually ''poison'' him with it!
*** The Pain attacks with a swarm of bees in water-filled caverns. And since everyone knows bees hate water, you can actually toss grenades into the water to splash him.
*** You can defeat The End by sniping him the first time he appears in a cutscene, [[DungeonBypass thus skipping his entire boss fight]]. Barring that, you can also skip the fight entirely by just saving the game and leaving it alone for a few days. Since The End is over 100 years old, he'll actually die waiting for Snake to show up again!
*** You just ingested rotten food and don't have digestive medicine to counteract it, so what do you do? Well, just go to the Medical screen and start spinning Snake around until he gets dizzy and pukes it out!
*** [[FakingTheDead The fake cyanide pill]] has several uses. Many enemies will reveal their positions, expose vulnerabilities or unlock doors to see what the hell happened if Snake just suddenly "dies" right in front of them.

* In ''VideoGame/{{Clock Tower|1995}}'', you can access the house's garage, climb into the car that's parked inside, and simply drive away from the murderous pursuer. But, doing so gives you the game's worst ending.
* In a break from survival horror tradition, many locked doors and blocked passageways in ''VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins'' are overcome not by hunting around for keys or solving puzzles but simply smashing through them using the game's melee weapons: using a fire axe to chop down a wooden door, for example. [[MisaimedRealism Irritatingly]], however, only certain melee weapons will work on certain kinds of doors.
* In ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'', one group of survivors Chuck can rescue are a pair of stranded US Army soldiers. Having had the rest of their unit just taken out right before their eyes, they're understandably a little nervous... [[SheatheYourSword So approaching them with a drawn weapon might not be the best idea.]]
* Twice in ''VideoGame/{{Illbleed}}'', the player character comes across a boss that's literally invulnerable, then remembers that he or she is in a theme park, defeating them by going into the control room and disabling them from there.
* One locked door in ''VideoGame/ObsCure'' is opened not by rooting around for a key or [[SolveTheSoupCans figuring out some bizarre puzzle]], but rather by smashing through the door's glass panel, then reaching in and unlocking it.

[[folder:Text-Based Game]]
* Giant parts of ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' game. You have a headache? Take an aspirin.
* Most of the solutions to puzzles in ''VideoGame/{{Bureaucracy}}'' by Douglas Adams involve thinking in strange ways. However, there's one puzzle that you have to solve by thinking in real life terms; at one point, you're faced with a locked door. To get it to open, [[spoiler: just knock on the door, and the person who lives in the apartment will open it for you.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/PlusEquals3ALogicalAdventure += 3: A Logical Adventure]]'', a troll demands three items before he will allow the player to cross a bridge; the player must remove three articles of clothing (which, typically of interactive fiction games where they're not relevant to the plot, are not listed in the player's inventory) and give them to the troll. Two articles of clothing and the otherwise useless RedHerring calculator also works, but there's not enough items you can actually get your hands on without using at least ''some'' clothing. And wouldn't you know it, there's an unreachable fish and a mysterious ticking noise to bring the number of red herrings up to three.
* In ''VideoGame/DontShitYourPants'', it turns out that [[spoiler: deciding to defecate with your pants still on]] or [[spoiler:doing it outside of the bathroom]] isn't such a good idea. The game is very precise, and often players get a bad ending on their first playthrough.

[[folder:Puzzle Games]]
* The ''Videogame/{{Portal 2}}'' developer commentary mentions that due to having the thought that portals appear instantly when you press the button rammed into players brains, play-testers were confused when they fired a portal at [[spoiler:the moon]] and it, realistically, didn't appear instantly, due to the vast distance. Play-testers would not see a portal appear and look away. They made it so that the camera fixes once you've fired the portal, to stop confused players looking away. The vast distance and the speed at which the portal travels is actually calculated to the exact second, so players won't be waiting for long.
** The developers assumed that the portal gun operates at the speed of light. [[spoiler:It takes light 1.28 (approximately) seconds to travel between the earth and the moon. The flash of the portal opening on the moon appears at ''exactly'' double this time (since first the portal has to travel there, then the light from it opening has to travel back).]] [[ShownTheirWork They really did their homework]].

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' preparing for the upcoming casino heist requires you to date a girl who works at the casino in order to steal her key card. In a game with some missions that won't even let you destroy your highly non-essential car without failing the mission, this mission has two options: Go on a couple of dates with her. [[CuttingTheKnot Or just kill her.]] You won't fail anything, and the key card will be right there in her house.
* ''Videogame/GrandTheftAutoV:''
** There are optional tow truck missions where you have to save a car that's stuck on train tracks. This is a pain in the ass because you need to drive in front of the car, lower the hook, and back up squarely until the hook is attached, and then drive away ASAP before the train hits it. ...Or you can just push the car out of the way with the tow truck first. This won't fail the mission, and it's a hell of a lot faster.
*** You can also tow antagonizing vehicles, pretty much bringing any vehicular combat to an abrupt end.
** One of the later heist missions involves acquiring several muscle cars and tuning them to carry the loot. The game offers pictures of where they might be found and stolen in parking lots spread across the city. Alternatively, if you have been frugal, you can simply whip out your character's smartphone and buy all the cars you need right from the in-game internet.
** A fast way to lose the cops is to switch vehicles or change clothes (without them seeing you do it). Even if you get spotted in their field of vision, they will ignore you. However, if they find your old car, they'll spot you no matter what you're driving.
** Convenience store clerks will recognize you if you try to rob them more than once and sometimes will have the cops laying in wait for you... ''unless'' you wear a mask they haven't seen before.
** Taking off or putting on a mask while out of sight will instantly drop a Wanted Level by one star.
** In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', it was possible to survive falls from any height into a body of water. In GTA V the result of falling from a great (or even moderate) height into a body of water is the same as in real life - fatal.
** The protagonists can take damage from motor vehicle collisions. They can also be directly killed by bullets while driving enclosed vehicles, which differs from most GTA games.
* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', you don't have to kill a shop keeper to rob his cash register--just take out your gun and point it in his general direction, and he'll put up his arms and slowly back away, allowing you to plunder his cash. Of course, if you do it accidentally, the results will be the same and your KarmaMeter will go down. Well, what did you expect, [[RecklessGunUsage swinging a loaded gun in a guy's face like that?]]
* While it's fairly easy to build and launch a simple rocket in ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram'', actually getting that rocket into orbit or to places other than Kerbin is fairly difficult if you're more used to less realistic space simulators or [[ArtStyleDissonance you're expecting the gameplay to fit the cartoony graphics]].
* Remember how much of a pain it was to drive all the way back to failed missions in ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2''? Well believe it or not, there's a fast-travel feature in this game. So how do you use it? Find a taxi, write down the phone number on the side, and then call that number on the in-game phone. A taxi will show up to drive you.
!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:Light Novels]]
* This is a plot point in ''LightNovel/LogHorizon''. When the ''Elder Tales'' game becomes real, most inhabitants (former players) continue to try and do things in everyday life the same way the rules were originally defined in the game. For example, creating food through a sub-menu. However, they quickly learn that food prepared this way has no taste. Instead, the protagonists learn that by preparing food yourself, as you would in RealLife, is the only way to create real food. However, you also need a prerequisite skill level in the relevant craft. Eventually, this is used to break the rules of the "game", turning the world of ''Elder Tales'' into something entirely new.

* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' had a strip where [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/03/13 Gabriel experienced this problem]] with ''VideoGame/TombRaider2013'', trying to figure out a way to get across a gap. Tycho suggests simply jumping over, which works, leading Tycho to remark, "I don't think this is a puzzle room."
* Realism is [[MagicAIsMagicA relative to]] [[VideoGame/{{Portal2}} the source material]] in this case, but one strip of ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie'' has Chell try numerous methods to cross a room... [[ForgotICouldFly before remembering]] that her primary tool is ''[[ThinkingUpPortals a portal gun]]''. Then she just sets up a portal on the other side of the room and [[CuttingTheKnot walks straight through]]. See it [[http://awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=050111 here.]]
* Characters in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' retrieve items using complicated "sylladex" systems that require them to think ahead, choose their words carefully, or even play memory games to access each item. Out of frustration, one character just reaches over and takes the item out of his inventory. Physically. With his hand. It works. Even more strangely, the sylladexes aren't even real. They are abstractions and don't exist on the physical plane, yet they are able to hold objects millions of times their size.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Jason from ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' once spent a week trying to defeat the Red Orb Guardian. Paige instantly bypasses it by... [[SheatheYourSword walking right by it]]. Jason declares just walking past a menacing, powerful boss to win to be "counterintuitive," to which Paige asks him how many nanoseconds a day he spends in the real world. (See also LordBritishPostulate.)



[[folder: What a cool article! How can I make it better? What? Just edit it?! [[Self Demonstrating Article Why didn't I think of that? ]]