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Score Screen
Sometimes, it's more about the numbers than the letters.

You've just beaten a level and a screen comes up tallying up the points you got from the coins you collected, and from any bonus objectives you accomplished. The points are totaled up from each source and added into your overall score. Even in games where The Points Mean Nothing, this screen is a popular way to give the player a breather between levels and a sense of advancement.

Popular categories include:
  • Level Clear - A flat number of points just for finishing the level. Sometimes the amount depends on the difficulty setting.
  • Time - Extra points depending on how quickly the level was completed, or, more rarely, how long it was survived.
  • Enemy - Points for number and type of enemies defeated; much of the time, these points are given during the level.
  • Health - Points are given for excess health, sometimes draining straight from the health meter for effect, then re-filling the health bar for the next level.
  • Collectibles - Coins and other pickups. Sometimes unused items such as Smart Bombs award points, similar to Health.
  • Style \ Discovery - Finding shortcuts or clearing obstacles in an interesting way.
  • Flawless Bonuses - Extra points for satisfying certain conditions, such as taking no damage, finding every secret, not defeating any enemies, etc.

Some games just run a clock, in which case the odometer (or digital clock) runs up until the amount of time you used is reported. Often it will show the (ridiculously unreachable) "Par" score the developers of the game used to get to the exit. Like you've just sweated your ass off to finish the level, it took you 48 minutes to finish and it was really hard to get it even that quickly. So below your 48:13, is the developer's Par time: 1:45. Well, maybe not totally unreachable, you just do like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when he explained how he was able to toss cards into a hat and never miss once: "Oh, not much practice, eight, ten hours a day, every day for six months."

In newer games, Scoring Points are often replaced with statistics and a rating of the player's performance. In this case, they're vulnerable to Rank Inflation.

Examples:

  • Contra
  • Dance Dance Revolution, as well as its Korean simile, Pump it Up
  • Doom. It measures your monsters killed/artifacts found/secret areas discovered percentages, as well as the time taken, compared to the par time and then showing how much time in total you're taking on a single play-through of the game/episode.
  • Duke Nukem
  • Dungeon Keeper
  • Katamari Damacy
  • Odin Sphere
  • Paper Mario
  • Sonic the Hedgehog, often with a distinctive "cash register" sound when the game finishes totaling your score.
  • Super Mario World and various other games in the series such as
  • Touhou, for the first nine games, at least. The tenth had nothing of the sort, and the closest the following games have is briefly showing your stage clear bonus.
  • Need for Speed Underground
  • Blast Corps
  • Star Fox
  • The Gran Turismo series
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village
  • Mega Man Zero.
  • Early Fighting Games would do this, draining the fight timer and your health bar into end-of-round bonuses if you won the round. At least, as long as the idea of scoring points was around; Mortal Kombat dropped it after the first game, while Tekken never had it to begin with.
  • Command & Conquer had this in every game. The first game had the best score screen, though. Great Shot playing in the background, kills tallied up by a line of people dying and buildings exploding (for Nod anyways, which had their own, awesome score screen music), fancy scaling effects on letters whenever you type in your initials, it was a real treat.
  • Monster Hunter caps off each quest you complete with several screens: one for the items you get as quest rewards and for breaking parts off a monster (and you get to see a freeze-frame of the hit that brought down the monster), another for items your Felyne partner picked up or stole from enemies (unless you didn't bring a cat with you), and two more to count up the money, Pokke Points or both you earned, and guild experience.
  • Interestingly, Final Fantasy XIII has a score screen. It's used to determine how much TP (used for sub-abilities) you get, and for achievements.
  • Balloon Kid for the Game Boy does it when counting the balloons Alice collected in each stage.
  • The Battletoads Arcade Game tallied up the number of enemies of each type killed by each player at the end of each stage.
  • Warhammer 40000 Kill Team has this after completing each level.
  • Children Of Mana displays one, after defeating a boss.
  • Critical Mass has one after every level.
  • Pinball games have an end-of-ball bonus if the player doesn't tilt.
  • Classic and similar modes in the Super Smash Bros. series quickly rack up your score after each fight.
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Wario Land 4 had one at the end of every regular level, where your remaining hearts were poured into a little more cash for your level score, which is then added to your total cash reserves.

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