An index of tropes relating to reward and punishment in video games. Also covers bonuses of various kinds.
- Achievement System
Bonus objectives that track your progress towards 100% completion.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes
Beating a challenge results in a new piece of clothing for your character.
- And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating
Beating a challenge results in modifying and/or decorating a structure.
- Anti-Frustration Features
A part of the game which will give you an unusual advantage or benefit, breaking the normal rules of the game or genre.
Measures put in by game developers to prevent Level Grinding and emphasize strategy.
- Anti-Poop Socking
The game rewards you for taking a break or punishes you for playing too long at once.
- Awesomeness Meter
You get a reward for doing something cool.
- Battle Trophy
Congratulations on beating that boss! You can keep his head as a memento.
- Bladder of Steel
Games that don't let you pause or save for a very long time, or punish you if you take a break.
- Bragging Rights Reward
It's a great reward, but in order to get it you have to be so powerful that it's useless now.
- Bonus Feature Failure
This is meant to be a reward?
- Cartography Sidequest
The game gives you a reward for viewing every part of a map.
- Collection Sidequest
If I collect a hundred purple squirrel hides, I'll get this neato fridge magnet!
- Comeback Mechanic
A game purposely gives an advantage to a losing player or a disadvantage to a winning player.
- Completion Meter
An interface element that shows how much of the game's content you haven't uncovered yet.
- Concept Art Gallery
Where you get to see What Could Have Been.
- Continuing Is Painful
Where continuing or losing a life results in an even harder challenge.
- Cosmetic Award
A reward that serves no purpose other than telling you that you won an award.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist
You died! Your punishment is the loss of half a second of playtime! Muwahaha!
- Debug Room
A location, menu or mode with options the programmers use for testing the game.
- Developer's Room
A room in a game filled with in-jokes and notes from the developers.
- Discount Card
Shops sells their items at a discount to you.
- Double Unlock
A bonus is unlocked, but you can't access it until you unlock something else.
- Do Well, but Not Perfect
Some game objectives require you to be not perfect, but somewhere between "mediocre" and "good" to win them.
- Earn Your Fun
You get no rewards unless you jump all these hoops! Within ten seconds! Five hundred times!
- Easy Level Trick
A secret in a level that makes that level easier.
- Embedded Precursor
A bonus wherein the original version of a game is included somewhere in a later installment or Updated Re-release.
- Equipment Upgrade
You are rewarded with some sort of enhancement to your gear.
- Every 10,000 Points
You get a reward every X number of points (or coins or whatever) you collect.
- Evil Pays Better
If you can do good or evil missions, the evil missions will have better rewards.
- Evolving Title Screen
A video game title screen that changes to reflect player's in-game actions and achievements.
- Extended Gameplay
A bonus story or challenge that begins after you beat the Final Boss.
- Fast-Forward Mechanic
Lets you skip ahead in time to the good parts instead of aimlessly trying to kill time.
- Flawless Victory
When you beat a match in a Fighting Game without getting damaged.
- Gameplay Grading
The return of Scoring Points! Anyone can finish the level, but can you finish it with an A-grade?
- Golden Path
The path with the most content or the best endings.
- Good Pays Better
The path to good is filled with more dollar signs.
- Guilt-Based Gaming
The game tries to deter or punish the player for a particular course of action by making them feel guilty.
- Healing Checkpoint
Reaching a checkpoint or save point replenishes your health and/or supplies.
- Holiday Mode
A bonus (different sprite, special event) that only shows up on particular dates.
- 100% Completion
Way of extending potentially short gameplay by setting completed tasks as a percentage, sometimes given explicitly.
- 100% Heroism Rating
In games where you can be good or evil, doing every single good-oriented side quest will result in being hailed as a hero or saint.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels
Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! Amazing!
- Inexplicable Treasure Chests
Boxes of goodies that can appear pretty much anywhere and can contain pretty much anything that no one seems to mind the player collecting.
- Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat
A fortuitous side effect of the cool, stale air you generally find underground.
- Infinite 1-Ups
An easy way of gaining an infinite amount of lives, which makes the game far easier than it should be.
- I Was Told There Would Be Cake
Standard video game rewards: Coins, 1UPs, power stars, and yummy cake.
- Kill Streak
Kill a certain amount of enemies in a row without dying in order to acquire stuff.
- Kleptomaniac Hero Found Underwear
When your hero searches through people's drawers, he finds underwear.
- Last Lousy Point
C'mon, I've got 99% completion... dangit, where is that Last Lousy Point?!
- Law of 100
All Platform Games will have at least one type of common item that will give you an extra life if you collect one hundred of them.
- Level-Locked Loot
When a reward isn't immediately available, unless a character is at or above a specific character level.
- Meaningless Lives
Games that have lives, but it's so easy to gain them or so simple to continue that they are meaningless.
- Mercy Rewarded
You get rewarded for not killing the bad guys.
- Missing Secret
It looks like there's an item or secret that can be found (e.g. blank spot in the menu), but it doesn't actually exist.
- Monster Compendium
A list of all enemies you encounter throughout the game with detailed information.
- Moving Target Bonus
You get more points for killing an enemy after it starts moving.
- Non-Combat EXP
Your character gains experience points for activities other than committing monster genocide.
- Not Actually Cosmetic Award
Being awarded with achievements unlocks gameplay features.
- Offscreen Start Bonus
If you go in the opposite direction from "normal" at the start, you get an item.
- Old Save Bonus
Where a save for a different game on your memory card unlocks a bonus in your own game.
- Play Every Day
You'll earn more for playing a few minutes tomorrow than a few more hours right now.
- Promoted to Playable
A character who was an NPC or boss in one installment of a series becomes a potential player-controlled character in a later installment.
- Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage
An expensive, unique, and/or rare item or card which is totally useless.
- Rank Inflation
When A rank isn't high enough, go for A+ or S or SSSSSS!
- Regional Bonus
A bonus given to a game when it gets released in other regions.
- Replay Mode
A menu feature that allows you to replay cutscenes, minigames and bosses you've unlocked through the game.
- Rewarding Inactivity
A reward given for not tackling the challenge in front of you.
- Rewarding Vandalism
Blow up people's houses - there's money inside!
- Secret Level
A bonus level that is not required to finish the game.
- Set Bonus
Benefits that are magically available when the player has a complete set of items.
- Sliding Scale of Video Game Objectives
How broadly the objectives of a video game are defined.
- Socialization Bonus
An aspect of the game where you can get additional content or powerups by interacting with other people who own the game.
- Sound Test
A menu which allows you to listen to all (or most) of the in-game music.
- Spelling Bonus
Collecting all the letters of a word may win players something extra.
- Unlockable Content
Extra content that is not immediately available but becomes so after specific requirements are fulfilled.
- Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay
The only way to solve this is to do something videogames normally don't let you.
- Unstable Equilibrium
When a game rewards a player who performs well with bonuses and advantages - meaning the better you do, the easier it becomes, whereas if you do badly, it gets harder.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment
A game that allows a player to be cruel, but will make sure that he gets his comeuppance for doing so.
- Deletion As Punishment
If the comeuppance is not enough to set the player straight, the game will just threaten to delete its save data (and if you're really unlucky, it'll actually do it).
- Violation of Common Sense
Where the game allows you (or outright forces you) to do something that would be really stupid in the real world.
- Virtual Paper Doll
Any computer program that lets you change clothes a character is wearing.
- A Winner Is You
Conglaturation !!! You defeeted the game ~~!
The process or act of focusing all effort or resources into only one or a few aspects of a game's mechanics with the intent of drawing massive profit or advantages from it.
- You Lose at Zero Trust
A game that punishes you for neglecting your relationships with other characters.