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  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, the first game in the series, forced the player to travel to the edge of the map after completing mission objectives. While this rarely takes more than a few minutes, that can be a very long time when damaged and under fire.
  • Dwarf Fortress is very much a work in progress, so most of these examples are temporary. It's just that the development cycle is so long that they really don't feel temporary:
    • The Dwarven Economy, not to put to fine a point on it, didn't work. It was generally accepted that it's best to turn it off, and failing that never mint any coins. If nothing else, keeping track of all those little objects will slow your computer to a crawl. It was Dummied Out completely with the update to v0.31 and will not be returning until all its issues have been resolved.
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    • Hospitals. Don't bother putting together a trauma team: your medical staff will take their sweet-ass time even if you assign no other duties and keep them strictly limited to their hospital area. This can be gotten around somewhat by making all dwarves capable of taking medical treatment jobs, as a dwarf will never fail to complete a job due to a lack of skill. All dwarves will plunder thread and cloth many times over the inventory maximum you set for the zone, and will even go far from the stockpiles sitting ready in the area, to grab the most expensive dyed silks. Meanwhile the gypsum powder, splints and crutches, of which there may be plenty, still aren't getting filled to the maximum because thread and cloth have a stranglehold on the inventory space of the numerous planted containers. If surgery and crutches aren't broken enough, many beast sicknesses will break the rest of the procedure. And without that, only one doctor can work on one patient at a time, and each stage of a multi-part procedure still takes way too long for having the necessary equipment within 20 tiles.
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    • The new military system in and after 0.31 is a considerable improvement in many ways but its interface is virtually impenetrable without reference to the wiki.
    • Come to think of it, the user-interface in general is not especially consistent or accessible. A complete top-to-bottom overhaul is promised shortly after the game enters beta-testing... in another five years or so.
    • Strange moods. They are often beneficial to the player, but that all depends on the whim of the Random Number God: the dwarf may be possessed, in which case he will not receive any experience. They may request some material that isn't available at the site, which results in certain death unless a trader happens to bring said material. And of course, more often than not, the resulting artifact has no practical use. There's an option to turn them off in the config files, and it's a testament to the personality of the playerbase that most people leave them on entirely because they're "dwarfy".
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    • Vampires. They are a cool concept, showing off how the game system and proliferate curses and the like and how a vampire can move from settlement to settlement to preserve themselves, and how dwarven justice now involves and investigation and accusation element on the part of the player. All interesting concepts, except the player is almost guaranteed to have a vampire join their fortress at some point, and attempts to prevent them from feeding unobserved (such as shared sleeping space and windows so that passers by might notice) rarely work. There are even instances of vampire's feeding in the middle of a crowded hall without anyone else noticing.
    • Force transfer mechanics. On the receiving end, it makes sure you can lose any of your dwarves despite giving them top of the line steel armor because someone managed to smack them in the fourth left finger and somehow, despite doing no damage through the *Left Steel Gauntlet*, enough force is imparted that it twists the wrist into a mangled, non-euclidean heap of ripped tendons and muscle, and the luckless dwarf falls to the ground, writhing in pain and unarmed/unshielded. Exploiting it doesn't make it more fun, as battles become trivial when you know punching someone in the foot will somehow make their knee bend backwards, completely incapacitating them, among other such senseless joint-snapping Cherry Tapping. Everyone is Made of Plasticine when these come into effect, and unlike the overpowered pebble-through-the-head throwing mechanics of past versions this one isn't even amusing.
  • The Commodore 64 game The America's Cup, included a game mechanic that was supposed to duplicate the real-life experience of rigging a sailboat. In practice, this meant wiggling the joystick from left and right until your hand was tired. Not only was this annoying, but a very good way of ruining your joystick. Some cynics suggest this might have been why the game came bundled with many C64s sold in the mid 80s.
  • Blazing Angels includes the infamous "Desert reconnaissance" level, which consists of flying around in a sandstorm looking at an all-yellow screen and listening to Morse code beeps to find the enemy. Maybe the idea was to provide a break from just flying around and shooting at things — but if you don't like flying around and shooting at things why are you playing this game?
  • Some of the disasters in SimCity can get this way, but even more so is when "Residents demand a stadium."
    • Traffic congestion. There is no way around it. You can put in boulevards three spaces across everywhere, put in mass transit systems, and you will still have huge traffic issues. The game computes traffic according to how much road there is. They keep releasing SimCity games as if sorting out traffic issues was the most interesting and enjoyable part of the game. Then they make it more complicated by only letting you put in one-way streets and highway onramps with specific conditions.
    • Bridges. In 3000 and SimCity 4 sometimes the game refused to put a bridge in unless the land surrounding the spot was perfect, and the game refused to auto-terraform the land around it, requiring you to micromanage the land around it.
    • Water structure placement in general in SimCity 4. Some, like beaches, have lenient enough parameters that they're not so bad. Others, like marinas, require you to waste thousands on pinpoint terraforming, and even if you somehow get it right a minor glitch may cause the structure to appear submerged.
    • SimTower has a requirement for reaching a 4 star rating: A VIP can randomly show up at any time, and in order for them to approve of your tower, they have to first be able to park in an open VIP parking space in the parking garage, then they had to stay in a clean hotel suite. To keep them cleaned, you have to put in a hotel service room, and the maids will do their job. The problem is: it's IMPOSSIBLE to remove these rooms after they've been placed (even the subway station, which takes up an entire level, can be destroyed and removed.) They serve no other purpose than to clean the rooms. You can increase your hotel's population and revenue far more with other room types you already have access to, rather than sticking with hotel rooms. At least the security guard stations (which also can't be removed) serve a purpose of protecting the tower against bomb attacks, which can destroy sections of multiple floors.
  • Each of the Nintendo DS editions of the Harvest Moon series have had at least one of these:
    • DS and DS Cute had the draconian penalties in friendship points for littering. You couldn't even throw stuff away on your own farm, with no one else around, without incurring a large loss of friendship points across the board. Even with villagers that technically weren't even in town at the time. There's also the frequently recurring animal care touch-screen mini-games that are virtually required to raise your livestock's love points and produce higher quality products in any sort of timely matter. The more animals you possessed, the more of a grind the mini-games became. DS Cute actually eased up on the frequency of the mini-games.
    • Island of Happiness had both the Weather/Crop system (where too much rain or sun could kill crops with no recourse from you) and the cooking system, where every recipe had to be bartered for from the town diner or cafe (or gained from the Harvest Goddess at the bottom of the mine). The experimentation and enhancement aspects of previous games' cooking mechanics were gone. The sequel, Sunshine Islands, retained both mechanics, but eased up on the harshness (there was more leeway in what conditions would kill crops and the diner and cafe were there from the game's start).
    • Grand Bazaar altered the series' tried and true storage system (one unit for tools & seeds, one for food, one for everything else, along with separate bins for building materials and animal feed) for an all-in-one unit that would quickly run short of space — especially if you were storing items to sell at the Bazaar. Also, if two of the same type items (say, gold ore) had a different quality ranking, each ranking got a separate storage slot, eating up the precious storage slots even faster. The game also got rid of the shipping bins, so you have to hold on items to sell them at the bazaar (again, eating up storage slots) or tediously sell them to Raul (usually at a loss for what you'd get for them at the bazaar).
    • The Tale of Two Towns restored the shipping bins and the more experimental cooking system, as well as expanding the all-in-one storage system. But then it went and altered the farm expansion/upgrade system: You could only order one farm expansion and one tool upgrade per month. (In Grand Bazaar, it was once a week, and in earlier games, you could order every available upgrade, one after the other as long as you had the required resources). And the tunnel expansion request would override them, so that you couldn't get any more farm expansion until that particular tunnel expansion was completed. You also couldn't simply jump between the farms to complete the requests two at a time: you can only move at the end of the month and the new requests wouldn't appear until the beginning of the next. Getting 100% upgrades on both farms, plus opening the mines and the mountain hot springs takes at least twelve in-game years.
    • A Wonderful Life had the animal barn. There was only one, and you couldn't buy any more. It had 8 slots for animals. In order to get milk from cows, they had to have given birth, requiring a free barn slot present at pregnancy to put the calf into. This meant you had to sell and rotate animals carefully to ensure you always had something producing something, but typically there'd always be some wasted slots that were either empty (awaiting future calves) or taken up by animals not producing anything (the calves). But the worst part was the goat. It produced milk for one year... and then nothing ever again. And you couldn't sell it. Essentially, you either had to let it waste one of your precious 8 barn slots, or... kill it.
    • Harvest Moon: A New Beginning had certain Seeds being unlocked, depending on how far along in the game you were. Some included a not-mentioned-alternative-way to unlock them earlier, while some lacked it. The worst offender of this mechanic are the infamous Yam Seeds. These seeds are required to be planted and a certain number harvested, in order to fulfill a condition for one of the in-game goals in the Town Restorations. The problem came that Yam Seeds didn't unlock until Autumn Year 2; and most players, who reached the Town Restoration that required them to be planted, did so in Autumn Year 1. This meant that players were stuck waiting for one in-game year for the seeds to unlock, so they could proceed in planting and harvesting them. Fortunately, the game's Multiplayer function allowed players to ask and trade for Yam Seeds early, by-passing this issue.
    • Story of Seasons (2014) has various items, recipes, animals and all sorts of other fun stuff unlocked, the further the player was in the game. The last things would unlock by Year 4. Contrary to the previous game, the option of unlocking certain items early - like the more expensive and productive Suffolk Sheep or Jersey Cows by having 3 normal Sheep and Cow births on your farm - was entirely removed. If a player wanted to have these animals, they needed to wait until the later years. The game also altered the Multiplayer function to be region-locked. Players are incapable of trading items with other players from any region that was not their own.
    • Spin off game Rune Factory allows you to cook food items that restore HP and RP (stamina) in addition to temporarily buffing your stats. The problem is that as long as you have a buff from eating, you cannot eat anymore until the buff ends. This makes restoring your RP (which is consumed whenever you attack, and starts draining your HP instead if empty) during battles annoying, as you must focus on dodging attacks for a long time until the buff ends. Fortunately, later games in the series allow you to eat multiple food items in a row, with only the buff from the latest item eaten applying.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon
    • The "growing grass" mechanic. The only purpose of having freshly-mowed grass is that guests will become marginally (emphasis on marginally) happier compared to unkempt grass. Having to continuously uncheck Mowing Grass in a Handyman's to-do list comes off as a major annoyance in RCT1. Your park can function just fine without having to keep the lawn fresh compared to keeping the paths clear of trash and vomit, yet the Handymen will always walk off the path to forever mow the grass squares if the Mowing Grass function is active, even if the long grass hasn't appeared yet. Thankfully, RCT2 changes it around so the Mowing Grass function is unchecked in the Handyman's game checklist from the start and OpenRCT allows the player to enable or disable the Mowing Grass option by default. The player can make the grass normal again by playing new grass for free, but it's tedious when there are more important theme park matters to tend to.
    • The rather infamous (station) brake failure. Now, ride failures are nothing rare at all in the game, and for almost every case it's usually nothing horrible and if you have a decent number of mechanics, you just let them take care of it and everyone is happy again. Not so much with the brake failures — it happens on the roller coasters and is a failure where the brakes that slow down incoming coaster cars stop functioning. If your cars were coming in at high speeds and you didn't anticipate this failure, your cars are going to crash and kill whoever was in them, and nobody will want to ride your coaster anymore because it's now "unsafe". Even though there are ways around this, it's very frustrating to see a coaster you tested multiple times and were very sure was working blow up out of complete nowhere. Even worse, some of the game's prebuilt coasters were built without this in mind, most famously Agoraphobia. The second game added failproof block brakes at least, but all in all, it's very easy to see why this mechanic was axed from the third game altogether.
    • Trees. You'd have to manually remove every tree that gets in your way during ride construction, and trees actually cost money to remove, unlike statues, fountains, and other scenery items. RCT2 added the remove scenery tool that enables removal of multiple scenery pieces at once and automatically removes scenery objects in the way during ride construction.
    • The Artificial Stupidity of the park guests, period. They are too stupid to get through the simplest of mazes, get lost easily and can't even swim. But the stupidity is worst when it comes to their stay in the park, after they have spent majority/all of their money. They wander around, trying to get into attractions or getting hungry and thirsty, but incapable of doing anything about it, because they have no more money. This causes their happiness to drop until they are so mad that they leave the park in a bad mood, which influences the amount of incoming guests. Fortunately, the money issue was resolved in the second game by adding in an ATM, where guests can withdraw more money.
    • For some reason, the Go-Karts' excitement rating will drop if its tracks are underground/indoors. So there's no viable way of making them rain-proof.
    • Not being able to charge guests for both ride and park tickets in RCT 2. Parks that charge for rides may result in having plenty of guests that don't pay a cent when they leave. Parks that only charge for entry may result in guests never leaving at all, riding attractions forever while you don't make a cent off them.
  • In the first Zoo Tycoon game, the excessive amount of time given to complete some scenarios. In some cases, it's so bad you will spend more time waiting for the time to pass than actually doing the stuff required to complete the scenario! Fortunately, you can make the game play in windowed mode so you can leave it running while you do other stuff, but it's still annoying and ridiculous.
  • In Zoo Tycoon 2: The adoption system in Challenge Mode.
  • In the Xbox One and Xbox 360 Zoo Tycoon reboot, the zoo limit. It's ridiculously low. They give you huge maps, and you can't even fill up 40 percent of them.
  • The Animal Crossing games are for the most part, enjoyable, but there are a few things that take away from that enjoyment.
    • In most the games, if you turned the game off without saving, or reset it without saving, a mole named Mr. Resetti will come to remind you to save your game. However, he would do it in the most abrasive manner possible and each time you do it, his rants get longer and longer and he'll make you do all sorts of things before you can resume your game. Mr. Resetti became so despised by Animal Crossing fans that he was made optional in New Leaf.
    • Grass deterioration. When walking on grass enough, it'll wear away to a dirt path. While intended to add character to your town, in City Folk, the grass can wear away so quickly that the town becomes a desert. While the grass can grow back, this takes a very long time to do so. In a game that takes pride in aesthetics, grass deterioration is seen as a hideous addition. Not only does it affect aesthetics, but it also can prevent certain things like snowballs and dung beetles from appearing. It returns in New Leaf, but the grass wears away slower and grows back at a quicker pace.
    • New Leaf removed signposts that showed you where villagers can build houses. This means that when someone moves in, they'll set their house down wherever they want. This can be problematic when you aren't expecting a new villager to move in and he or she moves onto a spot where you didn't want, such as the middle of a path, on top of your perfect fruit orchard or somewhere where you wanted to place a public works project. Lord help you if the villager him/herself is one you don't like.
    • Building bridges in New Leaf. For some unfathomable reason, there needs to be a lot of empty space either side of where the bridge is placed with no houses or public works projects. Not only is this annoying but houses and public works projects can be placed in that space after the bridge is built.
    • New Leaf did away with the previous games' disposal pins, and similar places, and introduced Reese and Cyril. They pay you for selling stuff, however you must pay a fee if you want to dispose of "junk items" such as pitfalls and fake paintings. Until you buy a garbage can that means you have to pay to get rid of certain things.
  • The Oregon Trail:
    • In the original version, you can take a limit of 100 pounds of meat while hunting, which means that most of the meat on that buffalo you just shot will go to waste. Remedied in later versions where you can acquire 200 pounds of meat, sometimes a little more depending on how many party members you have.
    • Trading in the first game. It's a crapshoot to get someone who has what you need and the game goes to the next day regardless of the result. Multiple failed attempts will deplete your food supply and cost you some traveling time. At least later games give you the option to haggle.
    • Accidental gunshot wounds in the second and fifth editions. They appear randomly after you finish hunting and will sometimes kill you instantly, ending your game even if your other party members are still living. If not, they will severely injure you and leave you to die a slow, painful death. These can even happen without firing a single shot!
      • Similarly, you can also get mauled by a bear or a mountain lion (the latter of which you can't shoot) after hunting, and you'll either get killed instantly or keep taking turns for the worse until you die.
      • In the third edition, accidental gunshot wounds are self-imposed. They can only happen if you shoot before the game reloads the gun for you (which takes about a second) and they are much less lethal.
  • In Princess Maker 2 the only reliable way to raise the Conversation skill is by having the daughter work in a Bar. The problem is that the Bar also inflicts a heavy penalty on her Intelligence and by the time Conversation reaches a decent level she'll have lost most of her points.
  • In Punch Club, stats degrade every day unless you keep building them up through training. In theory, this is supposed to encourage the player to set aside some time every day for training and encourage the player to focus on building up one area of training instead of trying to raise all three stats. In practice, a lot of players either forget or don't realize that the game is a time-management simulator instead of an RPG, and thus quickly get frustrated.
  • Graveyard Keeper has several. Among them are:
    • Rusty Tools. For starter equipment, they break incredibly easy, consume energy like there's no tomorrow, and barely get any work done. The game doesn't explicitly make a quest about upgrading your tools, but they may as well have.
    • The inability to carry more than one "large" item like logs and slabs of rock at once. Some players have gotten around this by "kicking" items around, but it's all too easily for it to slide out of the way and can be awkward to do.
    • Certain NPCs only being available on one specific day of the week, and only then during the day, with the exception of The Snake. Good luck trying to run into town or where they are before they set off to leave again, and if they're already walking, try to be earlier next week. Especially frustrating with NPCs who sell invaluable items that you can't produce easily, like the Old Astrologer.

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