Concept Edit

Many puzzle/mystery games require the player to piece together evidence to solve a problem, generally requiring that the player make some sort of logical connection and synthesis amongst the available information. Games of this type will generally encourage the player to make these connections in small steps by revealing new information slowly or by prompting the player to examine current information in a new light. This approach can be helpful to players who are struggling to synthesize the given information on their own.

However, this approach to puzzle solving can be boring or even frustrating to players who have synthesized the available information and already come to a conclusion, given that the player is not allowed to present this knowledge early on and skip the small step approach.

Examples Edit

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a puzzle game where the player must collect, present, and defend evidence to solve murder trials. This game follows the small step approach to nudge the player down the correct path by having other characters suggest to the player to examine certain rooms or certain characters.

(Spoilers if you haven't finished the 1st trial in Danganronpa)


During the first investigation, the player finds a death message left by the victim. The game encourages the player to view this message (see image) as the number '11037'. However, some players (myself included), viewed this as the name of another character in the game, Leon. This character had been acting very nervous and defensive regarding the death of the victim, leading some players to suspect his involvement.

Leon was eventually revealed as the perpetrator but players who made this connection very early in the investigation were not allowed by the game to present this evidence. The player is first made to move step by logical step through the entire body of evidence before the death message is brought up in any detail. Even at this point, the player is not allowed to present this interpretation of the evidence and must instead wait for another character to make the connection and present it to the group.

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