10%, 50%, 90%

How many games do you have nearly completed, but just never got around to finishing because you got bored?

I have a bunch of games dropped in the first 10%, either “crap” or “not my thing.” I have another stack somewhere around 50%, a mix of neat ideas with poor execution, promising starts that went nowhere, and generally games that just stopped being worth the time.

And then there are the 90% games. The ones that needed to have 40 hours of play, so they padded in 10-20. The ones with an unreasonable last level that did not seem worth suffering through. The ones where you really did like the puzzles but they were so similar that after 90, you could not muster the energy to finish the last 10.

After bingeing heavily, I am starting to get burned out on Renowned Explorers at exactly 90% of the way through the achievements. Since each set of 5 expeditions is its own game, you’ve beat the game once you do that once, and you’ve seen all the possible expeditions after you’ve done that a half-dozen times (although probably not all the encounters). So a bit of that is burnout, a bit is having used the captains and crews that interested me the most.

Looking at my other installed Steam games:

  • I still have Borderlands 2 going. I think I still have a DLC campaign there I never played, and a bunch of 90% achievements. You kind of enter a Borderland sequel burned out from killing that same bandit in the previous game.
  • The Talos Principle has many interesting puzzles, some BS puzzles, and so many variations on the same theme that I wonder when I will finish map C. Again, in my usual pattern, I binged heavily, but now I can maybe do one of the puzzles and be all set for a couple of weeks. And there are mutually exclusive game/achievement paths, so how about doing all of them again for slightly different story text that you could just as easily YouTube?

I have a category in my Steam library called “shelved” for those 50% and 90% games that I may get back to someday. Steam Cloud is freeing, in that I feel free to uninstall the game and walk away. If I ever get back to the game, great, but having those kilobytes saved on a distant server is all I need to feel free to do the digital equivalent of house cleaning.

: Zubon

I also have a category for those 10% games called “crap,” so that I do not accidentally reinstall them someday.

4 thoughts on “10%, 50%, 90%”

  1. I admire your neat organization into nice round numbers and categories.

    Most of my games all stop at 7%, 22%, 43%, 57%, 79% and all I remember of the games were: those were all pretty fun, but then I got distracted and never quite got back to playing them OR wow, I’ve forgotten if I ever played this, how did I manage to play it to this stage before, maybe I need to restart entirely to relearn it from scratch…

    Then there are the games with no ending whatsoever because you can always start a new campaign or mission or the goal is to survive forever in a steady state of balancing resource bars.

  2. Aside from categorizing by genre, I also sort every game into Won’t Play, Probably Won’t Play, Waiting for Upgrade, Unplayed, Playing, Completed, and Replay/Recreational. Most games move into the first two categories, often without play, which is a side effect of having invested heavily in bundles and having nearly 600 games in my library. Stagnant ‘Playing’ games go back to ‘Unplayed’ if I think I’d eventually like to restart but would need to go through the learning curve again or, in an RPG, forgot the story. Most 4X, match play, and roguelikes I fancy sit in the last category and are the majority of what I play.

  3. Borderlands 2 was a 10% stop for me, and most people think I’m nuts. Getting to the boss that gets me off the glacier area required going through at least 3 nearly-identical slum rooms with similar enemies and the combat felt very same-y. The boss fight itself wasn’t anything to write home about.

    And then when I get to the city the prospect of going room-by-room there and dealing with gear that seems overly-complicated just didn’t appeal to me.

    1. Many people seem to find “Diablo-style loot” to be a plus rather than a minus. They like the slot machine effect of occasionally finding something great, plus always having more to sell. For me, that feels like turning looting into garbage picking, plus the utter momentum-killing of looking through a dozen weapons and comparing stats to see if this rocket launcher is marginally better than the one I have, or if it is worth reconfiguring which elements are on which weapons … which are normally spreadsheet games that I would enjoy, but in an FPS?

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