Game mechanics of providing better possibilities to the player.

Aims of usage

Extending players' options during the course of the game is a standard in almost every game genre. It's used to:

  1. diversify — as one of the many ways of mixing things up,
  2. reward — players enjoy more power,
  3. flatten the learning curve — at first the game is simpler and player can get to know more possibilities afterward.

The above design aims can be organically embedded in the dynamics of the game, but an Upgrade mechanic is a way of providing them directly by adding just a few rules.

Upgrades are often directly connected to limiting players' possibilities. When some option is artificially blocked at the beginning of the game, allowing for it later is considered an upgrade.

Related games

Stay in Character - character cards for this game provide a good overview of many possible upgrades available for use in different types of music games.

Other game design terms:

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