How much good/bad graphics turn your interest on/off?

The recent thread about “The Inner World” motivated me to open this new thread.

I have to admit that I am heavily influenced by the graphics of an adventure game when I have to make my first impression of it. If I don’t like the visual style of an adventure game, it’s extremely difficult to convince me to buy it, even if the game is generally considered good or even very good by critics or players.

It has happened with “The Dream Machine”, “Neofeud”, “The Journey Down” and even with other adventure games that don’t have very peculiar visual styles but that for some reason switched my interest off.

“The Inner World” was in my Steam wishlist for months but it was there mainly because in that period I wasn’t very selective with the games I put in that wishlist. I never really liked the graphic style and after a few months I removed it from that list. This happened, again, only because the graphics didn’t tell me nothing special.

Another example is “Broken Age”. I was a backer of the Kickstarter campaign and when, later, I saw the first examples of the visual style my brain was instantly bored by it and I stopped caring about the entire game. I played it when it was released and for me it was a giant “meh”.

This bad behavior of mine reminds me that some players have probably dismissed Thimbleweed Park just for the same reason: they didn’t like its pixel art style. For the same reason, I would never play some old C64 adventure games that I think have really ugly graphics.

Does this thing happen to some of you as well? And what about the opposite phenomenon (getting excited for a game just because you love the graphic style, even if the game is nothing special)?

I agree with you.

Regarding adventure games: No.

I dismiss adventure games only if the story doesn’t sound very interesting (and not because of the graphics style). But I am an adventure game fan so I’m not representative… :slight_smile:

I don’t care too much about graphics, in general.
For adventure games, the most important part is the intrinsic enjoyment, the story, the humor.
For arcade games, it’s the playablity and longevity. I have great memories of Galaga, Xenon, and other Shoot’em Up games.
Even Epyx’s Impossible Mission is still one of my favourite games, in the classic C64 version.

Sometimes the graphic can be the spring of curiosity to purchase a game (i.e. Cuphead), but then, if the game is annoying, it can have the most beautiful graphic of the world, but it will be soon forgotten.

I couldn´t care less about graphics.

Seriously f#@k ´em

F#@k graphics!

Seriously though, good graphics help to draw me in additionally but bad graphics never really turn me off.

I think that appealing graphics are a necessity, and good game/puzzle design is a sufficiency.

Also, I can understand younger gamers who haven’t grown up with low-res games and therefore don’t bear upon pixel-art, because pixel-art is very special. And, if you are used to hi-res games, you may think that there was a lack of detail in pixel-art graphics.


But there are several pixel-art games that were/are very successful. Just think about Minecraft…

Or Shovel Knight or Hotline Miami. I really think quality gameplay eventually trumps graphic snobbery.

1 Like

That’s true. Retro City Rampage is another example. But there have also been many unsuccessful pixel-art games.

By the way, Hotline Miami might attract many young gamers just because it’s extremely bloody - according to the screenshots, at least.
And, Minecraft allows you to create your own virtual 3D world. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by virtual realities, so I understand the success of Minecraft, even though there had been several 3D games with map editors before. Moreover, Minecraft was freeware at first - unlike TWP.

Regarding story based games:
If it’s low-res pixel art then I can make it nearly always work if the rest of the game is OK.
If it’s high-res art then I am more picky, but not that much actually. I have to at least not dislike the graphics.

When talking about other game types then graphics shouldn’t be ugly (depending on my personal taste) but often it doesn’t matter at all. I’m concentrating more on the game mechanics in those and UI is more important for me.

1 Like

Minecraft is the virtual equivalent to Lego, no wonder kids love it! In comparison it’s also super cheap.

1 Like

It is ridiciously bloody. It´s so bloody it would be offputtingly disturbing if it was realistic graphics. So that helps, too.

But what eventually makes it a sucess is the amazing pumping electro soundtrack and the insane high level of difficulty (gamers love challenge).

Well, maybe the next Terrible Toybox game ought to be a mix of a hard shooter and an adventure game. Maybe a kind of Hotline Ransome. :ransome:


Funny thing is. I don´t really like stealth games. I don´t have the patience for them. The Assassins Creed games have such beautiful settings (the newest one is in ancient egypt). But when I play games like this I spent ages slowly sneaking up on enemies while crouching only for them to suddenly turn around and hit me on the head while I´m still crouching like an idiot.

Hotline Miami is different because it´s about entering rooms really fast.

I don’t care whether the graphics are good or bad. But they do have an influence on me, in that they set the tone of a game. The graphics can be as bad as they can get, as long as they convey the feeling the game should have.

Plus, being a gamedev hobbyist myself, I’m quite forgiving if an indie game has awful graphics. That would be hypocritical of me, if I weren’t :smiley:


Graphics has potential to ruin a game. If it’s drawn bad, it ruins a game. If it’s drawn good, but the character is animated and the bg is not, it ruins a game. If it’s drawn good, and the character and the bgs are animated, but the objects that you see can’t be highlighted and interacted, that ruins the game. (if it’s drawn good, and nothing is animated, that’s ok). If it’s drawn good, but the characters talk about events and characters that you don’t see, it ruins a game.

For these reasons, I think most games would be better in text form, without any graphics. That said, I often buy games because I like the graphics. But then I regularly regret it, so this does not completely contradict what I said :).

1 Like

Graphics do play a big role for me when it comes to games, I just don’t necessarily like them to be life-like and ultra-realistic. But stylish, or colorful, or showing artistic talent and expertise (like good pixel art), that’s when a few screenshots easily grab my interested in a game.

I for one absolutely loved the style of Broken Age. I recently bought AER, on release day, and had been eagerly anticipating it for the past two years, mostly because of its looks (after all, there wasn’t much info about the gameplay available anyway).

I don’t mind if a game has simple, or functional graphics, lacks details, textures, animations or polish, as long as there’s some recognizable artistic vision and a sense of beauty. In the absence of those, I do think twice (or thrice) before buying. TWP was one of those were I wasn’t really fond of the art that was shown during the Kickstarter. Had they shown something closer to the final result, I’m pretty sure I’d have backed it, no further questions asked. I did back a few games because I fell in love with the graphics (and the rest sounded decent enough). I has to restrain myself had from backing a few others where the graphics were fantastic, but I knew the gameplay isn’t my thing at all.


Do you mean you think they’re all ugly or that you wouldn’t play an old C64 game with ugly graphics?