As you finish the final cutscene and smugly sit there watching the credits roll by, completely content with finishing the entire game, you go to view your save file and what’s this? This isn’t a shiny, gleaming, 3-digit 100% on there! That’s a big fat 98%!
Yes, you’ve forgotten about the secrets and hidden items somewhere along your journey to defeat the evil demon lord! Looks like it’s time to start from square one again…
Hidden items and secrets in games are a small yet satisfying little diversion for players to complete (especially it it was a long and frustrating way to get it) that can extend the time they spend on the game. Small rewards like a special-yet-useless Inifinty -1 Sword or a Badass Scarf can be well worth it to players, especially if it means completing that variant outfit. Even little things like a simple extra life would do, for those little nooks and crannies where noone really looks would work.
Of course, the journey to such rare and optional items wouldn’t be the same without it’s own hazards. Like earlier posts, ledges, traps, enemies and the like can make the player work for their reward. And let’s not forget creating a shortcut exit for them… or not.