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Why do people like puzzles with multiple solutions?

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So, all the time whenever people talk about puzzle games (reviews, playthroughs, etc), the general consensus is that the games are 'better' if the puzzles have multiple solutions. However, this drives me crazy - I can't stand knowing that there are multiple solutions; I like knowing that I did it the one and only correct way. Knowing that there are other ways to complete the puzzle makes me feel less successful. It's even worse when I actually discover the other solutions - I feel cheated and patronized.

Am I in the minority? What's your opinion on multiple solutions?
Interesting question, makes me wonder what brought it up! Not something I've ever thought about myself, so let me ponder....


If it's sudoku, I want one solution- I feel the same way you do about more than one, cheated. I feel like it's not really a puzzle (in that case) if there are more solutions than one. Similar with a logic question, one of those riddles that are difficult to answer. There are sometimes multiple answers that would work, and that's just not the same.

However, in other cases, where there is expected to be one solution, I like having more than one: for instance racing games I like shortcuts, in portal I like having multiple ways of going about figuring the puzzle out, and in programming thank goodness there are multiple solutions to just about every problem.

So in my case it boils down to circumstance, sometimes I appreciate multiple solutions, other times I abhor them.
I'm talking about games like Portal 1 and Portal 2 - I don't like that there are multiple solutions, but you say you do.
it can provide different experiences.
Excuse my tunnelvision... I only see one solution in Portal 1 "puzzles" ;_;
@xkcd reference: What difference does that make?
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LB: more of a challenge. Me and my friend are currently playing fireemblem side by side. ive played it three times so far and gotten to use a different strategy each time. its also difficult to tell whos doing better because there isnt one solution
Having more possible solutions is more challenging? Sorry, I don't believe you.
This is strange to hear coming from a programmer -- since programming is solving puzzles that have an infinite number of solutions.
@Disch: I know, and it gives me great deals of anxiety about which solution to use. I spend an order of magnitude more time deciding which solution to use compared to actually implementing the solution I choose.

EDIT: really, I'm not kidding.
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closed account (2LzbRXSz)
Multiple solutions to a puzzle I don't mind, especially if that puzzle is programming.

My problem is video games that have multiple endings. Sure, 2, 3 alternate endings are fine. Or if the whole premise of the game is built around endings (example: Stanley Parable - because it's entirely about alternate endings). However if it's just a normal game that has hundreds of endings and practically an infinite combination of ways to beat it - that's just obnoxious.
Storylines aren't puzzles - multiple endings don't bother me.
closed account (2LzbRXSz)
Aren't there typically puzzles involved to unlock each ending? Picking different solutions, and then you're taken down entirely different paths - it's exhausting going through and nit picking every little twist and turn just to arrive at every single ending.

That's just me personally though.

Edit: in this situation, I mean puzzle as in any sort of challenge you come across in game - not the sort of puzzles that you started this thread over. So I am a little off-topic but not too far from where we started.
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That implies you know what the endings are and you want one in specific.
closed account (2LzbRXSz)
Well with the Internet, all the endings are bound to be mapped out for you eventually if you're really dedicated to trying to unlock everything. Or even just trial and error playing on your own. You've got a point though.
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Having more possible solutions is more challenging? Sorry, I don't believe you.

/me shrugs, still indifferent
Now that I think of it... Try playing Defense Grid.
If it didn't have multiple solutions, it would be a "click fast no-brain" game.
Instead you have to think about which strategy you want to use to solve this level (brainless fullforce? special effects? hi tech?).

Maybe it's the freedom of choice itself that makes you like the freedom.
"Recursion is its own reward", right?
I don't consider tower defense games to be puzzle games - they are strategy games.
I think multiple solutions is more interesting, I can't say whether it's more challenging or not.
It's fun to sit around and talk about how different people solved the same problem. Problems are boring if there's only one way to solve it, and I can't imagine there are many problems in life which only have one good solution.
I think the reason is because the game seems heavily scripted if there's only one solution, and scripted games are sort of a gray area right now. I'm more a fan of interactive novels; something where I have no real impact on the story but can freely explore it at my own pace, be it fast or slow. When there are multiple paths, I feel overwhelmed, and no matter which path I pick I feel I am not getting the whole experience. I would rather feel that I am not missing anything.

I know I'm not the only one guilty of watching a movie so many times it wore out the tape.
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