I love how games dress your powers up to make them sound really exciting, I always have, but the game which really got me thinking about it recently was Slay the Spire. I have a big crush on it right now – I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to playing it.
In Slay the Spire, what you’re doing sounds great. You don’t simply hit someone a few times: you Riddle with Holes. You don’t simply do damage and draw another card: you Headbutt. And you don’t damage every time you play a card: you Choke. It goes on and on.
I love what this does. I love how it obscures a mundane truth lurking backstage. Because behind it all, it’s just numbers. We all know that, just like we know an illusionist on the stage isn’t doing magic for real, but we suspend our disbelief because it’s more fun. If you really wanted to, you could reduce it to a spreadsheet with numbers on, but why would you want to?