Just One More Level

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Just one more dungeon 1520.jpg
"I started playing Peggle around noon, and emerged from my room sometime later to find that the authorities had declared me legally dead."

Describe Just One More Level here, as soon as you beat that boss... Just one more level after that... Now just beat this boss... You just want to fiddle about with the new weapon the boss dropped... Crap, is the sun coming up already?

Basically this is when people stay up way later than you should because they're having so much fun with a game. After all, most games aren't designed to be over quickly, so they encourage long play sessions if the player is interested enough.

Now while this can be an occasional thing, this can be caused by being addicted to a game, and in fiction often is a form of Compressed Vice.

Some games deal with this by Anti-Poopsocking. Some encourage it by restricting saving or, in the worst cases, pausing.

Compare Ear Worm (the music equivalent), Crack is Cheaper (the hobby equivalent), Tropes Will Ruin Your Life (the equivalent for This Very Wiki), Archive Binge, Browser Narcotic, Wiki Walk.

Not to be confused with The Tetris Effect (which is an effect of this trope, not the trope itself).

Now even though this is Truth in Television, examples are limited to In-Universe, since all but the shortest games can do this in Real Life. There's no point to listing a game that merely can do this.


Also examples are about games only, not other media websites or books.

Examples of Just One More Level include:


Live-Action TV[edit | hide | hide all]

  • An episode of Psych has Shawn's father discovering Crackdown. Cue them returning the next day or so, and the father hasn't slept and has to be prompted to stop, and even threatens Shawn when he tries to take the console away.

Shawn's Dad: ...it lets you feel like a cop, without all the guilt after you shoot someone.

  • In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny gets addicted to online gaming. At one point Leonard asks why she's not at work, and she says she doesn't work on Mondays. He then points out that it's Thursday.
  • In the penultimate episode of Angel, Spike leaves Illyria guarding Drogyn and offers them Crash Bandicoot to pass the time. This leads to:

Illyria: "I play this game. It's pointless, and annoys me. Yet I am compelled to play on."

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In the comic strip FoxTrot, Jason's video game obsession transfers to his mother who plays for days and days before realizing she has a problem/is getting cut off.

Video Games (must be referenced by the game in some way)[edit | hide]

  • The Civilization series lampshades this trope. The advertisement surrounding Civ 4 use the phrase "one more turn" as a Madness Mantra, including starting a fake site for Civilization-holics called "No More Turns". When you reach the "end of history" (win or lose), the options given to you are "End game" and "Just...one...more...turn!"
    • Civ 4 also included, in the options menu, an alarm, that you could set to go off at a set time or after a certain number of minutes hours had elapsed. How effective it is is doubtful, but bless them for trying.
    • Civilization's sci-fi brother, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, is just as bad, complete with the options after you've beaten the game consisting of "Good, I'm done, now go away!" and "C'mon, lemme play a couple more turns!" And if you try to quit, you hear the immortal plea: "Please don't go. The drones need you. They look up to you." This game's acronym is SMAC for a reason.
    • A few more turns wouldn't hurt, would it?
      • Also shows up in Elemental War of Magic which despite some growing pains shortly after launch still proved itself to be ridiculously addictive.
  • Lampshaded In Stronghold, If you play for hours (or days, or weeks, or months...) The Scribe says things such as "How about a snack, sire?" "You haven't slept for days sire!" "It's getting late, sire, Aren't you tired?"
  • Dungeon Keeper displays messages to the user reminding them to take a break. Unlike some of the other examples listed, these are based on the system's internal clock instead of play duration.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness spoofs this once Laharl becomes overlord.

...do you want me to give human kids an addictive video game that will deprive them of their sleep?

    • Disgaea 3 gives a trophy for leaving the game on long enough.
    • Tales of Vesperia has a similar Achievement which you earn by having a save file over 100+ hours long. Even if it didn't, if you don't play nonstop from the moment Estelle disappears in Myorzo until you save her at Zaphias Castle then you plainly have become horrifically jaded with layers of grey, formless acceptance and postmodern emotionless distance from characters.
  • Part of the Backstory of strategy game This Means War! is a somewhat post-apocalyptic setting caused by a dangerously addictive videogame that players were so hooked on that they neglected their duties (for instance, maintaining nuclear power plants) to keep playing.
  • The developer of Desktop Tower Defense has admitted to tweaking the game to encourage more play. He regularly gets emails from people asking to "please ban me from the game, I can't stop playing".
  • Sins of a Solar Empire is advertised on the box as something like "all the 'just one more turn' addictiveness of a TBS like Civ, but with no turns so you never know when to stop!"
  • Referenced in LittleBigPlanet 2, where playing after 9 PM earns you the "Just... One... More... Go..." trophy.
  • The Sims addressed this in the first game's strategy guide, when referring to "Winning the Game". Don't be absurd. This is a Maxis game! What's to win? You and your sims can play unto perpetuity, getting into entanglements and trying to get out, and by the time you know it, it will be 3am your time, and you don't even have your teeth brushed...
  • Snood has a "Just One More Game" option that automatically closes the program on your computer after your next attempt, but not before a pop up window says, "You said one more game. Snood will now quit. But no one will know if you start again". Evil!!
  • There is a shirt on the Minecraft Store that says "Just One More Block" four times in a row!
  • Lampshaded in Dungeons of Dredmor, where it asks if you try to quit: "Just one more game wouldn't hurt, would it?"
  • Lampshaded and inverted on the menu screen of Aoi Shiro, where, depending on the time and day of the week your computer is set to, the character will tell you to go do your homework first, your house chores, go to school, or even to go to sleep.
  • World of Warcraft has a few loading screen tips discussing this:

Remember to take all things in moderation (even World of Warcraft!)
Bring your friends to Azeroth, but don't forget to go outside Azeroth with them as well.

  • The confirmation prompt for exiting A Valley Without Wind has buttons labeled "No" and "Yeah, I should probably eat or sleep or something."

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • South Park did this twice:
    • In the episode "Towelie", the boys get the new game system "The Okama Gamesphere". They make up excuses to keep playing.

Stan: Uhh... we can't go to baseball practice because... Kyle has can't cancer.

    • In the episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", the boys did nothing but play World of Warcraft for weeks, becoming incredibly fat and grotesque as a result.
      • This one is a double-example: they did all of this so that they could level up enough to beat someone who ALSO did this, literally having never once logged off since launch, and somehow had developed the ability to kill player characters, even when not flagged for PVP and on the same side no less. So what do they do once they achieve this godly status along with the Sword of 1000 Truths? Go back to playing the rest of the game like nothing happened...
  • This happened once to Lisa Simpson — she wasn't prepared for playing with a Crash Bandicoot Captain Ersatz for whole week. She started playing when she was sick and didn't have anything else to do, but by the time she recovered she was hooked.
  • This happened to Hank in an episode of King of the Hill when he plays a GTA-esque game called "Pro-Pain". It's actually based on his life, being made by a couple of nerds.
  • During an episode of Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, Brandy tried to keep Mr. Whiskers from pestering her by giving him a handheld game to keep his mind busy. He got so into it, that he was even worse than before.
  • A similar thing happened on Mike, Lu & Og episode "A Boy's Game", with Og getting addicted to a Bamboo Technology Game Boy that he made himself, even so far as to keep playing it even while a hurricane was destroying the island.