Pay Wall

The game becomes impossible to continue playing without payment.

A Pay Wall is a point in the game where you must pay money to continue playing the game. If the game makes this clear ahead of time, then this isn't a Dark Pattern. Perhaps the first 5 levels were a free trial to see if you like the game and then you can purchase the rest. This is essentially the "Shareware" model of game development which is not a dark pattern. A similar practice is Downloadable Content (DLC). With a DLC, you purchase additional content that extends the standard game that you already have. If the DLCs are known ahead of time, this is a clean practice.

It becomes a Dark Pattern when the game doesn't disclose this ahead of time and surprises you with this information after you have been playing for some time. If you have played part of the game already, it may have some endowed value for you, or you may have a partially completed goal that you want to finish. If the game suddenly stops working until you pay to unlock the complete game, you may have a strong incentive to pay. To avoid this dark pattern, games should be up-front about the cost and how much you can pay for free.

A game may also contain a secret hidden Pay Wall. This occurs when the entire game is free, but the difficulty increases steadily until it's nearly impossible to continue without purchasing in-game items or upgrades that make it possible overcome a particularly difficult level or obstacle. The game doesn't directly prompt players for payment, but instead relies on their growing frustration with being unable to beat a level to drive sales of in-app purchases of upgrades.


D4DJ Groovy Mix D4DJ Groovy Mix
"dj road quests"

"if you dont have enough crystals to buy enough energy then you have to buy crystals with money"

AdVenture Capitalist AdVenture Capitalist
"It's not a real pay-wall, just one where progress can end up painfully slow if you don't pay for boosts etc. You go from upgrading things constantly to suddenly being unable to do so without waiting for days for profits to accrue."

Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 Plants vs. Zombies™ 2
"Certain plants require real-world money to unlock. One plant, the electric peashooter, costs $7.99."

Flower Garden - Grow Flowers and Send Bouquets Flower Garden - Grow Flowers and Send Bouquets
"Additional Flower Pots and Seed Packs, which cost real money"

Legend of the phoenix Legend of the phoenix
"The regalia gallery. The devs charged the costume for the confidants. Everyone thought they will get it for free after finished all the chapters."

MARVEL Contest of Champions MARVEL Contest of Champions
"Kind of. Super inconvenient energy system that you can pay (spend in game money, which you buy with real money) to refill"

ISEKAI:Demon Waifu ISEKAI:Demon Waifu
"Resources will deplete if you do not continue to buy them"

Candy Crush Saga Candy Crush Saga
"Stages get progressively harder, until they are extremely difficult to beat"

Delicious World - Cooking Game Delicious World - Cooking Game
"phrased differently yes, unless you have plenty of time to waste and money to throw this game is deceptive"