I was playing Bloodborne, because my brother made me a gift. After a few hours I started arguing with myself: why is this game so successful? It is SO complex to me. It wasn’t hard, as everyone says. It was complex. It was complex because I didn’t understood it.
We believe that games can be simple or complex, but simplicity is in our mind, not in the games themselves.
When the mechanics that compose a videogame are understandable, we call the game simple. When the same thing is puzzling, we call it complicated. The combat system of Bloodborne is very puzzling, especially if that is the first game you get of From Software.
Good game design has to inspire, motivate, and be understandable. It is only when all three of these come together that we label the result as “simple.”. Bloodborne is very inspiring and the challenge definitely motivates you. But in order to really understand it you either deal many hours with absolute frustration or speak with your friends and watch YouTube videos.
The skill and knowledge may decay over time, but with well-designed systems, the recovery can be quick. Which is not the case of Bloodborne, if you leave it for a while you definitely lose your ability of beat it.