Truth. I think shorter games with more obfuscation and less itemization are valuable in general, but particularly if they want to tell a decent story.
Night in the Woods is a great example (i should have taken more notes, i had a lot i wanted to say about that game but it came out as a ramble). There are missable character interactions, but they’re not so granular that you’d have to play the game more than once if you were reasonably thorough. There are basically two major character stories you can follow, and seeing both would necessitate a second play, but either one is dramatically satisfying and coherent with the themes of the story. The pace is gentle and emphasis is placed on accepting your character’s flaws and mistakes, so you don’t feel pressured to game it in an optimal way. And it’s relatively short, so if you wanted to do a second playthrough to try alternate paths, it wouldn’t be an interminable time tax. Basically, it’s the best Persona game
Feel like Undertale got a lot of the same things right, though it pushed more for a “right” way to play and made the “wrong” way into an explicit critique of 100% completion – which i really like on a meta level, but also feel slightly conflicted about since “why did you put this in the game if you didn’t want anyone to experience it?” feels like a fair response. NitW is less critical.