Codex Gamicus

The level treadmill refers to the boring and repetitive killing of monsters that the game throws at the player to artificially lengthen gameplay. This is also known as grinding, but focuses on the length of the game rather than trying to make characters as powerful as possible.

This is particularly bad when the only monsters the player can defeat grant only a small fraction of the experience required to level up, meaning that long periods of playing time are required to reach the next level.


  • The NES version of Dragon Quest required the player to gain levels, but the available monsters didn't provide much experience to gain levels. In addition, the enemies were not easily circumvented by using better equipment or items.