Enemy 585 approaches a checkpoint at the start of level 6-2
Games with checkpoints will usually be determined by a specific object that players must first reach in order to activate it. Normally, these objects make a sound or display a particular visual effect to show that it has been activated.
In the case of games such as The Bucket and Mega Mash, checkpoints will not be shown as a specific object that players must reach but rather determined through "passing points". For instance, players in The Bucket will see "Checkpoint!" light up upon passing a particular area of the level, and this is not defined by a specific object but at the place the player is in at the time. Mega Mash, however, gives players no signal that a checkpoint is activated and is only discovered once all lives are lost.
A visual gallery of objects determining checkpoints in different games.
A checkpoint's task is only carried out if the player fails to complete a task challenged in the level they are playing. This may occur if a hazard is touched, or the character the player is controlling is lost in the game or loses all their lives. When this happens, the player will be prompted to restart.
Instead of restarting from the very start of the level, the player will be able to try again from the last checkpoint activated. This generally makes gameplay easier and less frustrating for players to complete. These checkpoints remain activated until another one is triggered or the player quits the game.
Nitrome's Tiny Castle is the only game to allow players to restart from their last checkpoint after quitting, since they serve as the levels.
Checkpoints are determined by the tasks completed and will be signalled by text reading "Checkpoint!". If the player chooses to quit, they will have the option of starting from their last checkpoint activated or restarting the entire game as a whole.
List of checkpoints and games they are found in
- Blue pads--Checkpoints in the game Hot Air Jr
- Checkpoints (Cheese Dreams)--Checkpoints in the Cheese Dreams series
- Checkpoints (Parasite)--Checkpoints in the game Parasite
- Flags (Frost Bite)--Checkpoints in the Frost Bite series
- Tree stumps--Checkpoints in the game Small Fry
- Oodlegobs hives--Checkpoints in the game Oodlegobs
- Portals (Sandman)--Checkpoints in the game Sandman
- Restart pads--Checkpoints in the game Fault Line
- Spawn areas--Checkpoints in the games Test Subject Complete and Test Subject Arena 2
- Spawn cylinders--Checkpoints in the game Test Subject Blue, Test Subject Green and Test Subject Arena
- Checkpoints (Gunbrick series)--Checkpoints in the Gunbrick series
- Checkpoints were a later addition to Enemy 585, included three days after the game's release. This was due to the volume of feedback from fans regarding the game's difficulty.