* The sad thing about the door puzzle is that it was once a good one. Zork 2 used it well. In a fantasy environment where you might conceivably run into a door with that security weakness, it was actually a very nice puzzle. But I've spent YEARS looking for doors with that security hole, and I've only found a few, in very old buildings.
I believe that puzzle is like a secret handshake between game designers and adventure gamers. It's often underclued, as it was in Dark Fall, so you have to know it in advance to solve it in some cases.
* Another super-cliché puzzle involves a door with a handprint/fingerprint scanner.
I don't need to say anymore, do I? Is this even a puzzle anymore?
* Yet another is the "I don't have a flathead screwdriver. All I have is what's in my wallet" puzzle. I'm guilty of this one in the one full-length adventure game I've written. It's a filler puzzle. Nobody has to think about it - not the player, not the designer.
* Chandeliers exist to be swung upon and/or dropped.
* A person with no experience in these matters can quickly open a supposedly secure lock or set of handcuffs with a hairpin or a credit card. It's EASY! This is why the police always remove a woman's hairpins when they arrest her, just in case!
* Reflective objects always reflect spells.
* Any trap found in a tomb will be operational after thousands of years, even if it requires continual resetting or perpetual motion. Gabriel Knight 3 has an INCREDIBLY bad case of this when it suddenly goes brain-dead in the endgame. To quote the comic Absurd Notions, the ancients were very clever with counterweights.
* Also, the ancients were very clever with chessboards.
* If there's a conversation menu in the "Choose an attitude" format, choose very carefully, since you can make bad mistakes. If it's in the "Choose a sentence" format, this is less likely. If it's in the "Choose a subject to ask about" format, you are required by adventure game law not only to be reckless, but to ask about every single topic. It's practically noninteractive.
* By the way, the ancients were ALSO very clever with levers and runes and wheels.
* But they never invented the safety deposit box.
* Either you can't die, or death is frequent and maybe a bit unfair.
* Prison cells contain straw beds and whatever else you need to set a distracting fire.
* Secret passages are frequently connected to not-so-secret triggers, like a candle or a book. You know, things that anybody dusting the room might stumble on. That's what makes them SUPER SECRET.
* If it's guarding a door and can't be bribed, fooled by disguise, distracted, or killed, it will have a riddle for you.
* People always tear off the top sheet of a memo pad after writing something on it. However, in order to be fair to you, the player, they press really hard with the pencil, so you know what to do.
* Vines exist to be swung from, fashioned into crude ropes, or both.
* You're wandering around the big city, and you need a screwdriver. The man who could loan you a screwdriver says he wants a squid-and-pickle sandwich. You must therefore find a squid and a pickle and bread. You cannot go to the hardware store and buy a screwdriver, because there is no hardware store you can visit in the entire big city. Anyway, you don't have money, even though you know people you could conceivably borrow from.
But even if you did have money, and could go to the hardware store, you wouldn't.
Because that man wants a squid-and-pickle sandwich, gosh darn it, and you're gonna get it to him come fire or flood or killer squid that resent being made into sandwich filling.