Good post. There are several video games that I loved which I never would have stuck with if it wasn’t for some cheat. I think the old SNES game Contra is the poster child here — who would have stuck with it if not for the 30 life cheat? Its cheat code has itself become a cultural touchstone among video game players.
There’s also games like Star Control 2 — a classic, brilliant game. I wouldn’t have bothered with it if it wasn’t for the lander cheat that gave you infinite credits, and let you sidestep the planetary mining mechanic. Some people liked that part of the game, I did not.