Social gaze-based interactions in games form a timely field of research as they can enrich communicative acts within the game world. Apart from portraying gaze via realistic-looking characters, we deem that these aspects could also be applied to non-anthropomorphic characters found in so-called minimalist games. These games use simple mechanics and an abstract art style to convey deep and meaningful experiences. The paper examines concepts of social gaze in minimalist games via a comparative study that focuses on the players' perceived quality of social interaction towards abstract non-player characters. By creating a game made up of three levels, it is aimed to uncover differences between the inclusion and exclusion of gaze-aware characters. The results show that the integration of gaze-based social interactions led to a positive social experience among players. Social gaze in this context is not superfluous but adds a crucial element in the interpretation of game objects: Players in the gaze condition tended to see the abstract entities as characters instead of lifeless game objects.