In a game where there are multiple hurdles to overcome, and its supposed to be a gamey gamist play to win sort of game (primarily - secondarily it might have emotional issues or some grand setting), it needs a double dipping reward system, I think.
Ie, you don't just get past the hurdle. You also get some other reward on top of that - even if that second reward is merely some text that pats you on the back and says hey, well done on managing to get past that (or alternatively you could have text from the main villain cursing you for getting past it, which can be a sort of in character satisfying second reward).
Otherwise it's just a hurdle - a thing in your way. You don't think of doing the vacuuming as some big deal - simply because it's a hurdle. Actually that reminds me of chore wars, which went a way to doing that. I should have playtested that with other people - it had little treasure drops and such you could set up, but if you set it up yourself - it felt alot like giving yourself a pat on the back.