As we get older, we get more responsibilities, which means there’s less time left for playing video games.
Thankfully, shorter games can still be fun, so even if you’re a busy person in real life, there are still plenty of options for you. Some games explicitly revolve around short gaming sessions, which means that you can jump in, play a round or two, and call it a day.
Check out our list down below to find some of the best games for those who only have an akward amount of time they can spend gaming.
|Vampire Survivors||2021-12-17||Roguelike, shoot 'em up|
|XCOM 2||2016-02-04||Action & Shooter||94%|
|Slay the Spire||2019-01-23||Indie||57%|
|Deep Rock Galactic||2018-02-28||FPS||58%|
|One Finger Death Punch||2014-03-03||Arcade & Platform||66%|
|Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout||2020-08-04||Casual||58%|
|Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)||2020-03-20||Social|
|The Jackbox Party Pack 8||2021-10-14||Indie||56%|
|Human: Fall Flat||2016-07-22||Adventure||78%|
|Genre:||Roguelike, shoot 'em up|
All you need for Vampire Survivors is up to half an hour of free time, four buttons to move, and a mouse to click on buttons every now and then. That’s it. Your tiny little homages to Castlevania games attack on their own, so your job is limited to keeping them from getting too close to the swarming enemies and picking upgrades from chests and level ups.
So yeah, moment-to-moment controls are simple, but there is plenty of complexity to find. Each character has a different starting gear and level-based progression pattern. There are synergies between weapons and passive items, and gear evolves in power and function under certain conditions. There’s also an arcane web of unlocks, and maps with their own secrets. It’s a lot.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
|Developer:||Feral Interactive (Linux)|
XCOM 2 is a pretty big game, however, despite it’s potential to keep you entertained for hours and hours, its mission-based structure makes it a good option for a quick gaming session. Depending on the map, mission might take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, and it’s not always clear which one it is, but the turn-based nature makes XCOM2 very easy to drop and pick up later.
As for what XCOM 2 is in the first place, it’s a science fiction turn-based strategy about a human resistance fighting against alien occupation of Earth. Between combat missions you’ll be running the operation as the Commander greenlighting research and engineering projects, contacting scattered resistance cells, and choosing which crisis to address, at the cost of letting others unfold.
Hades is a pretty traditional roguelite: each “run” is the player character’s attempt at escaping the titular Greek underworld and the control of his father, also titular. See, we’re playing as Hades’ son Zagreus, desperately trying to see the surface world for reasons best left for you to discover. Unlike Orpheus’ musical challenge, however, your escape involves a lot more hacking and slashing.
Your attempts are aided by persistent upgrades, an arsenal of upgradeable weapons, and your Olympian relatives providing you with mighty boons improving your basic abilities. The escapes can often be done within fifteen or twenty minutes, and even if you fail, you’ll have more resources to spend, and new conversations to listen to, so your time isn’t wasted.
Slay the Spire
|Developer:||Mega Crit Games|
Another roguelite, because it’s a genre almost purpose-built for quick sessions unfolding sneakily into hours of fun. Slay the Spire is a character-based PvE card game putting you through a gauntlet of battles and an occasional safe place as you try to reach the top of the spire. There are four characters to pick from, each with a lot of playstyle-defining unique cards available alongside generic ones.
StS opponents telegraph their actions, so you can deal with them ahead of time, boosting defenses, launching pre-emptive attacks, or setting up statuses. It’s transparent, and pulling off a good turn is very satisfying. Like with XCOM, it’s a turn-based game, so a single run’s length varies on your decision-making, but it autosaves reliably, so you can easily quit it when your break’s over.
Deep Rock Galactic
|Developer:||Ghost Ship Games|
The duration of a Deep Rock Galactic mission can vary greatly depending on how greedy for resources you get. Some missions could conceivably be done in a few minutes, others might take half and hour or more if you take your time and collect every bit of mineral you can find. What is always fun, however, is exploring procedurally generated caves as one of four classes of space dwarf.
DRG is, ideally, a co-op game, with each player playing a different role, but is very playable solo, and even provides a useful drone companion exclusive to solo play. There are many mission types, but most involve collecting resources which might be in weird, hard to access location, and then there are the bug swarms… DRG is a total blast, with great gameplay, and a good sense of humor.
One Finger Death Punch
|Genre:||Arcade & Platform|
|Developer:||Silver Dollar Games|
All you need is love. Well, love and something that has at least two buttons. One Finger Death is not a rhythm game, technically, but it works on similar principles. The idea is simple: you’re a martial arts-using stick figure, and there are enemies running at you from two sides. Each click (LMB/RMB, left-right arrows, A-D…) is one punch, which mean one life bar removed from attackers.
But there are also complications. You have a limited range, so you need to wait for your foes to get close enough. Some enemies require a combination of left-right inputs to take down. There are occasional minigames with slightly different rules. It’s a fantastic, simple, satisfying game you could launch even for just five minutes before going back to your duties with a new sense of flow.
Fall Guys is a perfect choice for those who don’t have time for games. Action-filled gameplay ensures that even short game sessions will be full of memorable moments and joyful experiences.
Fall Guys focuses on the competitive online play – dozens of players are thrown together, where a number of fun and challenging levels await them. The rules are simple, you have to either get to the destination before the others or outlive the competition – the objective depends on a particular level. Colorful visuals and a light-hearted atmosphere make the title a solid family-friendly option for those who don’t have too much time to play.
If you prefer single-player games, you should give Firewatch a try. It’s an adventure game with simple gameplay, where the most important element is the story. Firewatch focuses on the story of a fire lookout as he becomes involved in a series of strange events. You’ll have to explore the surroundings and look for clues to solve all the mysteries.
Firewatch focuses on the story of a fire lookout as he becomes involved in a series of strange events. You’ll have to explore the surroundings and look for clues to solve all the mysteries. Thankfully, you’re not alone – with the use of a walkie-talkie, you’ll be able to ask your supervisor for help. The game doesn’t take a long time to finish, and has been called a walking simulator by some, but it’s mostly very relaxing, and the stakes and action are low enough that it’s not a big deal if you only hop in for a quick stroll around the forest. Especially since the map open up after end credits.
Although Stardew Valley can be a rather time-consuming game, where everything you do requires a little bit of patience, it can be easily enjoyed by those who don’t have too much time to play. Short game sessions are entirely possible – a single game day takes about 20 minutes, and is enough to make some progress. If farming is your cup of tea, this game may be tailored just for you.
Stardew Valley is a relatively simple game, where you will be tasked with maintaining your own farm. The game offers a variety of activities for players to enjoy, but farming is undoubtedly the one that will take the most of your time. Everything revolves around seasons – you need to carefully plan when to grow each plant to make the most profit.
Among Us became a super popular game, mainly because of the streamers that gave it a solid dose of attention. And it’s not surprising, considering how fun the game can be to play – streamers often play with their audience, allowing everyone to socialize and enjoy their time together.
Among Us is a party game where several players are matched together and are given various tasks to complete during the game. Up to three players are chosen at random to become the impostors who are tasked with sabotaging the work of others or killing the good guys. Being an impostor requires good social skills – you will have to somehow convince the others that you’re innocent or they’ll kick you out of the ship and secure the win.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Those who love casual games will surely love Animal Crossing. If you don’t have the Nintendo Switch console yet, you may consider getting one just for this particular game. Animal Crossing is a social simulation game where you will be given your own island – your job is to simply turn it into your own personal paradise. Robust cosmetic options let you customize everything to your liking.
Animal Crossing is a great choice for those who don’t have too much time to play games because there’s little forcing you to play regularly – you can leave the game for extended periods of time and you won’t be feeling like you’ve missed anything. It’s also a great social game, as there are tons of activities and social interactions that allow friends to enjoy the content together.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8
|Developer:||Jackbox Games, Inc.|
If you’ve got some friends to play with, The Jackbox series could be tons of fun. Try one of the most recent releases, but don’t hesitate to grab the older ones as well, if you find the experience enjoyable. The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is a collection of 5 different games created with multiplayer in mind. There’s some social deduction, some trivia, and even a challenge for the artful.
Jackbox games can be played locally, and only one person needs to actually own a copy of the game – other the participants can join simply by entering a special code on the website through the medium of their choice, including smartphones and tablets. It’s an excellent way to casually spend some time together, and it doesn’t take long to set up!
The Sims 4
The Sims is probably one of the most popular video game franchises out there and it’s not without a reason. Create your own family and guide its members through their lives – bear witness to their joys and sorrows as they’re trying to find their own meaning of happiness and fulfillment. And it’s way easier to do than in real life, the series is casual-friendly, easy to learn, and quite addictive.
The Sims 4 is a continuation of a long-going social simulation series, where you’re able to play as a family. Help your pupils fulfill their wishes and lifetime goals, work on their hobbies and skills, find them their favorite job, make new friends, and build and customize a house for them to live in. The possibilities in The Sims 4 are virtually endless and it’s your job to tailor your family’s story.
Human: Fall Flat
|Developer:||No Brakes Games|
Human: Fall Flat is yet another interesting option for busy people. It’s a simple game, where you’ll have to complete a variety of physics-based puzzles, which can get surprisingly fun. Human: Fall Flat is all about completing a variety of tasks, where creativity matters the most. It can also handle multiplayer of up to 8 people, making it a great option for a relaxing break during group projects.
Usually, the objectives can be completed in a number of different ways, which gives players a bit of freedom in how terms of choosing how to approach a problem. What makes the game infinitely more fun is the fact that it has wobbly physics – if you’re looking for cute, funny, silly games that don’t require long play sessions, this one is a must-play.
Finally, there’s also Slime Rancher, a game about taking care of adorable slimes. Collect them, feed them, breed them, and evolve them – discover new species and have fun. Slime Rancher is a solid option for those who are looking for an easy gaming experience. It’s a casual-friendly adventure where you’ll be able to manage a farm of cute slimes.
Your main objective here is to take care of your pupils and sell the so-called plorts produced by them – getting money is important as it allows you to develop your ranch and upgrade your tools, so you can work more efficiently. The open-ended nature of the game gives players a lot of freedom and isn’t bothered if you decide you just want to look at blobs for ten minutes and leave.
No time? No problem
Hopefully our list helped you find something that seems exciting to play when you only have a very limited amount time available and can’t commit to grand experiences with delayed gratification. These games deliver the maximum amount of fun and satisfaction in the minimum amount of time.