In an hour you must be going somewhere, but you have a hitch to squeeze another game or so before you must run to a meeting. Today, a lot of games require you to play them for hours to reach meaningful progress, which is not an option an ideal option during a busy day.
A short list of 5 games that can be played for an hour on a PC, that leaves you with a feeling of progress and satisfaction. To compile the list, there are the following criteria:
A. The game should easy to pick up and drop it at any moment.
B. Ability to make incremental progress within a short time.
C. It should be fun to play it and leave you in a good mood.
In addition I will include pros and cons for each listed game for balanced review. Hence, a list of different games that can find its appeal to many gamers:
A dark fantasy inspired by Lovecraft’s work, a dungeon crawler where you collect a group of 4 adventurers to complete a task. Turn-base combat, a wide range of characters (18 classes!).
Depending on the dungeon, each can take about to 10-20 minutes. By completing each one successfully you level up your characters, acquire gold and trinkets that will make you more powerful.
The only issue is the hardcore nature of the game. Darkest Dungeon has a property to turn against you and thus annihilate your party, that can leave you in a negative mood and prevent you from progressing.
Perhaps some might like this kind of risk? If you do, you should pick it up!
Hearthstone (or any other cards games)
Card games are meant to be quick to play. Hearthstone is a fun, challenging fantasy card-oriented game where you compete with others. Each game usually takes about 7 to 10 minutes; thus, it could be played multiple times before you must head out!
Why I would recommend Hearthstone, is for it’s “easy to pick up and hard to master” game design. Hence it is beginner friendly and compelling for challenge seekers.
One of the challenges of Hearthstone is that it has many cards to deal with. For beginners and returning players, it can be overwhelming to know how all cards work. Yet, if you a lover of making crazy decks then it will be a pure joy to have a wide range of cards available.
Another minus of Hearthstone is that leaving mid-game is not well-looked upon. So, you have to be actively aware of the time while you are playing.
A quick pace top-down shooter with awesome upbeat electro music in the style of retro ’80s. Hotline Miami is a cathartic game, where you become a reckless murder who targets mafia mobs.
You are encouraged to come up with the quickest and most audacious for each level, that will increase your total score at the end. Most of the levels can be completed within 7 minutes or less.
Hotline Miami is a short game in general, but it is a blast to experience it through.
The only issue that anything can kill you in one shot. Hence it is a challenge to survive through the levels, which might take some time to complete. However, repeating takes only a press of a button without a delay, making each death less annoying.
Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy
A fun platformer compiled into three games, with each one being broken up into levels. By finishing a level, you progress onto the other and so forth.
Having its roots back in being a mascot of PlayStation 1, Crash Bandicoot is one of the most innovative and joyful games at its time. Even at today’s days, Crash Bandicoot promises tons of challenges, goofy humor and entertainment.
Each level could take about 12-15 minutes (given that you don’t die often). Yet, leaving in mid-level won’t save your progress does not save until level is finished.
In addition, the earlier titles are notoriously challenging (heard about Road To Nowhere level?), that can leave you frustrated, rather than relaxed.
Relaxing and interesting farming simulator, where you can make relationships with various town’s folk and become an adventurer’s farmer.
Despite being branded as a farming simulator, you can totally play the game through without ever planting a crop.
You have options to fight monsters, become a miner or chop some wood to build new stuff. Stardew Valley is your playing around!
What is interesting about Stardew Valley is that it is designed for you to have noticeable progression every day. Each in-game day takes about 13.5 minutes of real time, which is plenty of time for you to do some meaningful work for your farm or your character stats.
What I can see to be a weird issue is that Stardew Valley can be too enjoyable. Each day you want to acquire something, craft, plant, check on events and so forth.
In addition, you can not save the game in the middle of the day, meaning that to have progress you must finish the day.
Hopefully this list will help you find that game, which you can play for short amount of time and be satisfied with it. What are your short games that you would play, if you had an hour to do so?