In our fast-paced society, we never seem to have any free time left in the day. Work, school, transit, family, eating, sleep, breathing — while all very important, they tend to fill up those 24 hours quickly. And yet, over 1.2 billion people worldwide are finding the time to play video games even when so many games tend to go on for hours at a time. That’s at least partially because not every title out there requires 40 hours to complete.
For those feeling like it’s hard to kick back and play, there are games that work perfectly in short bursts. And this isn’t referring just to short-but-sweet mobile games. PCs and consoles have games that don’t ask as much of you, they just aren’t easy to find. Here’s a list of some releases that are both high in quality and allow for quick sessions of play.
Available On: PC/Mac/Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita
Velocity 2X is a shoot ’em up developed by FuturLab, an experienced indie company. The game’s levels are very fast-paced, and the early ones don’t even last 60 seconds. It features an interesting story to tie the levels together. And unlike most shoot ’em up games,Velocity 2X also features on-foot segments. Gamers with only five minutes to spare will be able to make progress in at least a couple of levels at a time, perfect for quick sessions.
Available On: PC/Mac
Coming Soon: PlayStation 4
Brawlhalla is an Early Access brawler developed by Blue Mammoth Games, an up-and-coming indie developer. Many players make comparisons between Brawlhalla and Super Smash Bros., but they are vastly different in some ways. Brawlhalla‘s characters are all original for the game, and they use two weapons that must be picked up in-game. No two characters have the same weapon combination; for example, only Thatch, the swashbuckling pirate, can use the sword and the blasters. Players can make custom matches, both online and with bots, where they can control the match time. Matches can be as long as 20 minutes or as short as 1 minute, so it works for varying amounts of free time.
Available On: PC/Mac/Linux
Audiosurf 2 is the successor to the well-known music-meets-racing game Audiosurf. The sequel has players racing on highways made out of music files; therefore, levels last as long or as short as the given track lasts. Audiosurf 2 features support for Soundcloud and iTunes as well as local files. It also supports mods through the Steam Workshop. Multiple game modes are available out of the box, including a casual favorite, Mono. This mode only requires collecting the colored blocks and dodging the gray ones. Other puzzle modes may not fit for casual sessions since they feature more complicated rules.
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
You may be surprised to see Rocket League on this list. It’s true, some matches can go on for extended periods of time. However, the November 2015 Mutator Update added multiple settings to make matches go a little quicker if you want:
- “Max Score”, for a maximum of 1, 3, or 5 goals
- “Boost Amount”, which can be set to unlimited to ignore the pickups
- and “Respawn Time”, which can disable the goal highlight and continue play quickly
The match time should remain at the default 5 minutes, which is the lowest setting. Players also don’t need to worry about multiplayer, since Rocket League supports a variety of AI difficulties. All skill levels can enjoy the game in short matches using the above settings.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+
Available On: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ is a mouthful, but it’s also one of the best Pac-Man games in recent years. It features fast-paced gameplay and each maze supports a five-minute score battle. The real issue that players will have is avoiding being pulled in completely into the super-addicting title! There’s a sequel coming out in September, but will it deliver the same quick hits of fun? By the way. despite being fairly cheap at full price, DX+ regularly goes on sale, so keep your power pellets peeled for the next price slash.
One Finger Death Punch
Available On: PC, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
Sure, One Finger Death Punch is a much stranger title for this list. In fact, it only has two buttons – left and right. Even so, this game cannot be topped for its fast and easy kung-fu action. Players simply kill the enemies coming from the left and right using the respective mouse buttons or taps. Combos are possible as well as brutal kills using the environment. The lowest difficulty features the fewest number of enemies, and the levels are very fast. You may find yourself engrossed in this despite your first glance.