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What kind of games can you still play when your time is severely limited?


Broker
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I'm not looking for short games, but ones that you can learn slowly and not have your skills have all vanished. I love souls and have played a lot of BR games over the last year or two. I'm finding recently that I don't have the time to put into these games to actually progress or improve my skills, leading to boredom and frustration. But I don't want to play something with no challenge whatsoever. I'm really worried that I just don't have time to play the type of games I like anymore, but I play to relax and relieve stress and without that I'm miserable. All my relaxing time is suddenly either stressful or boring and I'm not sure what to do.

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I'm in a similar position at the moment: due to work and having young children, my gaming time is severely limited. I've found that it's best to play games that provide a clear sense of progress every time you play them (most mainstream single-player action/adventure/platforming/RPG games) and avoid genres which require you to 'learn' the game through repeated play before you start to feel a sense of achievement (shooters/fighting games/roguelikes/most PvP multiplayer games which put an emphasis on skill).

 

To be honest, though, most modern games aren't especially difficult especially those which have been developed by bigger studios, all of whom understand the importance of keeping the player playing for as long as possible. I find a lot of indie games, or games produced by smaller studios, are harder than games with higher production values, almost in reaction to the lack of challenge that many perceive in triple-A games, and it's no coincidence that the burgeoning resurgence in rougelikes in recent years has come from the indie market.

 

Also, if you're worried about forgetting how to play a game from one session to another then it definitely helps to only play one game at a time.

 

Are you just finding Sekiro too hard?

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Sekiro and Apex. My main problem is that I only really like games from the second category you mentioned. Easy mainstream games generally just bore me, as without a challenging system to learn I'm just watching terrible, poorly written cutscenes. Red Dead stands out recently as a game I could definitely play in small chunks, but its so boring I don't want to. You just walk between checkpoints, watch awful cutscenes and then shoot a million people with there being no danger whatsoever that you'll die.

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I was in the same position a couple of months back and found my game in The Binding of Isaac for the Switch. Perfect for both short bursts of gaming and lengthy sessions, as well as taking ages to master.

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Modern Persona games ;) 

 

But really, the ingame calendar means that you can still play even if you can only fit in a couple of ingame days, and you always feel like you're making progress no matter how little or great. Dungeoning can take a little longer but checkpointing is frequent, and once you learn elemental weaknesses the battles go by incredibly quickly.

 

They can feel slow at times, like P4's intro where everything's slowly introduced, but the actual gameplay is often suited to short sessions.

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21 minutes ago, Broker said:

Sekiro and Apex. My main problem is that I only really like games from the second category you mentioned. Easy mainstream games generally just bore me, as without a challenging system to learn I'm just watching terrible, poorly written cutscenes. Red Dead stands out recently as a game I could definitely play in small chunks, but its so boring I don't want to. You just walk between checkpoints, watch awful cutscenes and then shoot a million people with there being no danger whatsoever that you'll die.

 

What about brawlers? They're challenging to master on the one hand but still provide an ongoing sense of progress. The new DMC is supposed to be very good.

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I tend to entirely avoid multiplayer games nowadays, particularly if the match making isn't very good, as in most circumstances, especially with the very popular BR games or twitch shooters, you know you're up against legions of teenagers who spend every spare minute playing the game and you can't hope to compete. Mario Kart 8 was the last online game I played for any decent amount of time. Fortnite, PUGB, Apex and so on have entirely passed me by, as have Destiny and the like.

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I guess a big part of the problem is that up until recently I was unemployed and so had tonnes of time to play Destiny and PUBG. Since being back in education I'm finding that I don't have the time for that but everything I'm used to playing is an endless timesink.

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I don't have that much gaming time either, but I still prefer to invest the little time I have in challenging, mechanically rich games. Getting a few hours of Sekiro in is very enjoyable to me. MP gaming is a different story as I don't like  to play with randoms and it's hard to organize sessions when my gaming time is all over the place.

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I honestly think that shmups are what you're looking for. They were certainly what I was looking for.

 

Short runs, often very short as you're starting to learn.

 

Accessible in concept but insane skill ceiling, usually.

 

Playable on different levels with survival and scoring.

 

Learning how to maximise scoring systems gives enormous depth.

 

Instant gratification and rewards beyond pretty much any other genre.

 

There are loads and loads of different styles within the genre.

 

It's a rabbit hole that can ruin both your attention span, sleep patterns and the entire medium. 

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I'm sticking with retro games as I only have one very tired hour for gaming each day, and that's if I force myself.

 

Currently playing OutRun 2 SP and VF4:Evo. The latter feels like a total waste of time with no one to play with, but I'm still enjoying it.

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I’ve always found Overwatch easy to dip into for a few games.  Even after not playing it for months, even if my aim is completely off, I still get a lot of enjoyment from it as there’s always more accessible characters to select.  Appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I can return to it much more easily than stuff like PUBG or Siege :) 

 

Otherwise: anything on Switch.

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Monster Hunter World is my go to, there’s always something new to do, weapons to craft and aim to make or builds to try, you can do the entire thing at your own pace in small bursts or lose yourself completely.

Sea of Thieves is another, with like minded mates you can relax taking in the views or grind for rep, or just faff about endlessly having fun, upgrades are just cosmetic so you will be on an even peg with even die hard day one players.

another option is something like Clash Royale on mobile, perfect for short sessions and always new things to aim for 

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Division 2. Really well balanced progression and rewards, constant stream of new gadgets and weapons to play with, great map and atmosphere. You can dip in for an hour and just boost your xp, or randomly find a weapon that completely changes the way you play. It respects your time and even a brief session is worthwhile, or you can easily kill an entire day with it. It's not challenging or too demanding in that you need to master systems, but the AI is solid and puts up a fight. Co-op is ace, even with randoms.

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For me its not necessarily the game but the console.Handheld gaming on the Vita or Switch is a godsend if you are tight on time. Mainly as, for most games, you can pick up and resume play really quickly and anywhere. That or arcade gaming.

 

I struggle for gaming time, maybe 1 hour a night tops. Dipping into a little Arcade gaming on my raspberry is always satisfying for me.

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Spelunky is still, after 500+ hours, my favourite 'quick game'. It's a rogue-like, so never the same game twice. 

 

It has a ridiculous amount of depth in the game mechanics that you figure out along the way. Games can last from seconds up to maybe a couple of hours on an exceptionally good run. 

 

There's no rpg like leveling up. It just relies on the same 'git gud' player skills. Easy to learn, hard to master. 

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We have 3 kids age 4 and under.. I could perhaps squeeze an hour or two in if I didn't want to spend any time at all with my wife..

 

I manage a few goes at Sega Rally now and then - perfect kind of game for a quiet ten mins - always wanting to beat my time or get a perfect run. It's looking its age but the handling is so well tuned!

It's just not much fun going back to Horizon for the 15th time having forgotten how to play it yet again.. and knowing I'm still only about quarter of the way through it...! Ugh :( 

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Which Sega Rally are you playing? Saturn?

 

Similar to others, my time is limited by family. I’ve found I do have 30 to 45 minutes at the end of the day, but usually I’m so tired that starting a game just stresses me out. 

 

I managed to play through Breath of the Wild in bite size chunks. I think the only difference was the quality of the game. Or maybe it’s because I felt a little bit of progress each time. 

 

But after that I’ve struggled to replace it. FTL gets a play every now and then. Once you’ve got the mechanics of the game, it’s just a case of waiting for the luck. 

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30 to 45 mins is a perfect length of time to get a few Splatoon2 games in, online; the main problem is that it's pot luck as to which ranked mode you'll end up with for that. Nintendo do mix up the order so that if you can only play at the same time each day, you'll get different modes over a couple of days.

 

It's my choice for a quick lunchtime game.

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17 hours ago, hellcock junior said:

Roguelikes/Lites - it's possible to complete most in one sitting; you won't at first but you'll have a satisfying sessions until you are good enough to beat it in one.

 

Yes, this is what I like about them. Dead Cells, if you haven't tried it already @Broker

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16 hours ago, Vemsie said:

I don't have that much gaming time either, but I still prefer to invest the little time I have in challenging, mechanically rich games. Getting a few hours of Sekiro in is very enjoyable to me. MP gaming is a different story as I don't like  to play with randoms and it's hard to organize sessions when my gaming time is all over the place.

My time is very limited too, but I don't mind if Sekiro takes me a year to finish, I just enjoy learning and playing it. 

 

I steer clear of most multiplayer games unless it's Nintendo, local play in other words.

 

I don't think it's worth stressing over, there's more to life than games.

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Finding the Switch great for getting time in on games... Love how quick it boots up.. hardly any time to patch (if the games do patch at all!!!). Its just a great way to pick up and play.

 

As time goes on finding that I get bored to quickly of playing the same game over long periods so more than happy to just spend a hour or so on an arcade style game where there is no big commitment. I also like playing story based games when I know that the main game will take no longer than say 10-20 hours. 

 

Depends on how you want to play your games really and if you are happy playing epic sized games in 1-2 hour chunks (doesn't work for me personally).....

 

 

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