Whether you prefer more bite-sized gaming sessions or have a longer vacation coming up, picking up a short video game is a great way to relax.
What’s a short video game?
Usually created by indie studios, short video games are for those looking to start and complete small adventures within a reasonable amount of time. Generally speaking, short video games take 10 hours or less to finish, while longer titles usually provide about 20 hours or more of gameplay. Of course, this estimate can vary greatly depending on the genre (RPG, puzzle, adventure, etc.); however, we’ll be using the 10-hour limit as a benchmark for the sake of this article.
Why are short video games so perfect?
Shorter, cozy video games are a perfect choice for those juggling a full-time job or other “adulting” responsibilities. Not only are these smaller games a lot more affordable than the average AAA title, but their simplicity makes them super easy to digest after a long day. The idea of a highly detailed and extended video game is great but finding the time can be challenging. Smaller video games, while shorter than the classic favorites such as Breath of The Wild, offer just the right amount of material to create a wonderful gaming experience that can be completed over a long weekend. Here are just a selection of our favorites to get you started!
1. A Short Hike
Average Playthrough: 3 hours
A Short Hike tells the wonderful story of Claire as she spends her days off at Hawk Peak Provincial Park with her aunt. After learning the only place with cell service is at the top of Hawk Peak, Claire hits the trail to reach the peak and make a call to her mother. 🏔️ During this adventure, our protagonist meets a host of entertaining characters with an enjoyable amount of optional side quests. This adorably stylized video game typically takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete (or about 4 hours for my fellow completionists).
2. Coffee Talk
Average Playthrough: 6 hours
Coffee Talk is a cozy visual novel where you serve warm drinks and listen to people’s troubles as they navigate their daily lives. This beautifully pixelated video game offers multiple endings, depending on the drinks you serve, and truly lovable characters. 🍵 This barista simulation game can be easily finished within 4 hours (accounting for basic achievements). If you’re looking for 100% completion and discover all the different Coffee Talk recipes, this game has the potential to offer 8 hours of gameplay.
3. Lost Ember
Average Playthrough: 7 hours
Lost Ember is a heartwarming, story-driven video game where you follow the unlikely partnership of a wolf and wandering spirit. In search of The City of Life, this duo traverses across a variety of biomes, solving puzzles, and uncovering secrets of the forgotten past. 🏰 Lost Ember is a wonderful narrative that only takes 4 hours to complete, with the potential for almost 13 hours of completionist-style gameplay.
4. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
Average Playthrough: 2.5 hours
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is a quirky, dungeon crawler that perfectly captures how we all feel about tax season. 😅 This short video game tells the story of Turnip Boy. Down on his luck, Turnip Boy’s home gets repossessed as payment for tax evasion. To get his home back, Turnip Boy goes on a series of quests to gather special items for the manipulative Major Onion. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion offers 2 to 3 hours of gameplay infused with entertaining boss battles and comical character dialogue.
5. Little Witch In The Woods (Early Access)
Average Playthrough: 5 hours
Little Witch In The Woods is a witchy-wonderful option for those who love cozy crafting video games like Stardew Valley. 🔮 In this short video game, you play as Ellie Blueriver–a mischievously gifted witch–as she gathers ingredients and mixes potions to help townspeople during her apprenticeship. Available for early access, Little Witch In The Woods provides about 5 hours of magical, adorable entertainment including Prologue and Chapter 1 gameplay (with a promise of up to 20 hours of content upon full release in 2023).
Find More Cozy Video Game Content
This list only scratches the surface of what the gaming community has to offer in terms of pint-sized video games. As compared to epic titles with near-limitless playtime potential, smaller games can offer the same, rich content to be easily finished over a long weekend. Games like Little Witch In The Woods, Lost Ember, and Coffee Talk are wonderful for more casual players or those who struggle to find the time in their busy schedules to play. If you’d like to discover more short video games like these, make sure to check out the rest of my cozy video gaming blog and subscribe to my monthly newsletter!