Sometimes, it's nice to finish a game in an afternoon or a weekend! With so many games moving to a "games as a service model" or touting 60+ hour playtimes, we thought it would be nice to collect some of our favorite short games from the past few years. In no particular order:
You could finish A Short Hike in under an hour, rocketing up to the summit of Hawk Peak...but you'd be missing the point of Adam Gryu's lovely adventure. Wander the (surprisingly large!) island that is Hawk Peak Provincial Park, go fishing, help people with their problems, or hunt for Golden Feathers to boost your stamina (did we mention that you're a bird and can fly?). There's plenty here to keep you busy for an afternoon, and the low-fi art style and Mark Sparling's superb soundtrack make it all the better.
A short, provocative cyberpunk narrative about the nature of fate, happiness, and where our blind trust of technology could take us. The Red Strings Club starts in media res with one of our protagonists falling from a skyscraper, and it only gets weirder from there. Serve cocktails, craft cybernetic implants, and try to get to the bottom of a vast corporate conspiracy (and all in under five hours!). There's some truly excellent writing here, and a few branching paths to explore if you care to replay the game after you finish.
(Polygon has an excellent review if you're on the fence!)
Untitled Goose Game is hilarious. Channeling slapstick comedy in the best of ways, you control a horrible goose who waddles around a quaint village causing all sorts of mischief. The premise is simple: complete a short checklist of activities in each area to unlock the next one. You might have to steal a gardener's hat, or make a small child buy their toy back from a shopkeeper. Or pretend to be someone's goose-shaped lawn ornament so they'll tie a red ribbon around your neck. Oh, and all of this is done with four actions: walk, honk, flap your wings menacingly, and pick up/put down stuff, so it's simple to learn!
There are plenty of secret objectives to find, and a timed challenge mode in the post-game if you really want to show off. Plus, now it has co-op! Double the mischief!
Pocket Watch (Sokpop Season 10)
Where do we even start? If you have three dollars to spare and want a game to play, this is the one you should pick. You're a duck on an island. At the end of every day, a volcano erupts and destroys everything. Loop time with your trusty watch, figure out the islanders' routines, and solve puzzles to save the island! There are lots of secrets to uncover, a big island to explore, and plenty of collectables to track down.
An action-adventure platformer about a shipwrecked captain trapped in a mysterious country. Wield a magical harpoon, rescue other castaways, and try to return home. Great art with a morose soundtrack to match its mood. Plus, there are magic hats to craft! A crisp, well-presented experience that you can finish in 4-5 hours.