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1. Easy To Finish
Some of the reasons that shorter games are better than longer ones are pretty straightforward. For example, our favorite benefit is that it is easy to actually finish these games!
The majority of gamers know the shame of having a large library of unfinished games. And if we’re being honest, it can be tough to find the time or motivation to dive into another massive narrative. But when a game takes only a few hours to beat, it’s much easier to find the time to power through.
2. Friendly For Adult Lifestyles
Ever sit back and wonder why you don’t have as much time for video games as you once did? For most of us, the boring answer is this: we got older, and we gained a bunch of those annoying adult responsibilities.
Once you have a career, a family, and a mortgage payment, it’s tough to spend all day playing video games like you once did. In some cases, you’re lucky if you can squeeze an hour or two of games into your evening.
In some massive RPG, an hour of gameplay a night is basically a drop in the bucket. But with a short game, playing for an hour every night means that you can finish the game in a week or less, which is much friendlier to your boring adult lifestyle.
3. Stories That Get Right To the Point
Here’s an open secret: you know those games that claim it takes dozens or hundreds of hours to experience all of the game? Most of that time is spent completing annoying filler quests and experiencing annoying filler content.
With short games, developers basically can’t afford to waste any time. Instead of taking you on annoying side quest after annoying side quest, these games strap you in for the big ride very early on.
Honestly, this is one of the reasons why the Arkham games have been so popular. Sure, players with too much time can try to solve all those riddles. But everyone else can spend their time going from cool street fight to cool boss fight and then back again.
4. No Story Necessary?
So far, we have focused on short games that have very brief narratives. However, some of the very best games have little to no story at all.
Overwatch is a great example of this. Sure, if you want to spend your free time checking out character intros and reading online lore, you can piece together a story for this title. Mostly, though, players simply log in and shoot people.
And so long as you like shooters, this can be downright relaxing. Instead of trudging through a boring story, nothing is wrong with cracking a few beers and playing a few matchmaking rounds before you go pass out in bed.
5. They Give You More Time
Here is an awkward truth gamers don’t like to talk about: at the end of the day, your hobby can feel a lot like a job. And not just because so many games like Animal Crossing: New Horizon try to transform things like paying off a house into a fun gaming activity.
No, games feel like jobs because it is tough to find enough time for your hobbies. After you spend time at work and time with your family, it may be downright difficult to find time for all the games you want to play, movies you want to watch, and books you want to read.
In this way, short games are like a license to enjoy more of your favorite hobbies. Finishing a game that only lasts a few hours means you finally have time to watch that movie everyone has been telling you about. Or--let’s be honest--starting another game you’ve been meaning to play.
6. Short Games Make Developers Creative
Did you ever have one of those teachers that insisted boundaries made you more creative? These were the teachers that insisted that giving you strict rules to follow would help you produce better art or more engaging stories.
But one of the more annoying parts of growing up is realizing those teachers were right. Given a chance to do anything, most people just sit there and gaze at their navels. But given some hard rules, we can come up with some very creative solutions.
And game development is a lot like that. There is a world of difference between telling a cool story in 30 hours and telling it in 3 hours. And when challenged with a shorter game time, developers are likely to come up with creative solutions and innovations like we have never seen before.
7. Less Room for Glitches
Cyberpunk 2077 ended up making history in all the wrong ways. After years and years of intense anticipation, this glitchy game launched with all the fanfare of a wet fart.
Now, this is not to excuse the developers from giving us such a buggy game. But part of why Cyberpunk was so glitchy was because it was so large and ambitious. Simply speaking, there was a lot of room for error because the devs gave themselves so much damn room.
Shorter games naturally have less room for mistakes. And they have more time for playtesting. The end result is that you get a much more polished and glitch-free experience for your money.
8. Save Money
Speaking of money, the final benefit of shorter games is nice and simple: they usually don’t cost that much!
When you pay $60 (or, more recently, $70) for a game, you’re probably expecting a long play experience. Because of this, most developers price shorter games at a cheaper price...usually $20 or less. And that’s before they go on sale.
What this means is that you can buy several shorter games for the price of a longer game. And your mileage may vary, but you’ll probably get more enjoyment out of beating several short games with tight narratives than spending another 100 hours playing minigames in a long game and pretending you’re having fun!