The goal of any gaming experience is to immerse players in virtual worlds and task them with a particular mission. Whether matching candies or taking down bosses level after level, every game has its own unique setting, goal, and twist. Still, some games involve highly complex and detailed worlds that might take dozens of hours to complete—or are designed for infinite playability.

Gran Turismo 4, for example, takes around 70 hours to complete, while expansive RPGs like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Red Dead Redemption 2 can take well over 100 hours to complete for those who want to undertake every single mission. As gaming enters the mainstream, developers are devoting even more time to creating long-form, hundred-hour games.

But that doesn’t mean interest in short-form games has waned. In fact, thanks to the expansion of mobile networks and functional smartphones, casual gaming has taken off around the world. Of all the world’s active gamers, a significant portion stick to casual titles like puzzles, visual novels, match-three games, and adventure titles. Best of all, these short-form games don’t skimp on production value or ingenuity.

If you’re more inclined to sample shorter games instead of longer releases, then explore our list of suggestions. We’ve uncovered some of the most playable short-form games that closely emulate the hype of long-form hits.

Poker: Spin & Go (Card Game)

Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. Even though it’s not categorized as a traditional video game, it’s the preferred game for millions of virtual players around the world. However, if you’ve ever played a game of Texas Hold’em or Omaha before, you know that even regular table games can drag on—never mind a full-on tournament, which can run for up to seven hours.

If you’re looking to shorten the time spent in tournaments, then play Spin and Go for a more compact competitive experience. These competitions tend to take less than an hour to finish. Don’t worry. Spin and Go tournaments still pay out cash just like regular tournaments.

Subnautica: Abzû (Action Adventure)

When Subnautica was released in 2019, it introduced gamers to a brand new style of action-adventure game by taking players underwater. But Subnautica can take around 20 hours to complete, which makes Abzû a much shorter option at only three hours.


Both games include highly pleasing underwater worlds, along with unique storylines and challenges. Abzû also takes a bit more care in terms of its visual aesthetic, while the original places a stronger focus on survivalism, which means there’s an element of combat.

Portal: Lumen (Brainy Puzzle)

The Portal Series (which includes two releases) is one of the most popular puzzle game franchises in the industry. In fact, both releases can be credited with popularizing the usage of portals and reflective surfaces in puzzle games and sci-fi games. But both releases take around ten hours to complete, which makes them a little overwhelming for short-form gamers.

A solid short-form version is Lumen, a mobile puzzle that—unsurprisingly—requires players to use light, mirrors, and lenses to solve a steampunk-era mystery. If you’re in the mood for a head-spinning challenge, Lumen will capture your attention. But this game is available on Apple Arcade, which means it’s only available for iOS users.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Bastion (Open-World RPG)

As outlined in the introduction, open-world RPGs like The Witcher 3 take well over 100 hours to complete for those who want to undertake every mission. Because of the vast scale of these worlds, it’s incredibly hard to replicate the magic in short form. However, the creators of Bastion undertook this challenge and succeeded.


This game requires six hours maximum and around two and a half hours on average to finish. It follows a character who travels through a fantasy land to fight enemies and collect powerful rocks. Along with its winning narrative and storyline, the game includes stunning visuals and fantastic voice acting.