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Top 20 video games that can be beaten in under five hours – Reader’s Feature-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

A reader names a host of games that can not only be beaten in an afternoon but are just as good as their more time-consuming equivalents.

Top 20 video games that can be beaten in under five hours – Reader’s Feature-GameCentral-Entertainment – Metro

A Short Hike – short and sweet (Whippoorwill)

A reader names a host of games that can not only be beaten in an afternoon but are just as good as their more time-consuming equivalents.

Whether you’re someone with limited gaming time or just looking for a palette cleanser between hundred-hour role-playing games, it’s often nice to sit down to play a game knowing you can see everything it has to offer in just a few hours. So here are my top 20 games that can be completed in five hours or less.

20) Ape Out

Played from a top-down perspective, Ape Out challenges players to lead a Gorilla through a series of maze-like levels whilst evading or killing the many enemies that stand in the way. The unique graphical style, reactive jazz soundtrack, and fast-paced gameplay make for an enjoyable couple of hours.

19) 10 Second Ninja

As the title suggests, you play a ninja with just 10 seconds to clear each level of enemies. It certainly requires some quick fingers but thanks to the tight controls and well-balanced learning curve it always had that ‘one more go’ factor.

18) A Short Hike

A leisurely game in which the ultimate goal is to reach the summit of a mountain. A Short Hike allows players to explore the game world at their own pace, interacting with the various inhabitants, as they choose. Even with little in the way of challenge or traditional gameplay I couldn’t help but be won over by its charms.

17) The Stanley Parable

A cleverly designed, and often very funny, commentary on the nature of video games and story structure. There is little in the way of traditional gameplay to be found here, with the player instead having to simply make decisions as and when required. Each run last 10 to 15 minutes, but most players will be compelled to play through multiple times to see what they can discover.

16) The Hex

Six video game protagonists are told by their barkeeper that someone is planning a murder and thus begins a series of flashbacks taking in multiple game genres and the discovery of some dark secrets. It’s very weird, but if you’re looking for something a little different, then give this a go.

15) Little Nightmares

A terrifying atmosphere, combined with clever physics-based platforming and puzzles makes Little Nightmares well worth playing, despite the somewhat awkward controls and camera angles.

14) Superhot (3 to 4 hours) + Superhot VR

Superhot’s clever combat system, in which the enemies only move when you do, works very well with or without VR and it’s well worth playing both versions.

13) Year Walk

A puzzle-orientated horror game based on Scandinavian folklore, Year Walk invokes a terrifying, yet strangely beautiful, atmosphere that has stuck with me ever since. Turn out the lights, put your headphones and prepare to take a unique journey.

12) Katana Zero

A 2D action platformer in which players use various abilities to dodge attacks and kill enemies; Katana Zero’s fast-paced gameplay and twisted plot make for an entertaining (and often challenging) way to spend a few hours.

11) Pony Island

In gameplay terms Pony Island largely consists of endless runner style segments and abstract puzzles, but it packs an incredible amount of surprises into its short runtime and is unlike anything else you’ll have ever played.

10) Inside

My advice for playing Inside would be to go into it knowing as little as possible. So I’ll just say it’s a 2D puzzle platformer with a brilliantly realised aesthetic that makes for a bleak, yet very memorable experience.

9) My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em-up in which players can utilise all manner of special skills, such as slowing down or splitting your aim to hit two enemies at once. It’s simply great fun and one of those games where I often found myself playing levels multiple times, to try to improve my scores.

8) Jusant

The minimalist approach to storytelling (think Ico and Journey) combined with excellent climbing mechanics and breathtaking views makes Jusant a thoroughly pleasant gaming experience.

7) Hotline Miami

Thanks to its difficulty Hotline Miami may well take some people longer than five hours but the fast-paced, almost puzzle-like, 2D gameplay is incredibly fun and marries up brilliantly with the strange atmosphere.

6) Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons

A clever gameplay gimmick in which players control both brothers simultaneously, using the two halves of the control pad, and a moving story with a famously emotional ending makes Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons one of the best puzzle platformers ever made, regardless of length.

5) Braid

Depending on your puzzle-solving abilities Braid may take a little longer than five hours but I had to include it on this list, as its time control mechanics were very novel at the time and are still yet to really be beaten within the genre.

4) Super Time Force

An old-fashioned side-scrolling 2D shooter with a clever time travel mechanic that allows players to rewind at any point and then fight alongside their previous attempts at the level. It’s very well done and requires players to try and set up each run in just the right way so as to ensure you beat the strict time limits.

3) Tetris Effect

Tetris can, of course, be played pretty much forever, but the heart of Tetris Effect is the 27 stage Journey Mode that will take 3 to 4 hours to finish. Played in VR, the way the music and graphics react to the player’s actions is simply mesmerising and any Tetris fan owes it to themselves to give this a go.

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2) Journey

Other than a few simple puzzles, Journey features very little traditional gameplay but the visual and audio design, alongside the brilliantly implemented online multiplayer, combine to make for an emotional and truly memorable experience.

1) Portal

With its clever physics-based puzzles and strange sense of humour, Portal was like nothing gamers had seen before and for me this is still the greatest puzzle game ever made. The sequel is a little longer, but also excellent.

By reader drlowdon

Portal – an agreeably short classic (Valve)

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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