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Space For Patience

Video games are often thought to be about the quick hit or instant rush of dopamine gratification. In fact, many video games take a long time before they are enjoyable. It takes patience and investment of effort to start making an impact in the game world, and in many ways is actually hard, slow work.

Some games double down on this mechanic, using, as Brad Gallaway recently said "using the real passage of time passing as a way to progress the story or game mechanics. Without cheating a system's clock, they're meant to play out over long periods. Seaman was something like a month, and The Longing can be as much as 400 days."

The games in this list are designed to be played slowly over a large number of days. This includes games like Animal Crossing, which requires regular visits at particular times of day to progress your island. But it also includes games like The Longing, that test the player's willingness to wait long periods of time and limit their ability to accelerate progress. Or there are games you can play quickly, but require the real passage of time for certain aspects, like Nier Replicant, forcing you to wait 24 real hours between planting a crop and harvesting it

This list includes 38 games from the last 21 years, with 394 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to play slow games in real-time.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 394
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Price: 26% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Genres: Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Lifeline (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 16/04/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: 3 Minute Games (@3MinuteGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Lifeline is a narrative adventure where you interact with an astronaut, Taylor via text messages. You help him return home after crashing his aircraft on a foreign planet.

Cozy Grove

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 19/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Spry Fox (@SpryFox)

Players: This is a single player game

Cozy Grove is a life-simulation where you camp on a hand-drawn island. You play a scout and explore the ever changing island's forest to find secrets and help the local ghosts. Like Animal Crossing, it has a children's story-book look, but is a...

Bury Me My Love

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: The Pixel Hunt (@ThePixelHunt)

Players: This is a single player game

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game, an adventure played by choosing responses in what looks like a messaging app. You take the role of the husband of a Syrian migrant travelling to Europe. As the game unfolds in real time,...

PowerWash Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/05/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Futur Lab (@FuturLab)

Players: This is a single player game

PowerWash Simulator is a puzzle game where you clean different objects and locations using a pressure washer. It's designed to be soothing with sounds of high-pressure water and satisfyingly clean results as you blast away every speck of dirt and grime.

Nier: Automata

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 23/02/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Nie R Game (@NieRGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Nier: Automata is a role-playing game, that span off from the Drakengard series. It's set in an alternate future where there is a war between alien machines and human androids. But this isn't a game about winning the war. It's more focused on the plight...

Witchbrook

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Developer: Chucklefish LTD (@ChucklefishLTD)

Players: This is a single player game

Witchbrook is a role play game that takes you through the highs and lows of school-life. You play a witch-in-training but it's not just about learning spells. The push and shove of student life at the magic school and town life are very much front and...

The Longing

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Simulation

Developer: Studio Seufz (@StudioSeufz)

Players: This is a single player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Bird Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: George Batch (@GeorgeBatch)

Players: This is a single player game

Bird Alone is a narrative game where you befriend a bird. Your feathered companion encourages the conversation in the direction of real life worries while you make music, draw pictures and write poetry. It’s a slow game that unfolds in real time with...

Far From Noise

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: George Batch (@GeorgeBatch)

Players: This is a single player game

Far From Noise is a narrative game where you play a car balancing on the edge of a cliff. You meet multiple animals that act as spiritual guides and discuss what it means to balance between life and death. When talking, you get the choice of two phrases...

Please, Touch The Artwork

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/01/2022

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Studio Waterzooi (@StudioWaterzooi)

Players: This is a single player game

Please, Touch The Artwork is a puzzle game that tells a story with real abstract paintings. Unconventionally it asks, what would happen if we did touch the artwork in museums? The answer is revealed over three stories each focusing on a different...

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2022

Price: Free

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Simulation and Strategy

Developer: Chillz Studios (@ChillzStudios)

Players: You can play this with 7 players online

Build A Boat for Treasure (Roblox) is a strategy game where build your a ship (or anything else) from different materials and set sail for adventure. Doing this successfully earns new items and materials for your next build. Although this churn does...

Lawn Mowing Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Creative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Skyhook Games (@SkyhookGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Lawn Mowing Simulator is an adventure game where you ride an authentic and expansive roster of lawnmowers. The novelty is a combination of absolute control over lawn care and weed eradication. This is extended beyond a brief distraction by the inclusion...

Lemnis Gate

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 28/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: Ratloop Canada (@RatloopCanada)

Players: This is a single player game

Lemnis Gate is a combat game that combines turn-taking with real-time shooting. At the start of the battle, you pick one of your seven operatives for the first 25 second round. The game then rewinds to the start and you go again with your second...

Pupperazzi

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-13 year-olds

Release Date: 20/01/2022

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: Kit Fox Games (@KitFoxGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Pupperazzi is an adventure game where you explore an island to find and photograph all manner of canine friends. You interact with the world, climb, skate and explore to get the perfect angle on the perfect pup. It starts as a silly challenge but turns...

Wytchwood

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/12/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 43 features

Developer: Alientrap Games (@AlientrapGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Wytchwood is an adventure in a land of gothic fables and fairytales. You are an old witch of the woods and must explore the countryside, collect magical ingredients and brew enchantments. That much is relatively common, here though, your role is to pass...

Home Quest

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 05/09/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Code Stream de (@CodeStream_de)

Players: This is a single player game

Home Quest is a strategy game where you incrementally build a town, recruit an army and manage your economy. Like other idle games, it's a familiar set-up where you tap buttons to assign resources and then wait for the results. However, the unusual...

The Stanley Parable

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 31/07/2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Hello Cakebread (@HelloCakebread)

Players: This is a single player game

The Stanley Parable is an interactive drama with no combat or action to speak of apart from walking around and interacting with everyday objects. You guide a silent protagonist, Stanley, while discouraging narration plays in your ear. As you discover...

Deru - The Art of Cooperation

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/11/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Ink Kit Studio (@InkKitStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Deru is a cooperative puzzle game about the flow and interaction of colour. Its stylised design hides within it complex conundrums you must work closely together to solve. Each of the two players can only touch streams of their colour, so must carefully...

Gridland

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-10 year-olds

Release Date: 25/08/2014

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Web and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Double Speak Game (@DoubleSpeakGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Gridland (also Super Gridland on mobile) is a puzzle strategy game where you build a town and defend zombie attackers at night. Unusually, resources are gathered by completing match-three puzzles. This puzzle switches from building to defending as day...

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/07/2016

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Blendo Games (@BlendoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Quadrilateral Cowboy is an adventure in a 1990 retro-cyberpunk world where you take on covert mission to infiltrate buildings and security systems. You carefully explore each level hacking security by typing commands into your grey-market equipment.

RocketPuzzle

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: 29 Games Official (@29GamesOfficial)

Players: This is a single player game

Rocket Puzzle is a tile-based puzzle set in space. You push and hold blocks so their attached rockets can fire them into the matching coloured space stations. It's a small but tricky game with a retro aesthetic.

VVVVVV

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 11/01/2010, updated in 2017

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Web and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: Terry Cavanagh (@TerryCavanagh)

Players: This is a single player game

VVVVVV is a running and jumping game, without the jumping. Not having the ability to jump may seem a disadvantage, but instead you can flip your character from walking on the floor to walking on the ceiling. With this ability, puzzle your way through...

A Puzzle in Time (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/02/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Players: This is a single player game

A Puzzle in Time is a puzzle game set in a laboratory. Your task is to escape the room and prove time travel is possible by solving puzzles set over four different years. Inspired by games like Portal and The Witness this short but challenging game has...

Aaero

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 11/04/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Shooting

Accessibility: 10 features

Developer: Mad Fellows Games (@MadFellowsGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Aaero is a rhythm game where you control a spacecraft with on stick and target with the other. At times it's like flying an X-Wing on a trench run while at others it's like soaring high and free targetting enemies in a Starfox game. It's an on-rails...

Kamikaze Veggies

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform, Puzzle and Stealth

Developer: Red Limb Studio (@RedLimbStudio)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Kamikaze Veggies (previously called Suicide Vegetables) is a stealth adventure game starring an absurd cast of vegetable characters. You carefully choose a vegetable with the right specialist skills for each level and set about bringing the enemy down...

Kick Bot

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action and Platform

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Two Scoop Games (@TwoScoopGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Kick Bot is a pixelated platform game you play with just two buttons. An evil computer is out for revenge. You must stop its giant robot from kicking Earth into oblivion. As Kick Bot, you jump, dash and collect your way through each level to infiltrate...

Lushfoil Photography Sim

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Open World and Shooting

Developer: Cavesrd (@Cavesrd)

Players: This is a single player game

Lushfoil Photography Sim is an adventure where you explore and photograph vast faithfully recreated landscapes. While some other games offer the chance to pause and take a picture, Lushfoil doubles-down on the process, art and tranquility of photography.

Pocket Card Jockey

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 05/05/2016

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Genres: Puzzle and Racing

Developer: Game Freak Info (@GameFreak_Info)

Players: This is a single player game

Pocket Card Jockey is a horse racing game you participate in my playing a series of solitaire card games. You race, breed and nurture a stable of horses for a range of owners, trainers and other interesting individuals.

140

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/10/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Carlsen Games (@CarlsenGames)

Players: This is a single player game

140 is a sliding, rolling and jumping game where you control a changing geometric shape to traverse a minimalist world. It's challenging for the timed jumps and reactions but keeps distractions to a minimum with its abstract colorful graphics.

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 24/04/2013, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Pocket Watch G (@PocketWatchG)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is a heist simulation game. You control a crew of robbers who escape from jail and take on a series of increasingly complex robberies. The novelty is the simple top-down view of proceedings that allow for complex strategies...

Sometimes You Die

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/03/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 5 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single player game

Sometimes You Die is an unusual sliding the jumping game. As you play there is a written narrative on the walls of each level that discusses game design, player motivation and the metaphysics of life. More unusual though, is that to progress you have to...

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 11-14 year-olds

Release Date: 27/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Stealth and Strategy

Developer: Panache D Games (@PanacheDGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a survival adventure. But rather than controlling a specific character, you guide an entire lineage of primates trying to survive in prehistoric Africa and facilitate its evolution. It's unusual not only for this...

Cubric (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/06/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: V Vander Media (@VVanderMedia)

Players: This is a single player game

Cubric is a puzzle game where you play a robot trapped inside a maze. Unusually, the maze is three dimensions and made up of six moveable cubes. To escape you turn and twist the cubes in three dimensions to match up paths, avoid hazards, and enable your...

Draw! (Dreams)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 09/03/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Creative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Players: This is a single player game

Draw! is a puzzle game where you draw your own platforms in order to get a stick figure to run and jump through the level to an exit. It is designed to look like drawings on a notepad with you as the artist.

Letter²

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 31/10/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Letters is a puzzle game where you place letters in a small grid and then swipe across words to score points and clear off the letters. Unlike other Letter-puzzles you can't see what's coming next and you can't move letters once placed. That makes it a...

Of Mice and Moggies

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle and Stealth

Developer: Bippin Bits (@BippinBits)

Players: This is a single player game

Of Mice and Moggies is a puzzle game, where you play a cat trying to catch different animals. It looks simple, but each animal requires different tactics to catch so things soon heat up. The challenge is to combine the animals behaviour with the...

The Jump Yard (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/03/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Platform, Puzzle and Sports

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Entropy Tamed (@EntropyTamed)

Players: This is a single player game

The Jump Yard is a platform puzzle game. You control a stickman that you can fire into the air at different angles. The aim is to land them on their feet on one of the 55 spots within the junkyard. A simple, but unique premise that is much harder than...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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