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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 19 games from the last 20 years, with 263 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+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 263
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ 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 and Simulation

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: @NintendoAmerica

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: @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.

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: 30 features

Developer: @BMMLgame

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,...

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: 23 features

Developer: @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...

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: @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...

Far From Noise

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: @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...

PowerWash Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 19/05/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Puzzle, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @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.

Bird Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @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...

Lemnis Gate

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 28/09/2021

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

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Developer: @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: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Puzzle and Shooting

Developer: @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...

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: @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...

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: 25 features

Developer: @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...

The Stanley Parable

Content Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 31/07/2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: @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...

Home Quest

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 05/09/2021

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Puzzle and Strategy

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: @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...

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: @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...

Lawn Mowing Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 10/08/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Creative, Platform and Simulation

Developer: @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...

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: @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.

Suicide Vegetables

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @RedLimbStudio

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

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 by stealth before blowing up their base.

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: @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...


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