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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 9 games from the last 20 years, with 211 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, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 211
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Rating: PEGI 3+

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

Price: 26% off

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

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 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)

Rating: PEGI 16+

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

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 15 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

Rating: PEGI 7+

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC 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

Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 19/03/2021

Price: 10% off

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS Apple Arcade

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

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

Rating: PEGI 18+

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

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 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...

The Stanley Parable

Rating: Not rated by PEGI

Release Date: 31/07/2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 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...

The Longing

Rating: PEGI 7+

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Price: 20% off

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative 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...

Far From Noise

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 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...

Bird Alone

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...


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