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Best Quick (Under 2 Hours) Games

Wavelength

Release Date: 01/01/2019

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Wavelength is a communication guessing game where you try and read your teammate's minds. Unlike other guessing games the answers aren't right or wrong but on a sliding scale that changes each round. There's a clever wheel that secretly deals with the...

Pilgrims

Release Date: 07/10/2019, updated in 2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Pilgrims is an adventure game where you collect cards to help the characters you meet. As you progress you assist them to complete their little stories by offering the right cards to the right people. It's a little like Scribblenauts, but with less...

Deep Sea Adventure

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Dice and Placeables

Deep Sea Adventure is a pocket-sized strategy game where you dive into the sea to bring back treasure. It’s unusual because although you compete with other players for treasure you share the same limited air supply.

Carcassonne

Release Date: 27/06/2007

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Bag, Figures, Placeables and Tokens

Carcassonne is a strategy game where you lay tiles to create a medieval landscape of farms, rivers and cities. Each new tile must match the roads, rivers, farms and cities of those around it. As you place it you can claim one of these elements that...

Lego Builder's Journey

Release Date: 20/12/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Lego Builder's Journey isn't what you expect it to be. Rather than a brick-based puzzle for kids, it's more like a thoughtful and nostalgic work of art for adults. You work through abstract levels by following instructions but also by breaking the...

That Dragon, Cancer

Release Date: 12/01/2016, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

That Dragon, Cancer is a game about a family with a young son who has terminal brain cancer. It sounds off-putting and morbid but this living biography invites you to join the family and find hope, faith and love in the face of an insurmountable...

That's You!

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

That's You! is a family quiz game played on the PlayStation using Android or iOS phones/tablets as controllers. The game displays a challenge on the main TV screen that each player tries to complete on the device in their hand.

Proteus

Release Date: 30/01/2013

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

This game takes you to a pixelated island. As you explore you discover that your presence changes the seasons and time of day. Delving deeper, there are rudimentary interactions with the creatures that inhabit the land, and rain clouds that blow in from...

Florence

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Florence is a little puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship, following the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t...

Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

A Short Hike

Release Date: 05/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Open World

In A Short Hike you play penguin-like character Claire, who needs to climb a mountain in a beautiful national park to receive an important phone call. Presented in cute pixel graphics, the game invites you to explore the park, help other animals, find...

Vignettes

Release Date: 06/03/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Vignettes is a puzzle game where you explore shapes that change into different objects as you spin them around with your fingers. What starts as a novelty evolves into a collecting challenge where interacting with one item leads to another. Rescue a...

Sunlight

Release Date: 14/01/2021

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Sunlight is a short adventure game where you explore an uncharted forest, guided by harmonised whispers. As you move from tree to tree you discover different voices, genders and dialects, speaking as one. Taking artistic inspiration from expressionist...

Before I Forget

Release Date: 01/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Before I Forget is an exploration adventure, where you play Sunita, a woman alone in a house with early-onset dementia. As you wander from room to room, you discover mysterious objects, each holding a fleeting, fragmented memory. Examine faded...

Mario Party (Series)

Release Date: 08/10/2010, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: Dice

Mario Party is an interactive board game. Players roll a dice to move around a board and then compete in different mini-games to earn the chance to throw again or earn points. You play as Nintendo characters and take on challenges that make use of the...

Assemble With Care

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...

A Little To The Left

Release Date: 01/08/2022

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

A Little To The Left is a puzzle game where you are tidying a house into meticulous order. Each puzzle presents everyday objects and some evidence of how they should be organised. The challenge is you have to deal with the mischievous cat who likes to...

One Hour One Life

Release Date: 27/02/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Open World

One Hour One Life is a civilisation survival game where each player lives a whole life in an hour of play and then passes away. Born as a baby into the care of anonymous other online players, you initially depend on them for food. Quickly growing, you...

Last Minute Love

Release Date: 27/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Web

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Last Minute Love is an adventure where you play an "old person" in a nursing home who is looking for love. This takes the dating simulator style of game in an unusual direction. You explore the home in your wheelchair, meet a quirky cast of people and...

Empty

Release Date: 25/09/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Empty is a minimalist puzzle game that teaches the value of simplicity in life. You rotate and interact with different vignettes to line up items with the same background colour. As you do this they disappear and the scene slowly empties.

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Poppy Playtime

Release Date: 12/10/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Poppy Playtime is a horror puzzle adventure game where you are pursued by vengeful toys in an abandoned factory. Amidst the disturbing music and jump scares you hack electrical circuits and collect useful items. Along with the unusual horror setting,...

Feather

Release Date: 05/04/2019

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Open World

This game brings you, as a bird, to a beautiful island. You can explore freely, collecting items and soaring on the breeze. Often, other players will join you to create a flock of birds to fly together, making music on the wind. Communication is kept to...

If Found

Release Date: 19/05/2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

If Found is an interactive narrative game about searching for connection. You touch the screen to rub out and erase text and drawings. Set on December 31st 1993 in the crumbling ruins of a mansion on Achill Island, you play Kasio as she destroys her diary.

Ollie & Bollie: Outdoor Estate (Sokpop)

Release Date: 10/10/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Ollie & Bollie: Outdoor Estate is an adventure game in a simulated world. You help Ollie and Bollie, who are two bird-like people, look after their farm in the countryside by completing simple tasks. It may sound familiar but stands out because it gives...

The Stanley Parable

Release Date: 31/07/2011, updated in 2022

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

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...

Wind Peaks

Release Date: 29/07/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Wind Peaks is a puzzle game where you find hidden objects by clicking on objects. It's similar to the Where’s Wally books, but offers an ongoing narrative about children searching for treasure in a forest and campsite.

Dreams Party! (Dreams)

Release Date: 17/03/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Dice

Dreams Party is a turn based family board game for up to 4 players. There are two boards to choose from, Welcome Garden and Halloween. Like Mario Party, it creates the fun of a real board game but combines it with mini-games when players land on the...

39 Days to Mars

Release Date: 29/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

39 Days to Mars is a game where players cooperate to build and fix a nineteenth-century steam-powered spaceship en route to Mars. With another player, you play one of two full voice-acted characters and solve puzzles by interacting with switches, levers...

Catan

Release Date: 01/01/1995, updated in 2013

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Bag, Cards, Dice, Figures, Placeables, Score Board and Tokens

Catan is a strategy game set on an uninhabited island where you accumulate, spend and trade resources to build the biggest kingdom. Players must compete for space, resources and ultimately for ten victory points to be crowned the winner. What starts as...

Fractured Minds

Release Date: 14/11/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Fractured Minds is a short game that explores the implications of living with mental illness. It aims to promote awareness and empathy for these issues. You explore everyday spaces that behave in strange and sometimes disturbing ways. To progress, you...

Jaipur

Release Date: 01/01/2009, updated in 2019

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Cards and Tokens

Jaipur is a two-player collecting and trading card game where you compete to become the wealthiest merchant in an Indian market. You collect and swap cards to build combinations so that you can trade them for valuable commodities. It is about trading at...

PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night

Release Date: 29/10/2021

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

PJ Masks: Heroes of the Night is a running and jumping game where young children play as the heroes from the TV show. Its simple controls and straightforward levels, which have lots of collectables to find, provide a simple yet enjoyable interactive...

Blaseball

Release Date: 20/07/2020

Platforms: Web

Blaseball is an online baseball simulation. Unusually though, it blends-in an absurd horror story where players are incinerated and the rules can change -- a little like the board game Blood Bowl. Players compete not so much to get their team to win,...

Cricket Through The Ages

Release Date: 03/10/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Cricket Through the Ages is a competitive sport game themed around cricket but with little to do with the rules of that game. Players face off and aim for each other as much as wickets. Controls work by holding or tapping the screen to spin limbs and...

Curious Expedition (Series)

Release Date: 19/05/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Dice and Open World

Curious Expedition is an expedition simulation, in the late 19th century. You join historical people to explore a world map to gain fame, science and treasures. You recruit explorers and equip them for what they may face, then set out on your next...

Dépanneur Nocturne

Release Date: 26/05/2020

Platforms: PC

Dépanneur Nocturne (which means Nighttime Convenience Store) is a short narrative adventure about the value of conversation and local shops. You explore a store late at night, to find a gift for your partner. What unfolds is a gentle search-and-suggest...

Far From Noise

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PS4 and iOS

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...

Fate of Kai

Release Date: 19/03/2021

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Fate of Kai is a narrative puzzle game where you control the story rather than the characters. You discover Kai's story by walking through the panels of a comic book. It's a tale about a boy who wakes in a strange land handcuffed to a mysterious chest....

Samsara Room

Release Date: 06/09/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Samsara Room is an abstract point-and-click puzzle-horror game. By solving the puzzles hidden throughout the room, you uncover an uneasy story about judgement and atonement told through the things you find.

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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