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Best Short (Under 5 Hours) Games

Omno

Release Date: 29/07/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Omno is a running, jumping and surfing game where you explore an ancient fantastical world. As you explore you meet all manner of strange and wonderful lifeforms, from cute critters to enigmatic giants. It stands out for the approachable collectibility...

Bury Me My Love

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

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...

Legend Of The Skyfish (Series)

Release Date: 24/02/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Legend of Skyfish is a puzzle exploration game where you head into a dangerous land, hopping from island to island, solving puzzles and battling enemies. Each arcade-style level is a chance to put your unusual weapon to use -- for fighting but also for...

The Last Of Us Left Behind

Release Date: 14/02/2014

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

The Last of Us is a survival adventure game where you play Joel, a father figure, looking to protect a girl in his care, Ellie. The game creates a fimlic and emotional experience that extends beyond the usual zombie shooting to offer an interactive...

Nuts

Release Date: 20/01/2021

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

Nuts is an adventure game where you play a rookie field researcher. You use your camera, caravan, GPS and map to investigate the depths of the enigmatic Melmoth Forest. As you study the local squirrel population you uncover a strange mystery.

Flower

Release Date: 12/02/2009

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Components: Open World and Weather

In Flower you control the breeze blowing across fields of grass and blow petals into other flowers to make them bloom. Flower is simple and single-purpose in evoking the feeling of the wind. What starts as an awkward struggle to control the breeze soon...

Hoa

Release Date: 24/08/2021

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

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...

Abzu

Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of meaning and place in the world.

Astro's Playroom

Release Date: 19/11/2020

Platforms: PS5

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Astro's Playroom is a running and jumping game that launched with the PlayStation 5. It not only showcases the PS5's new DualSense controller but offers a loveable adventure with novel interactions and considerable substance.

Firewatch

Release Date: 20/09/2016

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Journey

Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sand-scape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...

My Child Lebensborn

Release Date: 08/05/2018, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

In My Child Lebensborn, you nurture a Lebensborn child in Norway after World War II who faces a hostile community because they’ve been born to parents of both occupied and occupying forces. With meagre resources yourself, you must feed, clothe and...

Superhot

Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Release Date: 18/04/2017, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Edith Finch is the surviving member of the Finch family, who seem to have died from a curse. In first-person perspective, you return to the family’s coastal home to learn about each relative’s final hours by exploring their rooms in turn.

Gris

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2022

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay

Release Date: 06/11/2020

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

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay is a running, jumping and exploration game. It expands this platforming action towards a full 3D world, while keeping accessibility focused on younger players.

Penrose

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Platforms: Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Penrose is a text adventure, where you don't only read the story and choose its next step, but can go back into the text to change it in all sorts of mind-bending ways. As the develop describes it, "Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game about...

Portal (Series)

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of...

Freddy Spaghetti

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Freddy Spaghetti is a running and jumping game. But you play a piece of spaghetti rather than a person. The game simulates the pasta’s physics as you use two trigger-buttons and a joystick to steer the main character across a wide variety of levels,...

Pikuniku

Release Date: 24/01/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Pikuniku is an adventure where you play a red creature, Piku, on a mission to harvest the colourful world's resources. You interact with different objects to trigger switches and open doors. You can also lasso your legs to swing from hooks or curl into...

Bee Simulator

Release Date: 12/11/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Bee Simulator is a strategy game you play as a honey bee, flying on expeditions from the beehive to collect pollen, fight wasps and perform missions ordered by the Queen, as well as participating in races and dancing rituals. Along the way you'll learn...

Splatty's Adventure (Dreams)

Release Date: 25/04/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Splatty’s Adventure is a running, jumping and fighting game where you play a small (4-year-old) hero who must escape an oversized bedroom and get on your way to save the world from destruction. Like stepping into a Toy Story film, but here you wield a...

Coffee Talk

Release Date: 29/01/2020

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

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Coffee Talk is an interactive story about a barista working in a coffee shop in Seattle. You listen to customers' concerns about life and love, in a retro-pixilated world backed with lo-fi chilled hip-hop music.

The Gecko Gods

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Open World

The Gecko Gods is a puzzle game where you control a small lizard reptile exploring a world and solving puzzles. You interact with the flora and fauna, catch insects and visit other animals. Because you have sticky feet you can climb any surface.

Haven Park

Release Date: 05/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Haven Park is a strategy game where you build camping spots in a national park. You play Flint, who is repairing his grandma's park to attract new campers. It's an intricate open island that packs in plenty to discover. As a game made by one person,...

Donut County

Release Date: 15/08/2018, updated in 2018

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Donut County offers a simple style of play. You drag a hole around the screen; the more things you can make fall in, the bigger the hole gets. You start with bricks, road cones and bushes, but eventually you’re swallowing whole houses.

Hundred Days, Winemaking Simulator

Release Date: 13/05/2021

Platforms: Android, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Cards

Hundred Days is a strategy game about making wine. You control every aspect of a new Winery, choose vines, learn how to grow them and when to harvest. You make decisions about the process with a simple interface that takes you through each day. It's a...

Lost Ember

Release Date: 19/07/2019, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: Open World

Lost Ember is an animal exploration adventure game. While forward progress is relatively linear, it involves beguiling flying, swimming, digging and running to explore the mysterious world through the eyes of different animals.

My Friend Peppa Pig

Release Date: 22/10/2021

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

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

My Friend Peppa Pig is a narrative role-play game. It recreates the TV show Peppa Pig and features a few of the voice actors from the programme. Unlike the show, you are in the cartoon, controlling a character you create. You play with Peppa and her...

Heave Ho

Release Date: 29/08/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Heave Ho is a game where up to four players try and swing themselves across a level. But you can only hang on to certain points and must dangle and swing with both arms to progress. The twist is that you can also hold hands with other players and make...

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

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

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Forever Ago

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Forever Ago is a narrative adventure where you embark on a road trip through beautiful places, capturing memories with your camera and making new friends. You explore forest lakes, dusty barrens and sweltering deserts, interacting with objects you find...

Lifeline (Series)

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

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

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.

Superliminal

Release Date: 12/11/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: Open World

Superliminal is a puzzle game incorporating optical illusions and forced perspective. As you play and explore you can manipulate objects so that when put down their perspective, scale and size has changed. This enables you to progress through areas...

Little Misfortune

Release Date: 18/11/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Little Misfortune is a dark adventure where you play a small girl called, Misfortune, who, guided by a voice in her head, seeks the prize of eternal happiness for her mother. It's played side-on and unfolds a narrative about the girl's family as you...

Old Man's Journey

Release Date: 17/05/2017

Platforms: Android, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Old Man’s Journey is a game about memory and old age. You help a grandfather-figure traverse the countryside by raising and lowering the landscape. Along the way he visits places that evoke the story of his life: a wife, a child and a love of the sea.

Kill It With Fire

Release Date: 13/08/2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Kill It With Fire is a fighting game where you kill spiders. Lifting objects, looking under things and generally exploring the houses means you find spiders. The challenge is then to kill them with increasingly ridiculous weapons.

Metamorphosis

Release Date: 12/08/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 3D First-Person

Metamorphosis is a surrealist adventure game about a man turned into a small insect. It's inspired by Franz Kafka books. From a first-person view you run, jump and climb around in unusual ways on your insect legs, meet bizarre characters and solve...

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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