In this console generation, we have seen a lot of games–especially ones made by indie developers–that are very short in length. Generally, most games are expected to be at least seven or eight hours long, but some games today are as little as two hours in length. Is this a bad thing? Not always.
Some of the most memorable gaming experiences I’ve had were with short games. Journey. Gone Home. Thomas Was Alone. Not all games need to be 10 hours in length to be remarkable.
Journey was a very noteworthy gaming experience for a lot of people, including myself. It’s only about two hours long, but it doesn’t need to be any longer than that. That type of gameplay would get stale and redundant very quickly, and it would take a lot of charm away from a really special experience.
A big downside to short games, obviously, is that you spend $15 or $20 on a game that you can complete in one or two days, whereas a $60 game like Grand Theft Auto V has countless hours of gameplay and fun to be had even after you complete the campaign. Even worse is when a $60 game is only a few hours long, but thankfully this doesn’t happen very often. Money is tight for most people, so spending $20 on a three-hour game may seem illogical. Even so, these short and sweet games should not be missed by anyone who enjoys video games that differ from what you can expect from triple-A titles.
For those like me who don’t have much time for video games, short games serve a great purpose: they deliver a great gaming experience without requiring days and weeks of your time. Just because a game is long doesn’t mean it’s good, and just because a game is short doesn’t mean it’s bad. When it comes down to it, what matters is what you get out of the game, not how long it takes you to complete it.