Short games and roguelikes

As you can see, gaming is my current hobby right now and I've been exposing myself to a lot of content about it which just makes me want to write something.

Today I’ve spent the whole day on my computer, having video essays as background while surfing the net and doing things.

I have watched dozens of videos about indie games of all kinds, from roguelikes to platformers and JRPGs. I am feeling the urge to buy like 20 different indie games—most of them roguelikes—that will eat away my free time despite my best efforts.

Because of this, I’ve been looking forward to trying games that let me play for less time, or at least, games that don’t need me to commit for hours without end. I am not really talking about infinite games such as endless runners, but something more meaningful, and actually fun.

There are many games that meet that requirement. Games like A Short Hike or Lil Gator Game where the whole thing is less than 3 or 4 hours, even games like Resident Evil at 7 hours or TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge at less than 2. Games of every genre can be found in this style. They can make good stories and good mechanics and have everything in a smaller package.

The other style of game that has caught my intereset are roguelikes, which I already mentioned quite a bit in my last blogpost. Basically, a roguelike is a game that usually has role-playing elements, permadeath, and procedurally generated levels, although the definition has evolved over the years.

A single run of Spelunky on my Switch is around 3 minutes before I meet my demise. However, for some reason, I feel like I can go at it again and again, and the good thing is that, if I have to stop playing, or I lose interest, it doesn’t matter that much, because the challenge will still be there, waiting for me.

Ember Knights, Hades, Into The Breach, most roguelikes can technically be beaten in a single sitting in less than 2 hours, most of the time. What actually takes away your time is the fact that you need to get good at the game and keep trying.

In some of them, you unlock new stuff that can show up in your next runs, making things easier—this is known as meta-progression. In more classic games, truer to the original Rogue, you have to do with what you find, starting from scratch every time, and you are the one who has to get better.

It is kind of weird, because a lot of Roguelikes end up having the same grindy style of the lenghty and story-driven JRPGS, which can make it a hard sell to a lot of gamers out there, since they don’t see the point of them. I thought myself to be part of that camp, although I ended up coming to terms with the genre, and simply enjoying them as what they are, as you can tell.

So, in a way, these shorter games end up making you want to play them again further more. Just look at the thousands of hours people have on Vampire Survivors, a game that simply asks you to survive for 30 minutes against hordes of enemies. In the end, regardless of what I play it will be considered a waste of time by someone out there, so I may as well just have fun.

This is day of #100DaysToOffload


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