Feature

Quick Hits – 11 Good Games You Can Beat In One Sitting

by Brian Shea on May 29, 2017 at 05:00 PM

Between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Horizon Zero Dawn, 2017 is already exploding with long, sprawling games that have the potential to consume players' free time for weeks on end. While these games are all well worth your time, there's something to be said about cleansing your gaming palate between these massive adventures. Luckily, many games have the ability to not only fill that role, but also provide meaningful and entertaining experiences. Here are 11 great games you can beat in one sitting.

This article originally appeared in issue 289 of Game Informer. One entry has been added for this version.

Rez Infinite
PlayStation VR • PS4

Rez, the rhythmic rail shooter from the mind of Tetsuya Mizuguchi, has been around for over 15 years, appearing on platforms like Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Dreamcast. With the latest update, Infinite, Q Entertainment added new areas to blast through, as well as a new way to get even more immersed into the musical gameplay: virtual reality. Playing Rez Infinite on PlayStation VR takes the sensory overload of the game to new levels as you surround yourself with the colorful explosions, pulsating music, and engaging gameplay that made the original so popular in the first place.

140
PS4 • Xbox One • Wii U • PC • Vita

From the mind of former Playdead gameplay director Jeppe Carlsen comes 140. A rhythm-based puzzle platformer, 140 is a delightful minimalistic experience that challenges players to progress through the world by interacting with and climbing on objects that move in time with the stage music. The visuals are simple, consisting entirely of geometric shapes, but the puzzles and platforming sequences ramp up in difficulty as players reach later stages. After you complete the short campaign, you unlock new mirror stages, which create fresh challenges from the stages you already completed.

Superhot
Xbox One • PC

Rarely do games innovate so much in established genres, but
Superhot manages to do so as a first-person shooter. The concept is immediately attractive; when you stand still, so does time, enabling you to plan your next move even as you stand in the middle of multiple heavily armed enemies. Using this gameplay style, players are able to defy astronomical odds to clear out rooms that without the time-slowing mechanic would be nearly insurmountable. At the end of each successful stage, Superhot replays your victory in real-time, showcasing your Matrix-like moves. The story also features some fun twists and turns. In addition to the console and PC versions, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners can also check out a standalone, brand-new Superhot VR campaign.

Monument Valley
iOS • Android • Windows Phone

The abstract visuals, tranquil soundtrack, and compelling gameplay combine to create one of the best experiences on a mobile device. Mind-bending, perspective-based tests are the highlight of this brilliant geometric puzzler. While some of the puzzles have the potential to stump you, the solution is always right in front of your face and is immensely satisfying when you figure it out. What's better is that since it's on mobile platforms, you can play through it whether you're on a flight or in a waiting room.

Flower
PS4 • PS3 • Vita

In Flower, you control the wind as you play through the "dreams" of flowers sitting on the windowsill of an apartment. As you push the petals through dead, brown areas, you restore them back to life. Interacting with different plants changes the world in different ways, and the musical cues make each progression feel fresh and powerful. The concept of Flower is simple, but revitalizing the nature that surrounds you – as well as seeing how that affects other parts of the world - is extremely satisfying. Featuring just six main levels and one bonus area, the experience is arguably better if you can set aside an afternoon to finish it in one sitting.

What Remains of Edith Finch
PS4 • PC

What Remains of Edith Finch is the tale of the last surviving member of a bloodline riddled with tragedy and misfortune. Throughout Edith's journey, she uncovers the story of her family and learns its secrets. Rather than tasking players with listening to audio logs and reading journal entries throughout the journey, the game feels like an anthology of short stories, many told through different conventions. Full of clever approaches to its narrative and storytelling, What Remains of Edith Finch joins the other superb examples on this list of why video games are such a powerful medium for storytelling.

Journey
PS4 • PS3

Gorgeous visuals, an astounding soundtrack, and rewarding exploration are all reasons why you should play Journey. To top it all off, the beautiful tale woven by the game's wordless narrative is something every player should experience. In addition, coincidental multiplayer flexes interesting concepts that uniquely bring players together like two ships passing in the night. As the name implies, the ultimate goal of Journey is not what's important. The experience isn't so much about how it all wraps up, but rather the time spent getting there.

Gone Home
PS4 • Xbox One • PC

In Gone Home, you arrive at your family's home to find it completely empty. You must explore the house and go through each member's personal belongings to figure out where they went. With a terrifically crafted story and rewarding exploration of the house, Gone Home is a narrative-driven treat that drives home the importance and weight of self-discovery. With the former PC-exclusive now available on most modern platforms, it's easier than ever to dive in and enjoy this beautiful and touching experience.

Inside
PS4 • Xbox One • PC

Mystery abounds in Playdead's follow-up to Limbo. You take control of a nameless kid, but it soon becomes apparent that this world is anything but child's play. The hostile environments, masked pursuers, vicious dogs, and even grotesquely disturbing creatures can all spell the main character's doom. With fun platforming areas, an enticing world to explore, and ingenious puzzles, the gameplay is enough to recommend Inside to nearly any gamer. However, the events that unfold in the narrative are the highlight. Our best advice: Set aside an evening, turn off all the lights, and avoid all distractions as you dive into this deeply unsettling world from Playdead.

Abzû
PS4 • Xbox One • PC

Stepping into the flippers of a deep-sea diver leads to a serene experience in Abzû. Without worrying about the dangers associated with underwater exploration, Abzû quickly establishes itself as a meditative experience that draws players in with its stunning beauty. The gameplay isn't a heavy focus, nor is this a title that requires you to think too much, but by the time you finish the story, you feel a true connection with the world you have extensively explored. If the idea of floating among beautiful sea life sounds up your alley, Abzû is a great way to spend an evening.

Lara Croft Go
PS4 • PC • Vita • iOS • Android • Windows Phone

The strategic turn-based puzzle concept from the Hitman spin-off comes to Tomb Raider. Controlling your character in the Go series is as easy as flicking your finger across your screen or tilting your analog stick. Each time you move, the hazards between you and your objective move as well. The boards and hazards all feature elements from the Tomb Raider series, so fans can feel right at home in Lara's new genre. While all three of the entries in the Go series (Deus Ex being the third) are fun, Lara Croft Go is the best, as well as the one most suited to play through in a single session.